Past Presentations

Spring 2021

January 19 – Gil Eyal and Jordan Brensinger (Columbia University): The Sociology of Identification Processes

January 26 – Martin Petzke (Bielefeld University): The Doxa of Official Statistics (RSVP will be required to receive the paper for this week)

February 2 – Anastasia V. Sergeeva (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): Hiring Algorithms: An Ethnography of Developing and Using Machine Learning in Recruiting

February 23 Ryan Hagen and Denise Milstein (Columbia University): Ontological Security Under Threat of Contagion

March 9 – Madisson Whitman (Columbia University): Modeling Ethics

March 16 – Arvind Karunakaran (McGill University): Front-line Professionals in the Wake of Social Media Scrutiny

March 23 –  Nilanjan Raghunath (Singapore University of Technology and Design): Technological Adoption as a Social Process in Food Centers in Singapore

March 30 – Kyunghwan Lee (University of Southern California): Making the Economy in South Korea through National Income

April 14 – Mohamed Amine Brahimi (Columbia University) and Amín Pérez (Université du Québec à Montréal): French social sciences and post-colonial intellectuals: The cases of Mohamed Arkoun and Abdelmalek Sayad

April 20 – Wenjuan Zheng (Stanford University): The Hidden Cost of Crowdfunding Platforms for Small Nonprofit Organizations

April 27 – Théophile Lenoir (Institut Montaigne): Objectivity in Regulatory Science: Tensions between Journalistic and Scientific Interpretations of Objectivity

Fall 2020

September 15 – Humberto Fernandes (Rio de Janeiro State University): On Social Manipulability: Concepts for a Methodological Framework

September 22 – Larry Au (Columbia University): Constructing Lay Expertise on a Covid-19 Online Community

September 29 – Chuncheng Liu (UC San Diego), Zheng Fu (Columbia), and Larry Au (Columbia) : It’s (not) the flu: Expertise and the COVID-19 Pandemic in China, Hong Kong, and the United States

October 6 –  Maïlys Gantois (CESSP/CRPS Université Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne): Negotiation, Academic Notions and a Democratic Myth

October 20 – Nilanjan Raghunath (Singapore University of Technology and Design): Quantified Credibility as an Exigency of Late Modernity

November 10 – Alma Steingart (Columbia University): Statecraft by Algorithms

November 24 – Julian Jürgenmeyer (Columbia University) and Onur Özgöde (Harvard University): The Fed’s Modernity: Hybridization and the Management of Embedded Autonomy in US Central Banking

December 1 – Joshuamorris Hurwitz (Stanford University): Constructing the Essential

December 8 – Mohamed Amine Brahimi (Columbia University): How to Become a French Islamic Philosopher: The Case of Abdenour Bidar

Spring 2020

January 29 – Rosalind Donald (Columbia University): Climate knowledge as community ritual: Miami weathercasters as climate change communicators

February 5 – Benjamin Lemoine (CNRS, Université Paris Dauphine & IAS, Princeton): Earmarking public money under pressure. Greece as a European laboratory of privatization

February 12 – Renan Gonçalves Leonel da Silva (University of São Paulo): The governance of the productive development policies for Monoclonal Antibodies in Brazil

February 26 – Ryan Hagen (Columbia University): Constant objects: Materiality, temporality, and the management of disaster risk in New York City

March 11 – Joonwoo Son (Columbia University): Reliable numbers: Reform and standardization of official statistics in postwar Japan

March 25 – Seungwon Lee (Columbia University): Who comments on whose articles in sociology?

March 30 – Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra (UC San Diego): Research metrics, labor markets, and epistemic change: Evidence from Britain 1970-2018

April 15  – Marion Fourcade (UC Berkeley): Ordinal citizenship

April 29 – Aaron Plasek (Columbia University): Teaching a machine to be creative: Early machine learning, 1948-1963

Fall 2019 

September 25 – Emily Paine (HIV Center, CUMC): ‘Fat Broken Arm Syndrome’: Negotiating Stigma and Risk in LGBTQ Care

October 2 – Larry Au (Columbia): China’s Human Gene-Editing Controversy

October 9 – Stéphanie Mignot-Gérard (IAE Gustave Eiffel et IRG, UPEC): Performance Measurement Systems and Col​legiality in Universities: Ambivalent and Status-Dependent Interactions

October 23 – Yimang Zhou (Albany): Institutionalizing population sciences in four East Asian countries

October 30 – Zheng Fu (Columbia): Work of Legitimacy in China: Promoting Labor Law as a Legitimate Order Among Employers

November 20 – Benjamin Braun (IAS, Princeton & Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne): Engaging shareholders: The infrastructure of voice

December 4 – Jordan Brensinger (Columbia): (Mis)Trust in Numbers: Narratives and the Negotiation of Personal Data

December 11 – Adrianna Bagnall-Munson (Columbia) and Guillermina Altomonte (New School): Autonomy on the Horizon: Comparing Institutional Approaches to Disability and Elder Care

Spring 2019

January 29 – Alexander Hoppe (University of Pennsylvania): The Carnegie School of Fashion Design

February 12 – Pegah Zohouri Haghian (University of Oxford): Intellectual legitimacy across fields: the case of three Muslim intellectuals in the Anglophone academia (1989-2010)

February 19 – Larry Au (Columbia University): Anticipatory Discourses of China’s Push for Precision Medicine

February 26 – Pedro Blois (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento): Sociologists and Market Research in Argentina

March 5 – Julian Jürgenmeyer (Columbia University): Bank Stress Tests as Tools of Government in the Age of Globalized Finance

March 26 –Sarah Sachs (Columbia University): The Algorithm at Work: The Reconfiguration of Work and Expertise in the Making of Similarity in Art

April 2 – Constance Nathanson (Columbia University): The Social Production of Crisis: Sagas of HIV/Blood Contamination in France and the United States

April 16 – Alka Menon (Yale University): “Objectifying the Face”: Visual Technologies and Doctor-Patient Communication in Cosmetic Surgery

April 23 – Maïlys Gantois (CESSP/CRPS Université Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne): Collective bargaining ideas, knowledge and uses: What “democracy at work” and union study tells us about social transformations

April 30 – Jordan Brensinger (Columbia University): The Sociology of Identification Processes

Fall 2018

September 10 – Adrianna Bagnall-Munson (Columbia): “What a Mediminder does: Arranging Autonomy Through Technologies of Care”

September 17 – Claudio Benzecry (Northwestern University): The world at her fit: Scale-making, uniqueness and standardization

October 1 Martin Petzke (University of Lucerne): “Ethnicizing the ‘Person with a Migration Background’ in German Integration Policy. The Role of Statistical Monitoring Instruments.”

October 8 (4 pm in Knox 509) Talk by Jenny Reardon (UC Santa Cruz): “Just Genomes?” [sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Precision Medicine and Society Initiative, see more here]

October 15 – Luciana de Souza Leao (Columbia) and Diana Graizbord (University of Georgia): “The Cultural Work of Experts: Policy Evaluation and the Search for a New Bureaucratic Ethos in Brazil and Mexico”

November 12 (11 am in Knox 501D) – Jordan Brensinger (Columbia): “Restoring Your Good Name”: Identity Theft as a New Economic Insecurity

November 26 – Elizabeth Watkins (Columbia): “Information Security Practices in the Future of Work”

Spring 2018

January 22 – Eliza Brown (NYU): Diagnosis without Bodily Material: Stunted Multiplicity and the Specters of Disease

January 29 – Adrianna Bagnall (Columbia University): The Rise of Social Intelligence: Interdependent Indicators for the Measurement of Mental Deficiency

February 5 – Joonwoo Son (Columbia): Governing Economy through Indicators: Transformation of Use of Indicators in Japanese Economic Planning, 1960-1965

February 19 – Jeremy Ward (Aix- Marseille Université & Université Paris Diderot): Science in the Media, a Neoinstitutionnalist Approach: Diversity and Boundary-making in the French Coverage of the 2009 Pandemic Flu Vaccine’s Safety

February 26 – Lisa Owens (Columbia): Borders of Social Order: Surveillance at the Poverty/Crime Nexus

March 19 – Dan Hirschman (Brown): The Stylized Facts of Inequality

March 26 – Apollonya Porcelli (Brown): “Esoteric” science and Peru’s New Left: How the labor movement shaped environmental discourse

April 9 [Lecture] – Kathrin Zippel (Northeastern): Academic Nationality: How the .edu Bonus Helps U.S. Academics Abroad [event link]

April 16 – Sarah Sachs (Columbia): The Algorithm at Work: Structured Interactions and the Enactment of Similarity Matching in Art

April 23 – Larry Au (Columbia): Boundary Orientations and Translational Strategies in the Field of Chinese Medicine

Fall 2017

September 18 – Moran Levy (Columbia University): ‘Adequate Trials’: How the Search for Cancer Cures Shaped Leukemia Classification

October 2 – Ryan Hagen (Columbia University): The Matzo Plant and the Atom Bomb: Resource Accretion and the Production of Stability in Everyday Life

October 16 – Stephanie Barral (Institute for Research and Innovation in Society, Paris): “No Net Loss” of Biodiversity: What Economy Does to Environmental Sciences

October 30 – Luciana de Souza Leao (Columbia University): The Database Wars: The Evolution of Datasets of the Poor as a Struggle for Power in Mexico and Brazil

November 13 – Sarah Sachs (Columbia University): The Algorithm at Work: The Practice of Constructing Similarity at the Art Genome Project

December 4  – Joshua Hurwitz (Columbia University): Diagnosing Automation: Radiological Digitization and its Discontents

Spring 2017

January 30 – Daniela Russ (Columbia University): Making Sources of Energy

February 13 – Jeremy Ward (Universite Paris Diderot): Rethinking the Antivaccine Movement Concept: A Case Study of Public Criticism of the Swine Flu Vaccine’s Safety in France

February 20 – Erela Potugaly (Columbia University)

March 6 – Gil Eyal and Luciana De Souza Leao (Columbia University): Experiments in the Wild: A Historical Perspective on the Rise of Randomized Controlled Trials in International Development

March 27 – Noah Arjomand (Columbia University): Sociological Fiction: Using Composite Characters in Narrative Ethnography

April 17 – Tonya Tartour (Sciences Po, Paris): Implementing Mandatory Outpaitent Treatment: A Comparative Analysis of French “Case program” and American Assisted Outpatient Treatment

May 8 – Alvarro Laiz (Center for Teaching and Research in Economics, Mexico City): Science Patronage, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Mexican Social Sciences around 1940

Fall 2016

September 19 – Adrianna Bagnall (Columbia University), “Institutionalized Adulthood: People with developmental disability inside and outside institutions”

October 10 – Hila Lifshitz-Assaf (New York University), TBA

October 24  Kristien Hens and Delphine Jacobs (Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law, KU Leuven), “The experiences of parents and clinicians with the concept of ASD”

October 31 – Abby Coplin (Columbia University), TBA

November 7 – Alex Barnard (UC Berkeley), TBA

November 14 – Wendy Roth (University of British Columbia), “Does Genetic Ancestry Testing Promote an Essentialist View of Race? Findings from an Experimental Study” (a collaborative effort with the REM workshop, 12-2, room TBA

December 12 – Joan Robinson (Columbia University), TBA 

Spring 2016

February 1 – Daniel Wojtkiewicz (Columbia University), “The Production of Medical Diagnosis in Autism: Genetic Tests in Clinical Practice”

February 22 Adam Leeds (University of Pennsylvania), “Assembling the Economic Mechanism: Soviet Economics 1937-1965 and the Technology of Socialist Government” 

March 7 Mary X. Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania), “Possessing Bikini, Brandishing the Bomb: Race, Gender, and Sexuality at an Imperial Crossroads”

March 21Moran Levy (Columbia University), “Trial and Error: How Anticancer Drugs Shaped Cancer Science”

April 4 Luciana de Souza Leão and Gil Eyal (Columbia University), “Experiments in the Wild: a Historical Perspective on the Rise of Randomized Controlled Trials in International Development”

April 14-15 Graduate Student Conference at Columbia University: “Expertise from Margin to Center: Science, Politics, and Democracy

April 18 Mihai-Dan Cirjan (Central European University and New York University), “Talking about Work: Romanian Psychotechnics and the Evaluation of Labour after the Interwar Capitalist Crisis”

May 2Abigail Coplin (Columbia University), “The Limits of Politicized Science: Scientists and the State During China’s GMO Controversy”

Fall 2015

September 21 – Guus Dix, Maastricht University/Max-Planck-Institute Cologne: “What Incentives Will Bring. Fictional Expectations, Worth, and Symbolic Power in Economic Life”

October 5 – Philipp Brandt, Columbia University: “Mechanisms in the Emergence of Data Science: A Comparative Study of Abstract Knowledge”

October 19 – Noah Arjomand, Columbia University: “Composure of the Fixer: Using Composite Characters to Narrate a Sociology of News Production”

November 9 – Diana Graizbord, Brown University: “Experiments as Statecraft: How PROGRESAs Randomized Control Trial Refashioned Social Policy Making”

November 23 – Adrianna Bagnall, Columbia University: “Institutionalized Adulthood: People with Developmental Disabilities Inside and Outside Institutions”

December 7 – Zoltan Dujisin, Columbia University: “Memory Entrepreneurs: The Architects of a Post-Communist Regime of Remembrance”

Spring 2015 

February 9th, 12pm

Abigail Coplin (Columbia University)
“Building Monsanto with Chinese Characteristics: The Role of Capital, Ambiguity, and the State in Chinese Agrobiotech Companies”.

February 23rd, 12pm
Ryan Hagen (Columbia University)
“Inconceivable Futures: Inevitable failures in collaborative anticipation.”

March 2nd, 12pm
Lisa Stampnitzky (Harvard University)
“What is speakability? State secrets and public discourse in the was on terror”

March 9th, 12pm
David Reinecke (Princeton University)
Seamful regulation in an era of digital convergence”

March 23rd, 12pm
Joonwoo Son (Columbia University)
“Explaining the World of Big Data: the global IT consultancy and reshaping of policy knowledge in South Korea.”

April 13th, 12pm
Gabriel Abend (NYU)
The Love of Neuroscience: A Case Study in the Sociology of Epistemologies.”

April 20th, 12pm
Diane Vaughan (Columbia University)
Producing Controllers

May 4th, 12pm
Sarah Sachs (Columbia University)
“The Order of Art: Expertise and Automation in the Classification of Art”

Fall 2014 

September 16th, 12pm


September 30th, 12pm
Joan Robinson (Columbia University)
“Conceiving technology: How political alliance and legal opportunity brought the pregnancy test home.”

October 7th, 12pm
Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick (University of Chicago)
“Mapping the Infra-structure of Networked Expertise”

October 14th, 12pm
Martine Lappé (UCLA)
“The Maternal Body as Environment in Autism Science”

October 28th, 12pm
Jigar Bhatt (Columbia University)
“Silver and Dross: Economists, Interventions, and the Politics of “What Works” in US Global Development”

November 14th, 11am
Martine Lappé (UCLA)
Practice Job Talk: How Autism Became Environmental: The Unintended Consequences of Controversy”

November 18th, 12pm
Margarita Rayzberg (Northwestern University)
“The Population Control Origins of Field Experiments in International Economic Development: History and Implications.”

December 2nd, 12pm
Antoine Courmont (Science Po)
“The sociotechnical shaping of the data-driven city”