Sociology & Anthropology

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

January 2019

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron had a peer-reviewed article titled “Bureaucracy, Discrimination, and the Racialized Character of Organizational Life” accepted for publication in Research in the Sociology of Organizations with Vincent Roscigno at The Ohio State University. The paper will appear in the forthcoming volume on Race, Organizations, and the Organizing Process.





  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson’s article “Gender, Race and Ecotourism Assemblages in Rural Creole Belize” has been published as part of a special section (“Gendered Environments: Ecotourism, Space and Politics in Latin America,” eds. Eveline Durr and Saskia Walther) of the Bulletin of Latin American Research in the Journal of the Society for Latin American Studies.





December 2018

  • Eleven Southwestern University faculty members have won Sam Taylor Fellowship grants to support their research, with award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. Sam Taylor Fellowships are selected through a competitive application process and are provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. This year’s recipients are

    • Professor of Physics Steven Alexander, “Generating Energy from Hot Sidewalks” (awarded $1,200)
    • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, “The Politics of Stealth Halal: Re-Presenting the Islamic Origins of U.S. Meat Products” (awarded $1,600)
    • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth , “Nature Education in the German Classroom: Possibilities for Integration and Inclusion?” (awarded $1,400)
    • Professor of Biology Romi Burks, “Unravelling the Mystery: Genetic Differentiation of Chinese and Japanese Mysterysnails Using 16S” (awarded $1,400)
    • Assistant Professor of History Jethro Hernandez Berrones, “With Indigenist Spirit: Doctors on Spiritual Practices in Post-Revolutionary Mexico” (awarded $1,500)
    • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson, “Human–Jaguar Becomings and Racial Capitalism in Belize” (awarded $1,000)
    • Associate Professor of French Francis Mathieu, “Research on Claire de Duras’s Avant-Garde Novella, Ourika” (awarded $1,400)
    • Associate Professor of French Aaron Prevots, “Gestures toward the Sacred: Guillevic, Vargaftig, Tellermann, Michel” (awarded $1,400)
    • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar, “Contemporary Modes of Parenting: Disrupting the Representation of Stepmothers in Popular Culture” (awarded $1,500)
    • Associate Professor of Spanish Maria De Los Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, “Cultural Memory and Historical Fiction: Women of the Past on Television and Film by Four Contemporary Mexican Women Directors” (awarded $1,400)
    • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, “Researching Attachments to American Political Institutions” (awarded $1,600)




November 2018

  • Professor Emeritus of Sociology and University Scholar Edward L. Kain is the lead editor of Conducting Effective Program Reviews: A Training Manual for the ASA Department Resources Group.This manual, published in November by the American Sociology Association (ASA) in Washington, DC, is used by members of the ASA’s Department Resources Group, a national group of consultants who serve as external program reviewers across the country. Kain served as the external program reviewer for the Anthropology and Sociology Program at Governors State University in Chicago, Nov. 67, 2018.





  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson presented a paper, “Becoming Creole: Racial Capitalism and Human Being Otherwise,” for the panel “In and Against Racial Capitalism” and served as a discussant for the panel “The Plantation and the Planet, Part 1” at the American Anthropological Association 118th Meeting, in San Jose, CA, Nov. 1518, 2018.





  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo presented a paper titled “Spaces of Resistance: Chicana and Chicano Activism and Feminism in Austin since the Movement Era” in a special session organized by Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Joshua Long at the Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, Oct. 23–26, in Austin. Sendejo also presented at the Texas Book Festival on Nov. 4 on her essay “The Space in Between: Exploring the Development of Chicana Feminist Thought in Central Texas,” which was recently published in Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Feminism and Activism in the Movement Era (UT Press). Sendejo and fellow contributor Martha P. Cotera spoke about their essays, putting them into historical and contemporary contexts.





  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo presented a paper, “Towards a Mujerista Ethnographic Approach: Embodied Knowledge and Feminist Anthropology in the Borderlands,” for the panel “Critical Chicana and Latinx Ethnography: Reflections from the Field,” which she cochaired at the American Anthropological Association’s 118th Meeting, in San Jose, CA, Nov. 15–18, 2018. Sendejo also served as an invited panelist at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, on Nov. 8, 2018, where she presented “The Space in Between: Exploring the Development of Chicana Feminist Thought in Central Texas.”





  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson’s book Becoming Creole: Nature and Race in Belize was published by Rutgers University Press on Nov. 1 in their Critical Caribbean Studiesseries. Use code 02AAAA17 for a 30% discount here. You can also find it on Amazon.





October 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron gave an invited presentation of his research in a graduate-level course titled “Educational Research and Design” at the University of Texas at Austin in October. In addition, on Oct. 24, he presented a paper titled “Colorblindness, Race, and Public Accommodations Discrimination” at the Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference in Austin.





  • 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.





  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson presented a paper titled “Human–Jaguar Becomings and Racial Capitalism in Belize” at the Race, Ethnicity, and Place IX Engaged Scholarship: Fostering Human and Civil Rights, in Austin, TX, Oct. 2326.





  • Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Joshua Long coorganized three special sessions on Austin with Eliot Tretter (University of Calgary) for the Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference. Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron, Professor of Sociology Maria Lowe, Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo, and Simone Yoxall, class of 2019, presented in these sessions. Long also presented a paper in this session titled “Austin in the Era of Climate Urbanism.”





September 2018

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo published “‘The Space in Between’: Exploring the Development of Chicana Feminist Thought in Central Texas” in Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era (UT Press 2018).





August 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron presented a paper titled “Race and Public Accommodations Discrimination in an Era of Colorblindness” at the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association (ASA) on Aug. 11. He also presided over undergraduate student presentations for the ASA Honors Program, served on an ASA panel for first generation faculty of color, and served as a faculty member on a focus group for Pearson Textbooks.





July 2018

  • Latin American and Border Studies senior and Mellon Undergraduate Fellow Esther Ramos ’19 presented “The Shadow Beast Within: La Quinceañera as a Means of Cultural Resistance” on a panel titled “Cultural Expressions, Cultural Resistance” at the 2018 meeting of “El Mundo Zurdo,” hosted by the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa at Trinity University on May 18, 2018. Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo served as moderator for the panel and presented a paper on her own research at the conference as well. Her paper was titled “Cultural Politics in the Borderlands: Exploring the Embodiment of Religion and Spiritual Activism as Resistance.”





  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo published “The Space In Between: Exploring the Emergence of Chicana Feminist Thought in Central Texas” in Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era (UT Press 2018). Through archival and ethnographic research, Sendejo traced the emergence of Chicana feminism to the Chicana Research and Learning Center, The University of Texas at Austin, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, uncovering a previously unknown feminist intellectual legacy.





April 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron, Professor of Sociology Maria Lowe, Professor of Sociology Sandi Nenga, and five students attended the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans, La., April 4–7.  

    • Madeline Carrola, class of 2019, presented “’We’re Not Wasting Coffee Grounds’: How College Students Respond to Peers’ Resource Consumption and Waste Disposal by Social Class.”
    • Sophia Galewsky, class of 2018, presented “Abortion Provision as High Risk Activism: What Motivates Providers?”
    • Mary Jalufka, class of 2018, presented “White Female Elementary School Teachers and Campus Safety in the Wake of Sandy Hook.”
    • Esteffany Luna, class of 2018, presented “Am I Still Latino Enough? The Construction of a Latino Identity among Hispanics who do not Speak Spanish.” Luna’s paper was also the recipient of the 2018 Odum Undergraduate Paper Award. This marks the 9th time in 13 years that a Southwestern sociology senior has won this award.
    • Dr. Byron co-organized a panel titled “Innovative Uses of Data in the Study of Workplace Discrimination” and presented a co-authored paper titled “Bureaucratic Legitimation, Discrimination, and the Racialized Character of Organizational Life.”
    • Dr. Nenga served as a presider for multiple sessions at the meeting.
    • Dr. Lowe and Dakota Cortez,class of 2019, presented “Race and Contested Public Spaces in a Liberal Predominantly White Planned Urban Community.”




  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson presented a paper, “Human Being otherwise: Commoning, Blackness and Freedom in Belize,” for the panel series “The Commons, Commoning and Co-Becoming” at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., April 13, 2018.





March 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron and Southwestern University alumni Will Molidor ’12 and Andy Cantu ’13 had a co-authored paper titled “U.S. Newspapers’ Portrayals of Home Invasion Crimes” accepted for publication at The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. The paper is the first study in existence to quantitatively analyze newspaper portrayals of these crimes. The co-authors read and content-coded over 3,000 newspaper articles from 15 U.S. cities before running a model to determine the predictors of enhanced home invasion crime news coverage.





  • Southwestern University, along with two other ACS institutions, Millsaps College and Hendrix College, was the recipient of a recently-funded ACS Diversity Grant to support an initiative known as FOCUS (Faculty of Color Uniting for Success). The project’s overall objectives are to enhance recruitment, success, and the retention of faculty of color at our three institutions and in all ACS consortia schools. It aims to raise awareness of the challenges that faculty of color face through sustained advocacy, summer workshops, and regular surveys of participants on campus climate. In conjunction with ACS’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Anita Davis, the initiative will also provide materials and webinars to help educate institutional leadership about ways to better support faculty of color. This year, the FOCUS project will host its summer workshop at Southwestern June 1015. This workshop was designed to bring together faculty of color from ACS member colleges for a week-long summer retreat focusing on scholarship, networking, self-care, professional advancement, navigating service demands, and the challenges that faculty of color face on their path to professional success in the academy. It will include faculty participants from Hendrix, Millsaps, and Southwestern. Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore serves as the FOCUS Program Director. Director of Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Julie Sievers, Senior Director of Foundation Relations Larkin Tom, and Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo serves on the FOCUS steering committee and will serve as facilitators for the 2018 FOCUS summer retreat.