SSS 2021 Theme Announced and a message from the President

Dear SSS members,

The Executive Office writes today with several exciting announcements.

First, President Adia Harvey Wingfield has unveiled this year’s theme for SSS 2021: ““Will America Work? Race, Polarization, and Economic Inequality.” Please see her message that is attached to this email for more information.

Second, the latest edition of The Southern Sociologist (Volume 52, Number 1) is now available. In it you will find President Harvey Wingfield’s message along with other announcements and a plethora of great content. Thanks to James Maples and his editorial team for another excellent edition.

Third, the new SSS website is now officially launched! We encourage members to visit the new website to check out the new content and design. The Executive Office welcomes member feedback as well as any issues that you may encounter.

Last, the President, Executive Office, and Program Committee Chairs are in active discussions with the Executive Committee and will be sending some surveys out over the next couple of months to gather important data from members regarding SSS 2021.

Hello SSS members!

I hope everyone is doing as well as possible under the circumstances. I certainly didn’t anticipate writing my first Southern Sociologist communication to members in the midst of a global pandemic, escalating police violence, and widespread trauma and turmoil. Please do your best to stay safe, healthy, and well. It’s quite surreal to think about conference planning right now, but I have been doing it nonetheless in hopes that by spring 2021 many of us will be able to travel safely to New Orleans. I have some exciting ideas for the conference programming that I hope we’ll be able to see to fruition. The theme of the 2020 meeting is “Will America Work? Race, Polarization, and Economic Inequality.” This theme touches on topics and ideas that are a core part of my professional interests: the future of work in the United States, the ways current work arrangements uphold and maintain racial inequality, and how all this occurs in the context of an increasingly polarized society. I settled on this theme before the recent protests for racial justice, but these issues are endemic, and will be no less relevant next year.

I am confident that we’ll have plenty to discuss in New Orleans. I’m in the process of putting together some plenaries that I hope will be really exciting and interesting. (More information to come about these in the next update!) In the meantime, to the extent that we are able to continue teaching and researching during the pandemic and protests, I really hope to be able to learn more about the various work our members are doing. In my experience, one of the best parts of conferencing is learning more about the innovative work happening in our discipline. Here’s hoping that next April we’ll be able to “laissez bon temps roulez!”

Adia Harvey Wingfield, President of the Southern Sociological Society

Washington University in St. Louis