Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who participated in the SOC DEV sessions at the ASA meeting the past two days. Despite the physical distance of the virtual platform, I enjoyed reconnecting with members I have long known and meeting new development scholars in such an intellectually stimulating way.

As Patrick Heller said yesterday at the conclusion of our last session, SOC DEV is one of few spaces that offers scope for genuine connection. The sessions that I attended suggest that it is very much possible to maintain this connection in a virtual format.

Back in the early days of our section, I attended a SOC DEV conference that Rae Blumberg organized at UVA. I was a nervous graduate student without much experience in conferencing, but the senior scholars of the section welcomed me with warmth and made me feel right at home.

I remember thinking that I had found my intellectual tribe in a diverse community of people who recognize that we do not have to look or think like one another in order to share knowledge, build coalitions, and become friends.

Since we did not hold a virtual business meeting yesterday, I would like to take a moment to recognize our award recipients, outgoing council members, and incoming members.

First, seven rounds of virtual applause to celebrate the outstanding contributions that our award winners have made to our field!



Chris Bobel. 2019. The Managed Body: Developing Girls & Menstrual Health in the Global South. London: Palgrave Macmillan (Professor and Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston)

Rebecca Tarlau. 2019. Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Assistant Professor of Education and of Labor & Employment Relations, Pennsylvania State University)



Marcel Paret. 2018. “Critical Nostalgias in Democratic South Africa.” The Sociological Quarterly 59(4):678-696. (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Utah)

Victoria Reyes. 2018. “Port of Call: How Ships Shape Foreign-Local Encounters.” Social Forces 96(3):1097–1118. (Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Riverside)

Honorable Mention:

Swethaa Ballakrishnen. 2019. “Just Like Global Firms: Unintended Gender Parity and Speculative Isomorphism in India’s Elite Professions.” Law & Society Review 53(1):108-140. (Assistant Professor of Law, UCI Law)



Sneha Annavarapu. “Risky Routes, Safe Suspicions: Gender, Class, and Cabs in Hyderabad, India.” (University of Chicago, Department of Sociology)

Honorable mention:

Rahardika Utama. “Embedded Peasantry: Path-Dependence and Economic Transformation in Indonesia and Malaysia.” (Northwestern University, Department of Sociology)

Second, a big hand of applause to our outgoing council members who have devoted years of their service life to our section.

  • Outgoing past-chair: Andrew Jorgenson, Boston College
  • Outgoing council member: Kristy Kelly, Dreksel University
  • Outgoing council member: Poulami Roychowdhury, McGill University
  • Outgoing newsletter editor: Maria Akchurin (Tulane University)
  • Outgoing student representative Alvin Camba (Johns Hopkins University)

Third, a very warm welcome to incoming council members! Here is a full listing of 2020-2021 section leadership.

  • Chair: Matt Sanderson, Kansas State University
  • Chair-elect: Fauzia Ahmed, Miami University of Ohio
  • Past-chair: Jennifer Keahey, Arizona State University
  • Secretary Treasurer: Jennifer Hsu, University of New South Wales
  • Third-year council member: Margaret Frye, Princeton University
  • Third-year council member: Joseph Harris, Boston University
  • Second-year council member: Jordanna Matlon, American University
  • Second-year council member: Victoria Reyes, UC Riverside
  • Incoming council member: Shiri Noy, Denison University
  • Incoming council member: Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Incoming student representative: Lantian Li, Northwestern University
  • Policy brief editor: Alaka Basu, Cornell University
  • Senior newsletter co-editor: Jeb Sprague, UC Riverside
  • Incoming newsletter co-editor: Leslie MacColman, University of Notre Dame
  • Incoming newsletter co-editor: Preethi Krishnan, Western Carolina University
  • Webmaster: Michaela Curran, UC Riverside
  • Mentorship program coordinator: Karin Johnson, Texas A&M University

We will be updating our social media platforms with this information in the coming weeks, and we will be sending out the results of our section survey shortly. Council also will be holding our virtual conference council meeting at the start of next week. At the end of that meeting, I will formally pass the baton to Matt Sanderson.

Thank you so much for providing me with the opportunity to help lead this section into the second decade of its existence.

It has been a year of difficulty and perilous for many, but your collective knowledge, enthusiasm, and support have served to remind me that relationships can transcend borders, and that gives me hope.

In solidarity,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s