On April 6, 2022, many members of the Department of Sociology gathered in Birmingham, Alabama, to attend the 85th annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society (SSS). This year’s meeting was special because it was presided over by SSS President and UT Department of Sociology Head Stephanie Bohon. Several graduate students and faculty came to the meeting to network, present their papers, and hear the Presidential address, “Nefarious Invisibility: Places to Hide in the Production of Sociological Knowledge.”
UT sociology has a long history with “the Southerns.” Founded in 1936, the Society’s seventh president was William E. Cole, who presided over the Southerns in 1942. Cole joined UT’s Department of Sociology in 1933 and served as head for 29(!) years from 1936 to 1965. Cole was a Fellow of the American Sociological Association and the author of several books, including Urban Society (1958) and The Elderly in America (1977).
In 1995, UT sociology’s second SSS president was Tom Hood, professor emeritus. Hood is a scholar of collective behavior and social movements who is a renowned expert on the work of Erving Goffman. In addition to serving as SSS president, he also served as Executive Office of the Society for the Study of Social Problems from 1990 to 2009.
In addition to electing three UT sociologists as president, the SSS has also recognized many of our faculty with major awards. In 2015, Jon Shefner received the SSS Distinguished Lectureship Award in recognition of his excellence as a scholar and lecturer. In 2021, Kasey Henricks received the SSS Junior Scholar Award for significant contributions to the field of sociology by an early-stage scholar. Both Hood and Bohon have also received the SSS Martin Levin Award for distinguished service to the society.
By Stephanie Bohon