Whirlwind successfully completed: Sustainability symposium, Journal Special Issue 1st reviews, Alaska research trip

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It has been an eventful time since my last post, mostly dominated by organizing the “Social Institutions and Sustainability” symposium on campus at Wayne State University, first level of reviewing submissions for a special issue of Critical Sociology journal, and my recently concluded research trip to Fairbanks, Alaska.

We were thrilled at the amazing turn-out for the symposium (more than 65 people in a packed Community Room during the keynote talk!), and caliber of the scholarship on display (almost 20 pieces of research by scholars from around the country — and Canada!). Honestly, we could not have organized the event without the continued support and goodwill of our sponsors — the Humanities Center at Wayne State University, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Department of Communication, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Sociology, and Critical Sociology journal. Special thanks are also due to our keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Hoffman (University of Michigan), whose talk completely engaged our attendees, and who also donated copies of his books to the Wayne State University libraries.

We hope to make the symposium a regular event at Wayne State University, in keeping with the mission of the Sustainability Scholars’ Forum research working group, which is to showcase the wealth of social scientific and humanist scholarship related to sustainability — paying heed to its intersections of environmental, social, and economic complexities. Thanks to the wonderful feedback received from attendees, we have some great suggestions for future themes, venues, and formats — and hope to implement them!

In addition, Alisa Moldavanova and I are co-editing a special interdisciplinary issue of Critical Sociology journal, and we just finished emailing submitters to notify them if their extended abstracts were accepted. We received 37 submissions, from scholars across the world (e.g., U.S., U.K., Australia, Spain, India, South Africa), housed in various disciplines (e.g., sociology, communication, management, political science), and using different methods of research — which certainly did not make the selection process easy for us! In line with the journal’s submission procedures, the selected authors will submit full versions of their paper by January 15, 2016, for the next stage of review.

Finally, I’m back from a research trip, attending the eighth Polar Law Symposium in Anchorage, AK, and the Arctic Energy Summit in Fairbanks, AK. These conferences were invaluable in my continuing education of resource management policy in the U.S. Arctic, relevant to my ongoing research project. I think I may have finally enough to halt (or at least pause) my data collection, and spend more energy toward transcribing, arranging, and analyzing the data that I have. Keep tuned.

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