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As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

The American Indian Studies Program at UCLA is offering “Introduction to American Indian Studies” course during Summer Session A and Summer Session C. This course is a survey of selected Native North American cultures from pre-Western contact to contemporary period, with particular emphasis on early cultural diversity and diverse patterns of political, linguistic, social, legal, and cultural change in postcontact period. For more information about the course, email sao@amindian.ucla.edu, and register/enroll HERE Today!

In Dr. Jeffrey Guhin‘s book, Agents of God: Boundaries and Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools, he compares how boundaries around politics, gender and sexuality are constructed for each group. He demonstrates how the schools use external authorities to teach children specific moral commitments while maintaining religious freedom.

Interview Chapters:

0:04​ – Intro

0:37​ – What is the main argument and contribution of the book?

3:04​ – How do boundaries around politics, gender, and sexuality distinguish the two communities?

6:44​ – How do the communities use external authorities to teach the children?

11:55​ – Why should someone read or assign this book to read?

To learn more, check out Professor Guhin’s book, Agents of God: Boundaries and Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools.

 

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UCLA Big Data and Politics Seminar Series

Political Coalitions and Social Media: Evidence from Pakistan

 

Paul Staniland
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Chicago

 

 

Asfandyar Mir
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow
CISAC, Stanford University

 

 

Tamar Mitts
Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University

 

Friday, March 19, 12 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Zoom link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/95120128333?pwd=ZmE1L2QwYkFQQnlyb2xGZ0owVTRaQT09

Meeting ID: 951 2012 8333 / Passcode: 962226

(Users must sign in to Zoom to access the meeting.)

Abstract: We offer a new conceptualization of social media politics that emphasizes the importance of studying coalitions among political actors, especially in contexts where multiple state and non-state actors interact in murky ways and pursue a broad range of tactics for broadcasting their messages. We present new data on the politics of social media in the run-up to and aftermath of Pakistan’s 2018 general election. The campaign involved both intense, large-scale electoral mobilization and recurrent, credible allegations of influence by the country’s politically powerful army. We analyze millions of Twitter and Facebook posts in English and Urdu by major political actors and their followers before and after the 2018 election to identify patterns of normal mobilization and coordinated manipulation. In addition to descriptive patterns, we identify alignment of narratives between political actors, as well as coordinated activities used to push out particular messages across multiple types of clusters, from dissidents to the military to major political parties.

As the Director of the UCLA Race, Ethnicity, Politics and Society (REPS) Lab, Dr. Efrén Pérez is facilitating cutting-edge research that examines how racial diversity impacts politics. One of his lab’s current projects is an examination of how the identity of People of Color informs political attitudes and what the specific identity means to those who identify as Latinx. The REPS Lab acts as an incubator for rigorous social science research that also provides graduate students and affiliated faculty with a quality data collection platform that is publicly accessible. Overall, the REPS Lab trains and prepares graduate students for a career as a social scientist. Dr. Pérez states that the purpose of the lab is to “facilitate research that can have an impact not only on the person’s own career, but on the world outside the confines of UCLA.”

 

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By Dan Thompson

I am a PhD candidate in American politics at Stanford University and will be starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at UCLA in July 2020. I study American elections with a focus on how elections influence local policymaking. I collect new data on elections that I combine with large, untapped administrative datasets on government behavior. I then use modern empirical techniques to study how elections influence the policies local governments choose.

The working paper I recently released with my colleagues Andy Hall, Jen Wu, and Jesse Yoder is the most comprehensive study of county-level, vote-by-mail expansions to date. We find that, while vote-by-mail modestly increases turnout, it does not advantage either party. The working paper, The Neutral Partisan Effects of Vote-by-Mail: Evidence from County-Level Roll-Outs,” is now under review at a general-interest journal.

Given recent debates about the need for vote-by-mail during this crisis and the public argument about whether it advantages one party of the other, the paper has garnered considerable media coverage from the following outlets (with links included): Washington Post, CNN, NPR national broadcast (audio), Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg, The Economist, The Monkey Cage (Washington Post), National Review, and American Enterprise Institute.

Over the coming six to nine months, as I transition to UCLA, I will continue to conduct research on how this public health crisis changes our politics and how we can ensure safe and fair elections during these challenging times.

 

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Professor Vinay Lal, UCLA Professor of History and Asian American Studies, has an informative blog titled, “Lal Salaam: A Blog by Vinay Lal.” Recently, he began writing “a series of articles on the implications of the coronavirus for our times, for human history, and for the fate of the earth.”

The following is an excerpt of the first piece, “The Singular and Sinister Exceptionality of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)” (March 15, 2020), written in the series:

 

The social, economic, and political turmoil around the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic presently sweeping the world is unprecedented in modern history or, more precisely, in the last one hundred years. Before we can even begin to understand its manifold and still unraveling ramifications, many of which are bound to leave their imprint for the foreseeable future, it is necessary to grasp the fact that there is nothing quite akin to it in the experience of any living person. Fewer than 5500 people have died so far, and of these just under 3100 in the Hubei province of China. There have been hundreds, perhaps a few thousand, wars, genocides, civil conflicts, insurrections, epidemics, droughts, earthquakes, and other ‘natural disasters’ that have produced far higher mortality figures. About 40 million people are estimated to have died in World War I; in the Second World War, something like 100 million people may have been killed, including military personnel, civilians, as well as those civilians who perished from war-induced hunger, famine, and starvation. Weighed in the larger scheme of things, the present mortality figures from COVID-19 barely deserve mention. And, yet, it is possible to argue that what is presently being witnessed as the world responds to the COVID-19 is singular, distinct, and altogether novel in our experience of the last one hundred years.

Why should that be the case? It would be a truism to say that no one ever quite expected something like the coronavirus to spring upon us and, virtually overnight in some places, alter the entire fabric of social existence. In 1994, an intrepid journalist and researcher, Laurie Garrett, published a voluminous book, The Coming Plague, subtitled “Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.” Written a few years after AIDS rudely awakened the world to the fact that our war with microbes is relentless, and that modern science’s supposed conquest of infectious diseases is a fantasy, Garrett argued that there was every likelihood that new and more lethal diseases would emerge, unless human beings adopted a perspective that would be more mindful of a “dynamic, nonlinear state of affairs between Homo sapiens and the microbial world, both inside and outside their bodies.” In his introduction to the volume, Jonathan M. Mann, Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at Harvard, and Director of the Harvard AIDS Institute, suggested that AIDS “may well be just the first of the modern, large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases.” If air travel has become possible for over a billion people, infectious agents can also be introduced into “new ecologic settings” far more easily. If AIDS has a lesson to teach us, Mann warned twenty-five years ago, it is that “a health problem in any part of the world can rapidly become a health threat to many or all.”

If Garrett and Mann, and perhaps a handful of other people here and there, may have been prescient, still the scope of the worldwide panic and emergency in which we are all trapped is outside the realm of contemporary human experience. The first death from the coronavirus was reported in Hubei province, which has a population just short of 60 million, on 10 January 2020. The notice announcing the closure of all transportation services in Wuhan, the largest city of the province with 11 million people, was issued early on January 23 and had been virtually put into effect later in the day; and by the end of the following day, nearly the entire province had been sealed off. Further orders on February 13 and 20 shut down all non-essential services, including schools, and a complete cordon sanitaire had been placed around a province with as many people as Italy, which has now become the site of the next largest outbreak.  To Continue Reading, click HERE.

 

To read the second in the series, “The Coronavirus, the Enemy, and Nationalism” (March 21, 2020), click HERE.

To read the third in the series, “Remote Learning and Social Distancing:  The Political Economy and Politics of Corona Pedagogy” (March 30, 2020), click HERE.

 

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UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences is full of amazing faculty, staff, and students who are contributing to academic scholarship in major ways. Dr. Marcus Hunter is certainly one of these people. Dr. Hunter is a dedicated professor of sociology, the chair of the African American studies department, and a respected author.

Most recently, Dr. Hunter was recognized by the UCLA Newsroom for his book he co-authored with Dr. Zandria F. Robinson titled, Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life. This book is filled with the rich history of the Black American experience dating back to the 1900s and focuses on how Black Americans created their own “Chocolate Cities” where black culture is maintained, created, and defended. It touches on diverse topics including race, racism, place, space, knowledge, and liberation as well as the social, cultural, economic, and political influence. Looking through the eyes of Black Americans and highlighting the way they define their American story, it breaks down preconceived notions of American history told by white America.

To learn more, read the interview with Marcus Hunter about his renowned book HERE.

Chocolate Cities map

 

https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/restore-ex-felons-voting-rights-its-right-thing

The U.S. House Committee on Administration was authorized by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to conduct field hearings, at locations around the country, on voting rights issues. The committee decided to conduct its first such hearing in Brownsville, Texas. Last month, Civil Rights attorney and UCLA Lecturer, Chad Dunn, along with other civil rights attorneys, was asked to give testimony to the committee and to answer member questions.

To learn more about the specific voting rights issues discussed, watch the full hearing video HERE.

The UCLA Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics (CSREP) and Race, Ethnicity and Politics (REP) Workshop presented the Mark Q. Sawyer Memorial Lecture in Racial and Ethnic Politics on Thursday, January 10, 2019. In remembrance of the late Professor Mark Q. Sawyer, the lecture’s goal is to highlight the outstanding research of an advanced assistant or associate professor whose work focuses on racial and ethnic politics in the United States and internationally. Professor Danielle Clealand from Florida International University was the honored first guest lecturer who shared compelling research from her book, The Power of Race in Cuba: Racial Ideology & Black Consciousness During the Revolution.

Mark Q. Sawyer

Students, staff, professors, and community members attended the event to celebrate Professor Sawyer’s life and honor his legacy. The room overflowed with those eager to hear about Professor Clealand’s work that aligns with Professor Sawyer’s previous work (e.g., his critically acclaimed book Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba). Professor Clealand examines comparative racial politics, group consciousness, black public opinion, and racial inequality with a focus on the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the United States. Her award-winning book examines racial ideology and the institutional mechanisms that support racial inequality in Cuba as well as black public opinion.

Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez, who serves as interim director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, gave the welcoming remarks. She thanked and acknowledged those involved in making the memorial lecture possible, especially Professor Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, the first woman of color to earn tenure and promotion in the Political Science Department at UCLA, who spearheaded the entire event. In her introductory remarks, Professor Frasure-Yokley shared that Professor Sawyer had been a great mentor and friend. In fact, it was Professor Sawyer who encouraged Professor Frasure-Yokley to apply for a professorship at UCLA. That advice allowed them to be UCLA colleagues for ten years. She also stated, “Mark loved UCLA and his discipline enough to constantly challenge it to be better and do better.” In addition, Professors Lytle Hernandez and Frasure-Yokley reminded those in attendance that the reason why many get to enjoy and benefit from having the Department of African American Studies at UCLA is greatly attributed to Professor Sawyer for shepherding the application that led to its establishment.

During her informative presentation, Professor Clealand shared a snapshot of her findings from survey, ethnographic, and interview data that touched on structural racism in Cuba, black public opinion, black solidarity, and black consciousness by way of hip-hop.

Fortunately, like many others, Professor Clealand was lucky to have been mentored by Professor Sawyer as well. She mentioned that as a first-year graduate student she met Professor Sawyer, who later became a mentor to her. She often thinks of the similar work they have done and has asked herself, “How can I continue his legacy, how he helped me?” She believes it is by celebrating his legacy and imprint that he has had on her and many other scholars.

It has been nearly two years since Professor Sawyer’s passing. His wife, Professor Celia Lacayo was in attendance and offered a few words during the closing remarks. She emotionally expressed her gratitude for everyone who had helped to remember and honor her husband. Especially because it seemed quite fitting that this event happened to fall on his birthday. She commented that it was great to see how Professor Clealand’s work aligned with Professor Sawyer’s and that it was important to keep his legacy alive. She remarked that he planted many seeds, and it’s good to see them bloom. Aside from his academic success, Professor Lacayo felt fortunate to have Professor Sawyer as a life partner and father to their daughter. Finally, she left us with this piece of advice her husband lived by, which is to continue to “break doors down and create more opportunities for people of color.”

From left to right: Drs. Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, Danielle Clealand, Celia Lacayo, and Marcus Hunter

***SAVE THE DATE***

The Inaugural Mark Q. Sawyer Memorial Lecture in Racial and Ethnic Politics

Sawyer Memorial Lecture Details:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

153 Haines Hall (Black Forum)

12:00-12:30 PM (Lunch)

12:30-2:00 PM (Lecture and Discussion)

PLEASE RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/sawyer-lecture19

The goal of the Mark Q. Sawyer Memorial Lecture in Racial and Ethnic Politics is to highlight the outstanding research of an advanced assistant or associate professor whose research focuses on racial and ethnic politics in the United States and internationally.   We are excited to welcome Assistant Professor, Dr. Danielle Clealand from Florida International University-Department of Politics and International Relations, to present her new book, The Power of Race In Cuba: Racial Ideology & Black Consciousness During the Revolution (Oxford University Press)—Winner of the 2018 Best Book Award for the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).

This lecture honors the legacy of Dr. Mark Q. Sawyer, UCLA Professor of African American Studies and Political Science from 1999-2017. His first book Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba (2006), published by Cambridge University Press, received several book awards. Dr. Sawyer also published widely on race, ethnicity, politics, gender, immigration, and coalition politics in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.  Dr. Sawyer was a key institution builder at UCLA.  In 2006, he co-founded the field of Race, Ethnicity and Politics (REP) in the Department of Political Science and served as founding director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics (CSREP).  As Chair of the Inter-departmental Program (IDP) in African American Studies from 2011 to December 2013, Dr. Sawyer drafted and shepherded the application that ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Department of African American Studies at UCLA.

Co-Sponsors:

Division of Social Sciences

Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics (CSREP)

Department of Political Science-Race, Ethnicity of Politics Workshop Series

Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

Department of African American Studies

Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI)

Chicano Studies Research Center

César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies

Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE)

LA Social Science e-forum