Palgrave MacMillan recently published Collaboration Across Boundaries for Social-Ecological Systems Science: Experiences Around the World, edited by Stephen G. Perz.

The book is an anthology of lessons learned about the challenges and strategies used by large federally-funded scientific teams to effectively span divides across academic disciplines, organizational types and countries. Crossing these and other boundaries is necessary to advance science to address complex problems, as in the case of social-ecological systems where sustainability is threatened.

Each chapter of the book reports the experience from a science team working in a different part of the world, spanning countries in several continents, encompassing numerous disciplines, and involving stakeholders in government, the private sector, indigenous tribes, and many other organizations and social groups. Perz draws out broader lessons from the experiences of these teams so that future collaborators in social-ecological systems science can overcome the challenges of crossing boundaries to work together effectively.

For the third year in a row, our department will offer a workshop series on R for the social sciences in collaboration with the UF Informatics Institute. The workshops are free and open to all UF students, faculty, and staff.

Eight weekly workshops from October to December 2019 will provide an introduction to the R programming language for data analysis in the social sciences, including data import and management, descriptive statistics and graphics, linear and generalized linear models, multilevel analysis, and social network analysis.

All sessions will be held at the UF Informatics Institute. Topics, schedule and registration links are available here. Each session is limited to 30 participants and registration is required. The workshops will be taught by Tom Smith (Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law), Till Krenz (UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research), and Raffaele Vacca (Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law).

This workshop series is organized by the UF R Social Sciences Interest Group (RSSIG) in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law, and the Informatics Institute. It is supported in part by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research and by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Congratulations to Dr. Tiff Jenson (Criminology & Law) for her Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)! She was nominated by the CLAS Student Council over several semesters of strong online teaching performance. This award comes after she joined the department in 2017, teaching both required and elective courses in Research Methods and Media & Crime. Jenson also recently received a course development grant from the Center for European Studies to travel to England to interview over 50 law enforcement officers, metro/transit staff, and first responders assigned to counter-terrorism response and prevention in an effort to further enhance her elective course on Terrorism.

Dr. Rebecca Hanson and Dr. Patricia Richards (University of Georgia) were interviewed by Kelly Underman for the ASA Body & Embodiment Section blog about their new book, Harassed: Gender, Bodies, and Ethnographic Research (University of California Press, 2019).

In the interview, Hanson and Richards discuss how the androcentric, racialized, and colonialist history of qualitative methods developed within the academy has made discussions of the body taboo in ethnographic narratives, and how these hegemonic narratives influence the ways in which researchers talk about their bodies during fieldwork. They argue that this taboo obscures the differential vulnerabilities that researchers face, so that certain risks faced by researchers are made invisible and unexamined as constitutive of our fields of study.

Hanson and Richards also discuss how the concept of embodied ethnography that they develop in their book challenges the rise of “carnal” and “sensory” ethnographic methods, which perpetuate the notion that the best research comes from ethnographers who withstand all challenges and dangers, putting data collection above all else.

Call for Papers: Culture and Conflict in Palestine/Israel, February 1-3, 2020, University of Florida.

The conference brings together scholars from the social sciences and the humanities who examine culture as a field of social and political conflicts in the Palestinian-Israeli context. Papers accepted to the conference should be based on original research, investigating cases in which specific arenas of cultural production or consumption became political battlegrounds. These arenas could include art, literature, cinema, theater, music, dance, sports, and other fields. Participants must commit to contribute a chapter to an edited volume.

The organizers will cover reasonable transportation expenses to Gainesville, Florida, as well as accommodation and meals during the conference. Please submit an abstract of approximately 400 words outlining clearly your argument, as well as your method, and/or sources to Tamir Sorek,

Important dates:

April 1, 2019: Deadline for submitting abstracts

May 1, 2019: Notification of acceptance

January 1, 2020: Deadline for submitting full papers to the conference (Min. 6000 words, Max. 10000 words).

April 1, 2020: Deadline for submitting papers for publication.

The event is sponsored by the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish Studies and the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida.

Dr. Jodi Lane has been selected as a leading criminologist examining Juvenile Justice and will speak at the “Congressional Briefing on Criminal Justice in the US: Lessons from the Past, Prospects for a New Crime Commission” in Washington D.C. this upcoming Tuesday April 24 10am -12pm in the Dirksen Senate Office Building (Room 106).

The grand event is being hosted by the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy’s Congressional Briefing, funded by the Harry F. Guggenheim Foundation. This important briefing featured the nation’s top criminologists discussing key lessons and developments in criminal justice practice and research since the 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson landmark Crime Commission, as well as the prospects and subjects needed to be included for the next Crime Commission, introduced in this session of Congress.

For a additional details regarding this event, please visit the CEBCP’s event page.


Dr. Nicholas Vargas


Areas of Specialization

  • Race and Ethnicity

  • Latina/o Studies

  • Racial Stratification

  • Educational Inequalities

  • Religion and Non-Religion

  • Network Diversity and Social Support

What project are you working on now?

I am currently working on a handful of research projects related to racial stratification, racial classification, and U.S. Latina/os. The newest is a study of the racialization of higher education, specifically the growth of colleges and universities designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). There are nearly 500 Hispanic Serving Institutions of higher education in the U.S. educating roughly 2 of every 3 Latinx college students in the nation. There are 27 HSIs in the state of Florida alone. Yet, we know little about their varied efforts and capacities to address racialized educational disparities. My goal is to better understand HSIs’ varied strengths and limitations as minority serving institutions, such that they can be better situated to serve Latinx students. In addition, I am conducting research on the Latina/o Whitening hypothesis, racial identity contestation, and DACA student experiences in Florida.

How did you get interested in research on Race and Ethnicity?

I’ve been interested in better understanding U.S. racialization and racial stratification for as long as I can remember. But the thought that my research could contribute to race and ethnicity scholarship began as a M.A. student here (the sociology department at UF) with support from the late Hernán Vera. Shortly after taking his Race and Film seminar at UF, I enrolled as a PhD student at Purdue University and began studying the intersections of race and religious identity.

What do you do for fun?

I love spending time with my family, being silly with my 4 year old daughter, and researching and teaching about racial stratification.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

At the age of 17, I enrolled in the military to pay for college. Also, my family provided an incredible amount of support for me to become a first generation college student.

Dr. Sobreiro’s dissertation, entitled “Indigenous mobilization and multi-local livelihood strategies in the Middle Rio Negro, northwestern Brazilian Amazon” studied how spatial mobility and increased rural-urban relations affect indigenous community political mobilization and sustainable livelihood strategies at different scales in the Brazilian Amazon.