Valley view of Yager Hall on the Hartwick College campus

Sociology Symposium

The (up)Roaring 2020’s:
Sociology’s Responsibility in Addressing
Recurring Social Problems


The Hartwick College Department of Sociology, Criminology & Human Services at Hartwick College is proud to present a one-day regional symposium.

We invite all proposals, especially from undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career faculty in the Upstate New York area, to join us to discuss contemporary social issues, share ideas and opinions, and build a community of scholars.

We are proud to announce that the symposium will feature a keynote speaker sponsored by the ASA Sorokin Lecture Grant. Further details will be posted soon.

9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Golisano Hall

Pierre Bourdieu once remarked that “many sociologists marvel at the ways in which the world changes. I marvel at how it stays the same.”

Despite some predictions that the ascendency of Western liberal democracy in the 1990’s heralded the end of the history, the 2020’s have witnessed a wholesale reversal of many of the hard-fought gains and achievements of progressive social movements in the realm of women’s rights, civil rights, and labor rights. The 2020’s have ushered in a return of nationalism, authoritarianism, and global unrest that feels more reminiscent of the Cold War era. Our symposium offers an opportunity to reflect on how we got to this point and where we might go from here.

The deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET to allow more time for submissions.

We are now accepting submissions for our first sociological symposium as we explore this transition together and try to make sense of the 2020’s.

Symposium Major Areas of Focus

Introspective analyses at any stage of the research process are welcome for submission.  Some major areas of focus include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

What do recent developments such as the fall of Roe v. Wade, the war in Ukraine, and the populist political uprisings in places such as Brazil, Italy, Sweden, and the US indicate about our current political moment and the future direction of global politics?

How has late-stage capitalism altered the conventional relationships between people, places, work, and politics? What role has the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social adjustment played in undermining progressive movements?

Do recent developments such as the 2022 midterm elections in the US or Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s presidential victory in Brazil inspire hope for the remainder of the 2020’s?

Submission Guidelines

The deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET to allow more time for submissions.

Submit Your Abstract Now

If you encounter any issues completing your submission, please contact Lillian Whelan, Sociology Conference Undergraduate Coordinator, at so that we can help you and correct the issue.

You may submit abstracts of individual papers for potential inclusion in a regular paper session. These abstracts will be organized into sessions by the members of the Program Committee on the basis of common themes. All regular paper submissions should include: (a) the title of the paper, (b) names, affiliations, and contact information for each author, and (c) an abstract. Abstracts should be approximately 200-300 words.

All full session proposals must include a short abstract 300-400 words detailing the theme of the proposed session. This should include a brief description of the sessions prospective broad appeal and/or connections with the 2023 meeting theme. All areas of sociology are welcome! You must include full details for all participants including submission title, submission type, abstract, three keywords, name, institution, email, and position. Participants include the presider and organizer, in addition to the presenters or panelists, and discussant, if included.

All undergraduate students who submit an abstract are also eligible to submit their full paper for consideration for the Undergraduate Student Paper Award. To be eligible for submission, a paper must not be published nor accepted for publication. Papers must be student-authored; they may be authored by a single student or co-authored by more than one student, but may not be co-authored by a faculty member or other non-student. Papers must not exceed 25 double-spaced pages (including all notes, references, and tables), and should include a brief abstract. To be eligible for the award, the author(s) must make a commitment to present the paper at the 2023 symposium.

The winner of the reward will receive a stipend and an opportunity to present their research to the wider Hartwick College community. Papers should be emailed to Zachary McKenney at by March 1, 2023.


Notice of Registration Fees

To participate in the one-day symposium, all attendees must pay the appropriate registration fee of $20.

All program participants must register for the symposium by March 1, 2023. Failure to register by March 1 will result in deletion from the final program.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee will be provided to all participants.

The registration form will be available in early 2023.

Symposium FAQ

Discussants are responsible for reflecting on the papers or abstracts that they have received prior to their session. In turn, discussants are expected to lead the discussion by raising interesting points, asking questions derived from the presentations, or finding connections between the papers included in the session. The Program Committee will coordinate the discussant for each session and ensure that you receive some written material prior to the symposium.

No. We are very excited to plan this symposium at Hartwick College and host attendees here in Oneonta, NY. Attendees will be asked to follow health and safety measures as directed by the College. The need and desire for a virtual option will be considered in planning subsequent symposiums.

No. Papers are not required for the initial submission. However, if you are interested in having your work be considered for the Undergraduate Student Paper Award, a full paper will need to be submitted according to the guidelines above.

The Program Committee will notify all submitters of their program participation in February 2023.

Projectors, screens, and a sound system will be available for all sessions. However, presenters and/or session organizers should plan to bring their own laptop. We recommend saving an additional copy of your work to a USB drive in case you need to use another participant’s laptop. If you plan to use video clips in your presentation, we request that you include closed captions and/or audio descriptions.

Yes! Internet access will be available in all meeting spaces in Golisano Hall.

Abstracts must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 to be considered. All program participants must register for the symposium by March 1, 2023. Failure to register by March 1 will result in deletion from the final program.

The registration form will be available in early 2023.

Further details, such as the keynote speakers and conference schedule, will be shared via email to those who submit an abstract for consideration.

Symposium Planning Committee

Dr. Elena Chernyak, Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Chair
Dr. Zachary McKenney, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Dr. Michael Branch, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Please direct questions to Lillian Whelan ’23, Sociology Conference Undergraduate Coordinator, at

The Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Human Services

Hartwick College
Golisano Hall
Oneonta, New York 13820