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With funds provided by the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Endowment, Larry Isaac and the Department of Sociology have initiated the “Social Movement & Social Change Distinguished Lecture Series” to bring to Vanderbilt annually a distinguished scholar working in these fields.  Scholars are selected for their contributions to the fields of social movements and/or social change and are expected to showcase sociological imagination, novelty and significant insights through their past and ongoing research.  The visiting Lecturer delivers a university-wide lecture and meets informally with sociology faculty and graduate students.

Past and present Distinguished Social Movement & Social Change Lecturers include:


2016    Roberto Franzosi
Professor of Sociology and Linguistics, Emory University
“Only Another Negro1 Racial Violence in Georgia (1875-1935)”
1 “Only another negro”, Savannah Tribune, 1/20/1917


2015    David Snow
Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of California—Irvine
“Bringing the Study of Religion and Social Movements Together: Toward an Analytically Productive Intersection”

2014    Aldon Morris
Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University
“Fate of a Scientific Movement: W.E.B. Dubois and the Birth of American Sociology”

2013    Doug McAdam
Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
“The Relationship between Neighborhood Religious and Civic Life in Chicago, 1970-2005”

2012    Frances Fox Piven
Distinguished Professor of Sociology & Political Science, City University of New York-Graduate Center
“Class War in 21st Century America: Can Occupy Wall Street Beat Back the Corporate Assault?”

2011    Mayer N. Zald
Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology, Management, and Social Work, University of Michigan
“From Appalachia to Rome: Towards a Comparative Framework for the Study of Profiles of Collective Action Potential”



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