Maria R. Lowe

Notable Achievements

Professor of Sociology Maria Lowe presented a paper titled “Do They Belong Here? Race and Contested Public Spaces in an East Austin Neighborhood” in a special session organized by Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Joshua Long at the Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, Oct. 23–26. Her paper’s coauthors include sociology and feminist studies major Madeline Carrola, class of 2019; anthropology major Dakota Cortez, class of 2019; and sociology major Mary Jalufka ’18.

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Expertise

Race and racism, surveillance studies, community and urban sociology, campus climate research (race, gender, and sexual orientation), the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, social movements and activism, and gender inequalities and identities.

I am deeply committed to and passionate about being a teacher-scholar at a liberal arts university that seeks to “cultivate academic excellence” and “encourage activism in the pursuit of the common good.” These two ideals exemplify my teaching philosophy and infuse all of my classes from the introductory sociology course to the Capstone class. As a liberal arts teacher, feminist, and civil rights scholar who views “education as the practice of freedom,” I offer students intellectually stimulating and academically rigorous courses which build connections between experiential and classroom learning, activism and academics, and biography and community. In classes, I work closely with my students to explore ways in which race, class, and gender are interconnected, related to power structures, and embedded within the fabric of society. I also help students to hone their critical thinking abilities and research skills and I encourage them to see themselves and others as active and informed agents of social change. Through my enthusiasm and passion, I hope to convey to students how meaningful and enjoyable learning can be.

Education

PhD, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

Master’s, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

BA, Sociology, Trinity University

 

Honors

  • Invited presenter, Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference, 2018.
  • Invited presenter, Faculty of Color Uniting for Success Institute, 2018.
  • Sam Taylor award for neighborhood surveillance project, 2017.
  • Invited member of the Southern Sociological Society Program Committee for the 2017 meeting, 2016.
  • Invited member of the senior editorial board for Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography2016-present.
  • Invited member of the Undergraduate Paper Competition Committee, the Southwestern Sociological Association (chair: Robert Wallace), 2016-2017.
  • Invited Keynote Address Speaker, 2015, Texas State University, Center for Diversity and Gender Studies Symposium titled Democracy’s Promise - Deisolating Gendered Experiences.
  • The Sam Taylor Award, “They May Be Up To No Good,” 2013.
  • Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grant (Co-principal investigator with Reggie Byron). “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2013.
  • The Sam Taylor Award, “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2012.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Sue Mennicke and Reggie Byron). “What Happens When the ‘Global Citizen’ Returns?’ The Impact of Study Abroad on How Students View Racial Diversity at their Home Institution,” 2011.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Reggie Byron). “Racing the Academy: A Baseline Assessment of How Students View the Racial Climate at Southwestern,” 2010.
  • Southwestern University Teaching Award, 2009.
  • Southwestern University Teaching Award finalist, 2004.
  • Sam Taylor Research Awards, 2001-2008.
  • Invited member of the American Sociological Association Honors Council, 2006-2010.
  • Participant in The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute titled African American Freedom and Civil Rights Struggles. Harvard University. WEB Dubois Institute for African American Studies, 2003.
  • Recipient of the Funds for the Advancement of the Discipline Award (FAD) funded by The American Sociological Association and The National Science Foundation, 2000-2001.
  • New York University Press Author of the Month for Women of Steel: Female Bodybuilders and The Struggle for Self-definition1998.
  • Southwestern University Unity in Action Diversity Award, 2000.
  • Recipient of multiple Southwestern University internal funding, including Brown Fellowships, Competitive faculty awards, Faculty-Student Collaborative grants, 1998-2018.

Affiliations

  • American Sociological Association – Racial and Ethnic Minorities section; Race, Gender, and Class section; Latina/o section; Sex and Gender section; Collective Behavior and Social Movements section.
  • Southern Sociological Society
  • American Association of University Professors
  • I am deeply committed to and passionate about being a teacher-scholar at a liberal arts university that seeks to “cultivate academic excellence” and “encourage activism in the pursuit of the common good.” These two ideals exemplify my teaching philosophy and infuse all of my classes from the introductory sociology course to the Capstone class. As a liberal arts teacher, feminist, and civil rights scholar who views “education as the practice of freedom,” I offer students intellectually stimulating and academically rigorous courses which build connections between experiential and classroom learning, activism and academics, and biography and community. In classes, I work closely with my students to explore ways in which race, class, and gender are interconnected, related to power structures, and embedded within the fabric of society. I also help students to hone their critical thinking abilities and research skills and I encourage them to see themselves and others as active and informed agents of social change. Through my enthusiasm and passion, I hope to convey to students how meaningful and enjoyable learning can be.

    Education

    PhD, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

    Master’s, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

    BA, Sociology, Trinity University

     

    Honors

    • Invited presenter, Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference, 2018.
    • Invited presenter, Faculty of Color Uniting for Success Institute, 2018.
    • Sam Taylor award for neighborhood surveillance project, 2017.
    • Invited member of the Southern Sociological Society Program Committee for the 2017 meeting, 2016.
    • Invited member of the senior editorial board for Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography2016-present.
    • Invited member of the Undergraduate Paper Competition Committee, the Southwestern Sociological Association (chair: Robert Wallace), 2016-2017.
    • Invited Keynote Address Speaker, 2015, Texas State University, Center for Diversity and Gender Studies Symposium titled Democracy’s Promise - Deisolating Gendered Experiences.
    • The Sam Taylor Award, “They May Be Up To No Good,” 2013.
    • Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grant (Co-principal investigator with Reggie Byron). “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2013.
    • The Sam Taylor Award, “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2012.
    • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Sue Mennicke and Reggie Byron). “What Happens When the ‘Global Citizen’ Returns?’ The Impact of Study Abroad on How Students View Racial Diversity at their Home Institution,” 2011.
    • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Reggie Byron). “Racing the Academy: A Baseline Assessment of How Students View the Racial Climate at Southwestern,” 2010.
    • Southwestern University Teaching Award, 2009.
    • Southwestern University Teaching Award finalist, 2004.
    • Sam Taylor Research Awards, 2001-2008.
    • Invited member of the American Sociological Association Honors Council, 2006-2010.
    • Participant in The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute titled African American Freedom and Civil Rights Struggles. Harvard University. WEB Dubois Institute for African American Studies, 2003.
    • Recipient of the Funds for the Advancement of the Discipline Award (FAD) funded by The American Sociological Association and The National Science Foundation, 2000-2001.
    • New York University Press Author of the Month for Women of Steel: Female Bodybuilders and The Struggle for Self-definition1998.
    • Southwestern University Unity in Action Diversity Award, 2000.
    • Recipient of multiple Southwestern University internal funding, including Brown Fellowships, Competitive faculty awards, Faculty-Student Collaborative grants, 1998-2018.

    Affiliations

    • American Sociological Association – Racial and Ethnic Minorities section; Race, Gender, and Class section; Latina/o section; Sex and Gender section; Collective Behavior and Social Movements section.
    • Southern Sociological Society
    • American Association of University Professors
  • Neighborhoods and digital technologies as racialized spaces, campus climate research (gender, race, and sexual orientation), the role of colleges and universities in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, and gendered identities and inequalities.

  • Selected peer-reviewed publications:

    Lowe, Maria R., Angela Stroud, and Alice Nguyen. 2017. “Who Looks Suspicious? The Heightened Surveillance of Black Men and the Reproduction of Racialized Fears on a Predominantly White Neighborhood Listserv,” Social Currents. 4(1): 34-50. 

    Byron, Reginald A. Maria R. Lowe, Brianna Billingsley, and Nathan Tuttle. 2017. “Performativity Double Standards at the Sexual Orientation Climate at a Southern Liberal Arts University, The Journal of Homosexuality, 64(5): 671-696. 

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald Byron, and Susan Mennicke, 2014. “The Racialized Impact of Study Abroad on U.S. Students’ Subsequent Interracial Interactions” Education Research International. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/232687/. 

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Griffin Ferry and Melissa J. Garcia. 2013. “Food for Thought: Frequent Interracial Dining Experiences as a Predictor of Students’ Racial Climate Perceptions.” The Journal of Higher Education, 84(4): 569-400. (Lowe is corresponding author; Lowe and Byron are co-lead authors).

    Lowe, Maria R. 2009. “‘Sowing the Seeds of Discontent:’ Tougaloo College’s Social Science Forums as a Prefigurative Movement Free Space, 1952-1964.” Journal of Black Studies. 39: 865-887.

    Lowe, Maria R2008. “An Unseen Hand: The Role of Sociology Professor Ernst Borinski in Mississippi’s Struggle for Racial Integration in the 1950s and 1960s.” Leadership. 4: 27-47.

    Lowe, Maria R2007. “An Oasis of Freedom in a Closed Society: The Significance of Tougaloo College in Mississippi’s Civil Rights Struggle, 1954 to 1965. The Journal of Historical Sociology. Vol. 20, #4: 486-520.

    Lowe, Maria R. and J. Clint Morris. 2007. “Civil Rights Advocates in the Academy: White Pro-integrationist Faculty at Millsaps College. Journal of Mississippi History. Vol. 69, # 2: 121-45.

    Articles Under Review:

    Lowe, Maria R. and Reginald A. Byron, Holly O’Hara, and Dakota Cortez. “Neutralized Hegemonic Banter: The Persistence of Gendered and Racialized Joking Among Undergraduate Students.” Paper under review at Journal of College Student Development submitted February 2019.

    Additional Projects Underway:

    Lowe, Maria R., Madeline Carrola, Dakota Cortez, and Mary Jalufka. “Do They Belong Here? Racialized Boundary Monitoring in a Liberal Predominantly White Neighborhood in the American South.” Paper to be submitted to Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.

    Lowe, Maria R.  and Madeline Carrola. “The Consequences of Racialized Surveillance on African American Residents in Liberal Predominantly White Upper Middle Class Neighborhoods.”

    Byron, Reginald A., Maria R. Lowe, Nathan Tuttle, and Brianna Billingsley. “The Paradox of Colorblindness: Undergraduate Students’ Selective Perceptions about Race and Racial Diversity.”

    Lowe, Maria R. and Reginald A. Byron. “The Specter of Gendered Aggression: Predicting Students’ Level of Comfort at Weekend Campus Parties.”  

    Research in the News:

    “Breaking Bread.” August 23, 2011. Inside Higher Education.

    “Tracing the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement.” January 21, 2011. Southwestern in the News.

  • Lowe, Maria R., Madeline Carrola, Dakota Cortez, and Mary Jalufka. “Racialized Surveillance of Parks and Pools in a Liberal Predominantly White Neighborhood.” Paper submitted for presentation at the American Sociological Association meeting, New York, NY, August 2019.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Madeline Carrola. “Outsiders Within: The Effects of Online and In-person Surveillance on Residents of Color in a Predominantly White Neighborhood.” Paper accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta, GA, April 2019.

    Invited presenter, “Do They Belong Here? Racialized Boundary Monitoring in an East Austin Neighborhood.” Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, The University of Texas at Austin. October 23-25, 2018. Co-authors: Madeline Carrola, Dakota Cortez, and Mary Jalufka.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Dakota Cortez. “Race and Contested Spaces in a Liberal Predominantly White Planned Urban Community.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, LA, April 2018.

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Holly O’Hara, and Dakota Cortez. “Neutralizing the Harm of Sexist and Racist Jokes Among Undergraduate Students.” Paper accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the August American Sociological Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2017.

    Byron, Reginald A., Maria R. Lowe, Nathan Tuttle, and Brianna Billingsley. “The Paradox of Colorblindness: Undergraduate Students’ Selective Perceptions about Race and Racial Diversity,” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, Seattle, WA. 2016.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Reginald A. Byron. “The Specter of Gendered Aggression: Predicting Students’ Level of Comfort at Weekend Campus Parties.” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, Chicago, IL. 2015.

    Lowe, Maria R., Angela Stroud, and Alice Nguyen. “‘Suspicious Person or Neighbor?’: Heightened Surveillance of Black Men On a Predominantly White Neighborhood Listserv.” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2014.

    Byron, Reginald A. Maria R. Lowe, Brianna Billingsley, and Nathan Tuttle. “Performativity Double Standards and the Sexual Orientation Climate at a Southern Liberal Arts University.” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2014.

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Nathan Tuttle, and Brianna Billingsley. “On a Normal Day, Zero to One Times: Predicting the Frequency with which Students Think about their Race at a Predominantly White Southern University, Paper presented at the April Southern Sociological Society meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2014.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Alice Nguyen. “They May Be Up to No Good: The Heightened Surveillance of Men of Color on a Predominantly White Neighborhood Listserv.” Paper presented at the Southern Sociological Society meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2013.

    Lowe, Maria R., Susan Mennicke, and Reginald A. Byron. “What Happens When the ‘Global Citizen’ Return? The Impact of Study Abroad on How Students View Racial Diversity at their Home Institution.” Paper presented at the Southern Sociological Society meetings, New Orleans, LA. March 2012.

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Griffin Ferry and Melissa J. Garcia. “Food for Thought: The Impact of Race and Frequent Interracial Dining Experiences on Students’ Perceptions of the Racial Climate on Campus.” Paper presented at the “Race/Gender/Class Perspective on Navigating the Academy” paper session of the American Sociological Association meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada. August 2011.

    Byron, Reginald A., Maria R. Lowe, Melissa J. Garcia and Griffin Ferry. “Racially Invisible Yet Invisibly Racial: White University Students’ Conflicting Perspectives on Race and the Value of Racial/Ethnic Diversity.” Paper presented at the American Sociological Association meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, August, 2011.

    Lowe, Maria. “Diversity Among Activists: Factors Affecting Faculty and Student Participation in Mississippi’s Civil Rights Movement.” Paper presented at the American Sociological Association meetings, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010.

    Lowe, Maria. “The Impact of Race, Gender, and Social Networks in Mississippi’s Struggle for Racial Equality: An Analysis of Pro-Integrationist Tougaloo College and Millsaps College Students, 1954 to 1965.” Paper presented at The Southern Sociological Society meetings, New Orleans, LA, 2009.