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Major Plenary Sessions

Social Implications and Aftermath of the Tsunami
Friday, August 12, 7:00-8:45 pm

Organizer and Presider: Kai Erikson, Yale University
Panel: Stanley Tambiah, Anthropologist, Harvard University Imam B. Prasodjo, University of Indonesia Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Director and Founder of Yayasan Nurani Dunia (Foundation for Humanitarian Aid to Victims of Social and Natural Disaster)

The tsunami that struck suddenly and devastated the regions directly affected captured headlines and saturated media coverage for several weeks, in large measure because of the immediate vast toll on human life. While the long-term social and political effects of the tsunami will not receive much media attention, social scientists working in the area have much to tell us about how to better understand profound social adjustments and impacts that otherwise go unreported. This session brings together some of the leading experts on the topic to bring a sociological perspective to such matters as rebuilding infrastructure, material and non-material.

Comparative Perspectives on the Rightward Turn in US Politics (co-sponsored by the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, the Association of Black Sociology, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and Sociologists for Women in Society)
Saturday, August 13, 12:30-2:15 pm

Organizer and Presider: Troy Duster, New York University
Panel: Dan T. Carter, Historian, University of South Carolina and author of From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution, 1963-1994; Thomas Frank, author, What’s the Matter with Kansas; Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres, authors of The Miner’s Canary

The last election produced a situation where both houses of Congress, the Presidency, and increasingly the federal judiciary will be guided by a sharply rightward shift in politics, probably more so than at any time in the last eight decades. A historian, two legal scholars, and a social analyst of “middle America” come together on this panel to discuss different aspects of “the stakes” in play.

The Shifting Political Terrain
Monday, August 15, 12:30-2:15 pm

Organizer and Presider: Troy Duster, New York University
Panel: Kevin Phillips, author, Wealth and Democracy

Continuing the theme that the country is experiencing notable seismic shifts in the political sphere, Kevin Phillips will add his current thinking to this topic. From The Southern Strategy to American Dynasty, Phillips has been one of the more astute and provocative analysts of the last four decades, and always provides a wide socio-historical overview.