December 2012 Issue • Volume 40 • Issue 9

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Roger Scott, Association of Black Sociologists Executive Officer Barbara Scott’s husband for over 40 years, succumbed to cancer on November 14, 2012.


Rudolf Johannes Faller

Rudolf Johannes Faller was born on May 29, 1944, in Freiburg, Germany (Baden-Wuerttemberg). He attended the Jesuit Academy of St. Blasien, and graduated in 1964. In 1967, he traveled to the United States and ended up spending much of the remainder of his life here. He was awarded an MA in sociology from Western Michigan University, studying under Stanley Robin, and subsequently completed his doctorate, also in sociology, at the University of Maryland in 1981.

After some success as a consultant in Washington, DC, Fuller was employed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), where he remained until his retirement in 2004.  He served the bank in the social evaluation department, at length becoming the department’s director.

He lived in the Washington, DC, area for more than 30 years. He was active in a good many charitable enterprises, among them funding medical care for the rural poor in Latin America, supporting the Holy Cross Cistercian Monastery in Berryville, VA, and the Benedictine Abbey in Ettal, Germany.

Following his retirement from the IDB, he made his home in Ettal, Bavaria. He died there on September 3, 2012, following a sustained and resolute battle against cancer.

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James L. McCartney

James Lee McCartney died August 28, 2012, after a two-year battle with multiple myeloma. He is survived by his wife Karen Kaupanger, daughter Carrie Risberg, son Brian McCartney, stepson Keefe Kaupanger-Swacker, their spouses, and six grandchildren. Jim McCartney was born on August 15, 1936, in Omaha, NB. He received a BA and MA in sociology from the University of Nebraska.

Jim McCartney came to the University of Minnesota in 1959 to study with Arnold Rose. However once there, he became intrigued by the conflict theory- oriented criminology of George Vold and the Chicago School sociology of work and organizations of Ed Gross; he chose the latter as his adviser and dissertation director. Jim’s dissertation, dealing with the effect of funding on research, was one of the early sociology of sociology studies. After completing his dissertation in 1965, Jim joined the Sociology Department at the University of Missouri where he remained until retirement in 2006.

Jim made strong contributions to sociology and social science as a respected editor. His first stint was with The Sociological Quarterly from 1971-1977. The ASA selected him to revive The American Sociologist (1980-1982) before it was sold to Transaction Publishers. In 1978, he became one of four collaborating editors of the international journal Social Studies of Science. Jim was known for his balanced and fair decisions, improved quality and direction of the journals, and excellent communication with authors.

The sociology of science was Jim’s main scholarly interest. He studied the effects of funding and budgeting on research patterns and methodologies in the social and natural sciences. At the same time, he explored how disciplines developed their own interests within the discourses and formats of funding agencies. His 1984 Midwest Sociological Society Presidential Address was a summary of his perspective. Jim also continued his interest in conflict theory and criminology in a co-authored text with John Galliher, published in 1977.

Jim McCartney’s service to the Missouri Department of Sociology, his colleagues, and its students was outstanding. He taught numerous courses at all levels, advised many graduates and undergraduates, and was twice Chair of the department. Those administrative positions both came in crisis periods. His exemplary collegial and deliberative leadership eased the troubles and improved the campus reputation of the department.

Jim became interested in extending his sociology of science studies to an international venue, that of Korea. This took him to broader concerns with East Asia and then other regions. He led faculty tours to Korea, Brazil, and Russia.  The campus called on him to be the director of the International Center. Once again he faced difficult conditions of morale, funding, and direction. Jim provided a strong stabilizing influence, hired excellent staff, and improved unit reputation.

He finished his career as Associate Vice Provost for International Programs, an achievement that reflected both the internationalization of the campus and the highest respect of its top administration. Jim retired in 2006.

Jim was very much a multi-dimensional person. He was a jazz aficionado, a bird enthusiast, an insightful movie critic, an observant photographer, an expert soccer referee, and an experienced international traveler. In his later years he delved into family genealogy, extensive landscaping and gardening, and, most of all, reveling in his grandchildren.

Jim McCartney was a kind, gentle man who genuinely was more interested in hearing from others rather than talking about himself. He rarely showed anger or complained about misfortune. His temperate, reflective approach to colleagues, issues, and conditions were focused on collective needs and strategies for solutions. He was a calming and constructive participant in department and campus discourse. Many staff and colleagues were devoted to him. 

Ken Benson, University of Missouri, and Peter Hall, Colorado State University

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Rekha Mirchandani

Rekha Mirchandani, Associate Professor of Sociology at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), passed away on March 8, 2012, at the age of 48, following a battle with cancer. She leaves behind a rich legacy of scholarship in the areas of sociological theory and sociology of law, as well as mentorship of numerous students in BGSU’s Sociology Department and American Culture Studies Program.

Rekha graduated with distinction from the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT, in 1985 with majors in sociology and English. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina in 1998, where she completed her dissertation under the direction of Craig Calhoun. In 2001, after serving on the faculties of Bucknell University and the University of Utah, Rekha joined the faculty of the Sociology Department at BGSU, where Rekha taught graduate and undergraduate courses in sociological theory, sociology of gender, sociology of law, and criminology. Known particularly for her work in teaching the required graduate theory sequence in the Sociology Department, Rekha’s dedication to engaging and encouraging students, providing clear direction, and her remarkable ability for explicating complex ideas in the classroom were appreciated by all students who had the good fortune to take her classes. It is rare that required courses are so well regarded by students; yet, at BGSU, her courses were consistently popular. Among both students and her colleagues, Rekha was considered one of the best and most inspiring teachers in the department. Rekha excelled in working with graduate students, and successfully directed numerous theses and dissertations in both sociology and American culture studies.

Rekha was also an exceptional departmental and university citizen. At BGSU, she was a faculty affiliate of the Center for Family and Demographic Research, the Women’s Studies program, and the American Culture Studies program. Rekha also served as a member of the university’s Undergraduate Council, the Faculty Senate, and the Senate’s Faculty Welfare Committee. She was active in several professional organizations, including the American Sociological Association’s Theory section and Law and Society section, the Law and Society Association, and the Critical Theory Roundtable.

Rekha’s scholarly work was published in many leading journals in her field, including Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Sociological Theory, and Law and Society Review. As a theorist, she was a leading American interpreter and scholar of the work of the German sociologist Jurgen Habermas. Most recently, she developed a burgeoning interest in Habermas’ recent re-engagement with the issues of religion and immigration, and the implications for the public sphere in the modern world. In addition to her scholarship in the area of sociological theory, Rekha was involved in an international multi-site study of domestic violence courts in Salt Lake City, UT, Ann Arbor, MI, and Brooklyn, NY. She was interested in these courts as an example of problem-solving institutions that mediate relationships between individuals and the state, and she was the author of numerous studies examining the social effects of such mediating structures. Throughout this research, Rekha expressed her genuine optimism and deep desire to bridge theory and praxis in order to make meaningful sociological contributions that would ultimately help the lives of others.

Rekha’s example of peace, love, gratitude, and positive enthusiasm for fully living life is left to her graduate and undergraduate students, sociology colleagues, friends, and her daughters and husband. The deeply humane, generously loving, and warm spirit Rekha embodied will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved her.

Monica A Longmore, Bowling Green State University

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Katharine Payne Moseley

Katherine Payne Moseley (KP Moseley) passed away suddenly but peacefully in Vermont on October 4, 2012. Her often cited work with Immanuel Wallerstein on pre-capitalist social structures initiated a long list of studies and publications on the trans-Saharan trade, the political economy of West Africa including Sierra Leone and Nigeria and, most recently, the economic and social history of the larger oasis band of the northern Saharan edge including Morocco and Mauritania. Kay also actively promoted water and other environmental issues as represented through her paper titled “Development or Ecocide?  Dilemmas of Water Exploitation in the Sahara,” which was to be presented at a conference of the Middle Eastern Studies Association in November.

Katharine was born into a military family, lived as a child in Japan, and traveled around the world with her mother. Growing up in rural Vermont when the state was still a bastion of conservative Republican politics, she developed a strong desire for independence and, atypically perhaps for that place and time, a growing interest in Africa. Katharine graduated from Barnard College and received her PhD in sociology from Columbia University. She did the fieldwork for her dissertation in Dahomey and later taught at Fourah Bay College (Sierra Leone) and at the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), as well as at Vanderbilt University, Brooklyn College, the University of Connecticut -Storrs, Temple University, and Grinnell College.

At Port Harcourt during the 1980s, she is remembered for her contribution to building the Sociology Department, alongside Claude Ake, Pade Badru, and Teresa Turner. Many members of the current faculty are her former students. She is also renowned for her kindness to students: mentoring them, opening her house to those who needed food and shelter, and organizing parties for colleagues, students, and visiting professors from overseas.

In the 1990s, Kay was a visiting professor at several U.S. universities but returned to Africa on a two-year Fulbright Research Fellowship in Morocco at the Institut des Etudes Africaines, Rabat. There she studied trans-Saharan relations of commerce and exchange, both formal and informal, past and present, continuing work begun in Mali and Niger. This resulted in the paper “The Moroccan South, Oasis Social Structures, and the Trans-Saharan Trade,” presented at the 1994 African Studies Association and “Sharecroppers, Serfs, and Notables: Variations in the Traditional Status of the Haratin,” presented at al-Akhawayn University in 2000.

From 2000-06 she worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department and served in Sudan, Mauritania, and Chad. She continually returned to Mauritania to study the structures and sustainability of oases societies whose water sources are under threat. As one close friend described it: “Kay loved the research itself: traveling on her own to a small desert town and spending a few days with the people who lived there, asking questions and taking copious notes as she listened. Despite the heat, food, or anything else that most people might find a reason to complain about, I never once heard Kay complain about these logistical challenges. Although she was always thoroughly exhausted, Kay came back to Nouakchott ready to head to the library to continue her research or schedule meetings with various professors and academics to get their perspectives on her findings.”  Underlying Kay’s choice of research topics was a sense of urgency—for population, economy, environment, and culture.

Family and friends in far-flung professional networks will always remember her warmth, sense of fun, wit, love of jazz and African rhythms, and music in general, her generosity, hospitality, openness, and elegance.

An Africanist in both her intellect and her soul, Katharine Moseley is best evoked by a young colleague who recalls: “I first saw Kay dancing Sabar at an Embassy 4th of July party [in Mauretania]. I went to get a drink and came back to see an enormous circle around Kay as she leapt, kicked, and danced her way into the hearts of everyone present. Kay was 70 going on 25 years of age. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be just like her.”

Pade Badru, Delia Dunlap, Rosemary Galli, Sharon Zukin, CUNY Graduate Center

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Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi

Setsuko Matsunaga Nishi, Professor Emerita of Sociology at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, died on November 17, 2012, at the age of 91. She was a pioneering scholar of Asian Americans and multiracial relations.

Setsuko Matsunaga was born in Los Angeles to Japanese immigrant parents. Her father, Tahei Matsunaga, was an immigrant from Japan and was the unofficial “Mayor of Little Tokyo.” At the University of Southern California, she studied Sociology with Emory Bogardus. She was caught in the mass removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans. In early 1942 she had sent a telegram urging Roosevelt to recognize Nisei citizenship rights. After a brief incarceration, Setsuko was allowed to enroll in the MA program in sociology at Washington University-St. Louis, reporting for the University of California-Berkeley-based Japanese Evacuation Research Survey.

She enrolled in sociology at University of Chicago, where she met and married Ken Nishi, a California-born painter serving in the U.S. Army. The couple would have five children while Ken Nishi struggled to support himself as an artist. He died in 2001. In 1951, the Nishis visited Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia where Setsuko would spend summers until her death.

In Chicago she worked at Parkway House, a settlement house directed by African American sociologist Horace R. Cayton. She became both a bridge between Black and Japanese communities, and a visible activist in favor of racial equality. She lobbied for a statewide Fair Employment Practices Bill, worked for the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender. With funds from the American Council on Race Relations, Setsuko wrote the widely distributed “Facts About Japanese Americans” (1946) and teamed up with sociologist William Caudill to work for the Chicago Nisei Resettlers Committee and with Horace Cayton to produce The Changing Scene (1955). She received her doctorate in 1963 with her dissertation “Japanese American Achievement in Chicago: A Cultural Response to Degradation.”

In 1965, with support from Sociologist Alfred McClung Lee, Nishi was appointed professor of sociology at Brooklyn College CUNY and became Emirita in 1999. During her tenure, she taught the first courses on Asian American Studies there, served as a mentor to a generation of scholars, and organized and directed the Japanese American Life Course Survey on long-term effects of wartime incarceration.

She collaborated with African American sociologist Hylan Lewis on methods and strategies for achieving school integration and served as an advisor on Kenneth Clark’s HARYOU-ACT minority youth aid project. For 30 years, she served on the executive board of the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, championing the rights of all minorities against discrimination. In 1998 she joined the delegation of Japanese Americans in New York, where she met with Jewish community leaders to discuss the use of the phrase “concentration camps” at the Japanese American National Museum’s Ellis Island exhibition.

Nishi’s many honors include awards from the American Association of University Women, the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2007. In 2009, Professor Nishi was conferred The Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon by the Government of Japan.

Nishi is survived by her five children, grandchildren, her brother­, and the many students she mentored.

Greg Robinson, UQAM, and Barbara Katz Rothman, ­CUNY Graduate Center

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