CFP Graduate Student Conference - Structures of Violence: Engaging the Public Imagination (5th Annual Public Sociology Conference)

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Call for Papers
April 9, 2016
Virginia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Sociology, Race Studies, Public Policy, Human Rights, Immigration & Migration History / Studies
2016 Conference

5th Annual Public Sociology Conference

Sponsored by the Public Sociology Association

of George Mason University

April 9, 2016 – GMU Arlington, Virginia campus

Call for Papers

Structures of Violence: Engaging the Public Imagination

Crossing multiple spheres of life, the public imagination uses dialogue to create new possibilities for action. A public imagination against structures of violence recognizes that violence exists in multiple forms and is not experienced universally.

This year we seek papers that confront structures of violence in an effort to engage the public imagination. In the spirit of public sociology, we encourage submissions from outside of academia and from related disciplines that speak to the conference theme (e.g., Guantanamo, Newtown, Ferguson, Paris – 11/13/2015, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Discrimination, Elder neglect, and etc.).

Public sociology is an approach to the study of social problems and structures that transcends the boundaries of academia to engage the public in discourse, political and institutional change, and social empowerment. Public sociologists, in collaboration with activists and policymakers, often turn their lens towards a broad range of public concerns that are rooted in social injustices and inequalities.

Possible Questions:

  • What does engaging the public imagination look like? How can we engage multiple actors in discourse against structures of violence?
  • In the face of violence (particularly, instances provoking a collective response) how can we react in ways that prevent its intensification? How can pausing before reacting shape collective response?
  • What explains the persistent social inequality between different groups, particularly over time? Is the ‘utopian’ society achievable? Is violence a necessary feature of social life and/or social transformation?
  • As a social science, what is the role of public sociology in the policy process as it pertains to structures of violence? 

Submission: A maximum 500-word abstract of proposed presentations should be submitted electronically to, no later than January 15, 2016.

Contact Info: 

Public Sociology Association - George Mason University

Contact Email: