Spotlights

KEITH FELDMAN

I am an Associate Professor and the current Head Graduate Advisor here in Ethnic Studies. I’ve taught at Berkeley since 2009. My research draws from U.S. cultural studies frameworks to explore the interface between race, knowledge, and state violence, with a focus on the long arc of entanglements between the US and West Asia. My first book, A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America, considered how a range of artists and writers linked the U.S. state’s combination of political inclusion and intensified projection of violence at home and abroad to shifting dynamics of rule in Israel and Palestine. In my new work, I explore representations of the body in the long war on terror, attending especially to the ways U.S. visual culture innovates, consolidates, and contests historical processes of racialization.I routinely teach or co-teach ES 11AC, our Introduction to Ethnic Studies. The course takes seriously the emergence, insights, and intersections of the fields of Black and African American Studies; Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies; Native American and Indigenous Studies; and Chicanx/Latinx Studies. We take up the concept of race as a social construction, one that changes over time and place, and one that is intersected by various vectors of social difference. This serves as an entry point into pressing questions about capitalism and colonialism, indigeneity and immigration, empire and war, art and activism, gender and sexuality, the local and the global. It’s a real delight of a course to teach.

LESLIE SALZINGER

I am a sociologist teaching in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, and my research and teaching looks at the way that gender structures and is structured by capitalism. The class I’m most enjoying teaching right now is GWS/POLECON C138: Gender and Capitalism. The class looks at the ways that heterosexism, racism and capitalism shape and reinforce each other across time and traces the consequences for our lives today.

In my theoretical writing, I am investigating the ways that social reproduction is accomplished in contemporary capitalism, especially exploring how we might begin to conceive of a social world not organized around heteronormative family and capitalism. And in my ethnographic research on transnational finance, I look at men trading pesos for dollars in a major global bank in NY and Mexico City and analyze the ways that peso/dollar exchange markets function as crucial gendered and raced sites for Mexico’s shift from “developing nation” to “emerging market.” In that research, I focus especially on masculinity, as fuel and legitimating discourse in neoliberalism overall. Throughout my teaching and research, my goal is to help us to imagine ways of organizing the social world beyond the strictures of binary gender, mandatory heterosexuality, and private property.

DAVID HARDING

Professor David Harding is a professor of Sociology and the faculty director of the Social Science D-Lab, a center on campus that helps students, faculty, and staff use data science methods and tools in their research. Undergraduates are welcome to register for workshops on topics like qualitative methods, Python, R, Stata, text analysis, and machine learning. Professor Harding teaches SOC 88: Data Science for Social Impact. The course is a “connector” with Data 8 (Fundamentals of Data Science). It’s goal is to teach students who are currently taking Data 8 or who have taken it in the past how to communicate research results and data to policymakers, practitioners, and the general public to make social change. We learn about the various roles that research plays in policy making and public discourse, how to write policy briefs and op-eds, and how to make data visualizations in Python that effectively convey research findings. His own research aims to understand the causes and consequences of inequality, particularly the roles of schools, neighborhoods, and the criminal justice system. In his most recent book, After Prison: Navigating Adulthood in the Shadow of the Justice System, his co-authors and himself describe the challenges faced by young adults as they leave prison and attempt to reintegrate into families, communities, and the labor market while escaping the surveillance and punishment of the criminal justice system.

ANDREW BARLOW

Professor Andrew Barlow is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, where he has taught since 1986. He teaches the Sociology of Law (Soc.114), Deviance and Social Control (Soc. 152AC), Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. (Soc. 131AC), and Economic Sociology (Soc. 120).
His courses are inspired by and based on a commitment to social justice. Each course studies social processes of domination and control from the perspective of people who are oppressed by them. Each course examines strategies developed by marginalized people to resist domination and to advance social justice. In each course he utilizes a social justice pedagogy, one that centers the experiences of marginalized students and empowers students to be teachers as well as learners. His intention is for students to directly experience social justice in the classroom.
Professor Barlow’s classes are a reflection of my life-long commitment to social justice activism. He was a participant in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s and 1970s and has continued his activism ever since. He has written two books intended to be contributions to social justice movements. The first, Between Fear and Hope: Globalization and Race in the United States described the ways in which the intersections of economic globalization and structural racism created fertile conditions for the rise of neo-liberal politics and culture in the 1990s and early 2000s, but also created new conditions for the rise of social movements challenging neo-liberalism. The second book, Collaborations for Social Justice: Professionals, Publics and Policy Change presents accounts of California-based activist educators, lawyers and health experts who do their work to empower marginalized communities. 
Professor Barlow’s current work is on contemporary social movements’ understandings of social justice. He now teaches at UC Berkeley every other semester and spends part of the year in the American South. His next time teaching will be in Spring 2022.

SKYLAR WANG

Skylar Wang is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. In Spring 2021, Skylar will be teaching an advanced seminar (SOCIOL 190 005) called “What Makes Us Click”: Online Dating in the Age of Modern Romance. In this class, Skylar will apply sociological concepts to a topic deeply germane to the lives of many students. The primary goal of the seminar is to help students see cultural patterns and logics in a practice many perceive to be personal and to open up their eyes to the inequities that exist in the app-centric world that we all find ourselves in. One of the writing assignments consists of an exercise where students are tasked to analyze a dating app or website of their choice and identify features that could be improved, added, or removed. They will then write up a recommendation brief to the companies with evidence-based suggestions to argue for why the changes that advocate could make dating more equitable for users.
Skyler’s research is deeply informed by my teaching and vice-versa. The big question that drives their understanding in Sociology is how online technologies shape cultural schemas and interpersonal relationships. Currently, Skyler has two ongoing projects. The first looks at how people ‘share’ their bodies in the sharing economy. To answer this question, Skyler studies transactional sex that occurs on the hospitality-exchange network Couchsurfing.com. The second project investigates the various strategies singles today rely on to ascertain good romantic matches and make decisions around commitment while dating online.