Recent CASL Faculty Kudos - Summer 2020

July 8, 2020

Recent faculty awards, presentations and publications.

Urban and Regional Studies Associate Professor Joshua Akers’ research work is visually highlighted in the June 27 PBS NewsHour segment Quest for Home Ownership Turns Dreams into Nightmares.” It’s part of the NewsHour’s “Chasing the Dream” series about poverty and opportunity in America. Akers and his research colleague, Rutgers University Assistant Professor Eric Seymour, have published several papers on the recession’s foreclosure crisis in urban areas and its connection to predatory housing practices like rent-to-own contract schemes.  His recent article "Toxic structures: Speculation and lead exposure in Detroit's single-family rental market," co-authored with Alexa Eisenberg, Eric Seymour, and Alex Hill, appears in the July issue of the journal Health and Place

Studying gender in the 2020 election, Sociology Professor Pamela Aronson examined the gender self-presentations of the 12 Democratic Party primary presidential candidates — the eight men and four women who were in the primary debates in October 2019. Aroson’s article “Gender Self-Presentations in the 2020 U.S. Elections” was published in the Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change.

Associate Professor of Sociology Francine Banner's recent book, Crowdsourcing the Law: Trying Sexual Assault on Social Media, was just selected by the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University as the Honorable Mention book in the Humanities for 2020. The selection committee writes, "We were impressed by the timely topic compellingly explicated, the interdisciplinary nature of the work, and the book’s accessibility to a range of readers."

Helen M. Graves Collegiate Professor of Women's Studies and Social Sciences Suzanne Bergeron spoke about how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of the typically undervalued work women do to keep the economy running in the July 3 Bridge Detroit article “Detroit women filling a niche in the grocery supply chain.” Bergeron highlights the ways Latina vendors in Southwest Detroit are providing locally rooted ways of meeting food needs in their communities.

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Psychology Francine Dolins, who has received a Templeton World Charity Foundation grant for "The Cognitive Foundations of Social Minds" in the amount of $999,981! 

College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Dean Marty Hershock’s research on the Civil War’s Battle at Vicksburg is included in a collection of essays titled Vicksburg Besieged (Southern Illinois University Press). Hershock’s chapter "Standing on the Banks: African American Troops in the Vicksburg Campaign," co-authored by Grand Valley State University Professor Scott Stabler, chronicles the vital role African American troops played in turning the tide on the western front, making way for an eventual Union victory.

Assistant Professor of  African and African American Studies Terri Laws was quoted in a recent Detroit Free Press article about the coronavirus' impact on leadership in Detroit's Black churches. Laws says Black pastors have historically been crucial to guiding activism aimed at improving the lives of Black Americans — a community hit disproportionately hard by the deadly virus. “We look to our religious leaders to provide us with a way forward, and for African American pastors that has never been only in a spiritual sense,” says Laws, who is a Black church scholar.

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