Goodbye from The Public Intellectual
August 19, 2012 – 2:43 pm | 3 Comments

The Public Intellectual has been for us a fascinating experiment in bringing academic work to a general audience. We are very proud of the writing that has appeared on the site. We have been heartened by the support of our readers and the generosity of the writers who have worked with us since our launch last year. We have decided, however, that the project should end.

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Being real in the field – an interview with Nikki Jones
November 8, 2011 – 4:47 pm | No Comment
Mural by Marlin Newsom, photo by Heather Gilligan

Listen to PI social science editor Nikki Jones in conversation with sociologist Karen Sternheimer about the sometimes strange relationship between an ethnographic researcher and the neighborhood she’s studying. Nikki is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was in the field for three years for her first book, Between Good and Ghetto, and lived in the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco for three years for her forthcoming book, The Hustle: Why it’s Hard to Make Good in the New Inner City. Nikki is also producing a short film, The Camera Rolls, the story of one man’s decade-long effort to document daily life in a tough San Francisco neighborhood. Look for the film on PI the coming weeks. For more tidbits on everyday sociology, check out the Everyday Sociology blog at W.W. Norton.

Journal 2.0 – American History Now
November 3, 2011 – 9:59 pm | No Comment
Journal 2.0 – American History Now

Mike O’Malley is a historian at George Mason University and an early innovator in digital media and history. He started experimenting with digital technology in the classroom in 1994, and is starting a grant-funded, open access journal called American History Now. Will this digital model upend the traditional peer review model? And would such a disruption necessarily be negative? Mike tackles those questions here.

Scenes from a general strike
November 3, 2011 – 7:56 pm | No Comment
Scenes from a general strike

The general strike in Oakland yesterday had the feeling of a street party. The ebullience didn’t seem to suggest that people took the problems facing the 99 percent lightly – the many people who showed up appeared relieved to have a venue for their frustration.

OWS: A 21st Century Revolution
October 20, 2011 – 6:26 pm | No Comment
OWS: A 21st Century Revolution

We shouldn’t be surprised that the occupiers don’t have a nicely polished plan of action, says Mary Keck. In fact, the openness to evolving platforms and solutions may be its greatest asset. Keck is an instructor of English and Gender Studies as well as an associate editor of Southern Indiana Review. As a freelance journalist and fiction writer, she explores issues of class, labor, and gender in contemporary American life.

Brain candy is good for you
September 23, 2011 – 4:09 pm | No Comment
Brain candy is good for you

The literary thriller is the kind of book PI editor Heather Tirado Gilligan hungers after, can never find enough of, a narrative that pulls you in with the feeling of a yank behind the navel – touch it and you are in another place and perhaps another time. But this kind of book is more than a diversion, she argues in this intellectual defense of the plot.

The spiritual life of the American teenager
August 4, 2011 – 4:26 pm | One Comment
The spiritual life of the American teenager

The vision of the rebel-without-a-cause-adolescent, where young people reject the mores and values of mainstream culture, is just one of the stereotypes challenged by Lisa Pearce and Melinda Lundquist Denton’s study of young people and religion. Also on the chopping block: the idea that the most religious people are the happiest people. Their book, A Faith of Their Own, was published by Oxford University Press earlier this year.

The case of the “killer lesbians”
July 18, 2011 – 8:38 pm | 9 Comments
The case of the “killer lesbians”

Several African-American lesbians who fought back against an alleged attack were incarcerated after convictions resulting from the incident. Laura S. Logan looks at how press coverage of the group, dubbed the New Jersey 7, shaped a narrative about the women that portrayed them as predators rather than victims – a story at odds with how we usually think about LGBT people who’ve been harassed.

What’s the matter with gay marriage?
July 14, 2011 – 5:38 pm | No Comment
What’s the matter with gay marriage?

The marriage struggle is an ever-unfolding drama and has captured our attention like no other issue in today’s gay rights movement. Supporters cheer monumental wins – like legalized marriage in places like Iowa – and wince at painful defeats like the passing of Prop 8 in California. But should the struggle for same-sex marriage define the LGBT rights movement? Public Intellectual editor Heather Tirado Gilligan considers that question in the context of other civil rights movements and comes up with a surprising answer.

Taking my son’s name
June 27, 2011 – 4:49 am | 2 Comments
Taking my son’s name

Married women who decide to keep their own names don’t really push social buttons anymore. But there’s a limit to society’s tolerance for new conventions for family names, as sociologist Anne Nurse found. Anne is an associate professor of sociology at the College of Wooster in Ohio. When not thinking about her last name, she researches and writes about juvenile incarceration. Anne is the author of Locked Up, Locked Out: Young Men in the Juvenile Justice System.

Graduating Women
June 27, 2011 – 3:11 am | One Comment
Graduating Women

Why did women’s graduation rates overtake men’s in the 1970s? Claude Fischer considers some possible answers to this question. Fischer is professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the founding editor of Contexts, the American Sociological Association’s magazine of sociology for the general reader, and edited it through 2004.

Letter from the Editors, issue two
June 27, 2011 – 3:10 am | No Comment
Letter from the Editors, issue two

Welcome to the second issue of The Public Intellectual. This time around, our focus is on gender, and we’re presenting our content a little differently – we’ll be rolling out new articles on our special topic throughout the month of July.