Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Editor's Note: Sociological Re-Imaginations in & of Universities

Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Editor's Note: Sociological Re-Imaginations in & of Universities

Article excerpt

The Summer 2009 issue of Human Architecture is devoted to the theme, "Sociological Re-Imaginations in & of Universities." As part of the journal's continuing series critically engaging with C. Wright Mills's "sociological imagination," i.e., the proposition that the best way to theorize and practice sociology is via a continual conversation between the study of one's personal troubles and that of broader public issues, the present issue turns its attention to fostering sociological re-imaginations in and of universities.

Several faculty, recent graduates or alumni, and current undergraduate students advance insightful, critical perspectives about their own learning and teaching experiences and personal "troubles," and broader university, disciplinary, and administrative "public issues" that in their view merit immediate attention in favor of fundamental rectifications of outdated procedures and educational habita that continue to persist at the cost of more creative, and in fact more scientific and rational, approaches to production and dissemination of knowledge. In what follows, largely from their own summarizing words, I will try to draw a broad sketch of the studies presented in this journal issue.

In his "In Memoriam--Professor Giovanni Arrighi (1937-2009) and Graduate Mentoring A Reflection on His Teachings and My Academic Development," Satoshi Ikeda (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada), by citing the example of his own example when pursuing his graduate studies at SUNY-Binghamton, rebels along with his colleagues sharing the experience against graduate studies curricula in which strict hierarchical distinctions are established between students and faculty, and advocates and disseminates the learning model where students and faculty are treated as young, and not-so-young scholars, equal depositories of experiences, personal insights and social/sociological visions that can contribute to a more participatory educational experience. Ikeda writes, "Professor Arrighi continued this tradition and mentored graduate students by embracing them into the extended Arrighi family. He treated students with respect and involved them into research activities as collaborators and co-authors. He acknowledged that he received academic stimulation from his student, and inspired graduate students through critical yet encouraging comments. With anecdotes from Binghamton days, the essay reports that Professor Arrighi continues to live in the mind, heart, and practice of those who received his mentoring."

In her "Autoethnographic Cultural Criticism as Method Toward Sociological Imaginations of Race, Memory and Identity," Sandra J. Song, a student of Satoshi Ikeda and a recent doctoral student from the University of Alberta, Canada, devotes her paper to the examination of "a growing body of literature that fuse creative modes of writing with the academic discourse using an autoethnographic approach to cultural analysis." Her paper is a testimony to a growing movement in academia that is troubled by the disciplinary fragmentations among various academic cultures (social sciences, sciences, humanities, and their respective "disciplines") by incorporating voices in her learning and practice of sociology that would otherwise be seen as more or less "different" from conventional sociological perspective--e.g., those of bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, Elaine H. Kim, and Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes. Song writes, "I highlight key moments in my life as an aspiring scholar and in spheres outside of the academy to engage the theoretical literature. I weave these different moments as part of a larger critical enterprise to trace the gradual rise in consciousness around issues of race, memory and identity as they have touched my life, and to demonstrate the power of writing with the 'sociological imagination' through autoethnography."

L. Lynda Harling Stalker (St. Francis Xavier University, Canada) and Jason Pridmore Zuyd University, The Netherlands), also advocate, as also done in continuing pages and issues of this journal, the significance of C. …

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