Special Announcements

John Mohr Dissertation Improvement Grant

About the Grant

The John Mohr Dissertation Improvement Grant of $1000 will go to 1 racially or ethnically under-represented graduate student at a public institution studying any topic.  The recipient must be a member of the Sociology of Culture section. 

This grant recognizes that scholars of color, especially graduate students, have been historically, systematically disadvantaged in academia and uses a commitment of material resources to acknowledge this harm and offer a small means of redress going forward.

Criteria for the award will be based on graduate student standing, merit, and need. Application materials include CV, dissertation abstract, an explanation as to how the grant will be used to expand your research beyond existing resources, and a brief explanation of your identity as a member of a racially or ethnically underrepresented group. Please use the following form to submit your application. 

Applications are due March 15th every year.  The Application period will open on January 1. Notifications will be sent no later than May 1st and dispersal will take place shortly after.

How to make a donation 

People interested in donating to the grant should send a check to the ASA accompanied by a cover letter identifying the section and purpose of the funds (i.e., it should clearly state that the funds are intended for the Sociology of Culture section’s John Mohr Dissertation Improvement Grant). Here you can find a template of a cover letter for making a donation. The ASA’s address for this purpose is the following:

American Sociological Association

 c/o Governance Department

1430 K Street NW

Washington DC 20005

Please simultaneously also email the section’s secretary/COO [insert email link] to alert them of the donation. Upon receiving the funds, the section’s secretary will then earmark them for the grant and coordinate with the John Mohr Grant Committee the allocation and distribution of the funds.

The current donors that fund the John Mohr Award donate yearly. Donors can, of course, choose to donate year by year or to do so just once. If you plan to donate yearly, we request that you communicate to the section’s secretary [insert email link] expressing your interest in this regard. The secretary would then reach out to you each year (in September) to remind you about your donation.

About John Mohr

John Mohr

John Mohr pioneered cultural research on meaning and measurement in sociology, focusing on institutional processes of meaning-making on topics ranging from poverty relief to institutional diversity initiatives. He spent his career at the University of California – Santa Barbara, and at different times served as Chair of the Culture Section and the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA). Behind the scenes, in a variety of roles, he dedicated his time and resources to diversity and equity initiatives. He died in 2019 of complications due to ALS.

As an incredibly supportive mentor and a brilliant scholar, John Mohr left a substantive mark on an entire generation of cultural sociologists. Testaments of his immense influence in the field are the collective book Measuring Culture (Columbia University Press) and the recently publishedspecial issue of Poetics co-edited by two of Mohr’s advisees.   

Culture Section Mentorship Program

Culture Section Mentorship Program: 2022 guidelines

Hello ASA Culture Section members!

The Culture Section is hosting the third annual Mentorship Program as part of the 2022 ASA meetings. The purpose of the program is to group together mentors and mentees based on similar mentorship interests—e.g., publishing, teaching, alt-ac jobs, equity, etc.

We are doing things a bit differently this year in that we will have two separate applications: one for mentors and the other for mentees. The first application will be for mentors. We will then use the responses to the mentor application to help us fine-tune the mentee application. The final mentor-mentee pods (generally consisting of one mentor and multiple mentees) will be announced on May 15, 2022.

We will match mentors and mentees based on shared interests and desired goals of the mentorship.

The type and frequency of connection is up to each mentor-mentee pod, but we do require that mentors connect with the mentees at least three times—for example, three separate Zoom meetings over the course of the calendar year. 

Here is a link to the mentor application, which will open at 12a EST on March 1, 2022, and close at 11:59p EST on April 1, 2022: https://bit.ly/34QsMyJ

Here is a link to the mentee application, which will open at 12a EST April 15, 2022, and close at 11:59p EST on May 1, 2022: https://bit.ly/3s6lCyU

Thanks everyone, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

The Culture Section Membership Committee:  Marshall Taylor (chair), Tania Aparicio, Barbara Kiviat, Sam Leonard, Rachel Skagg, Ana Velitchkova and Amy Zhang

Call for Newsletter Editors!

Are you interested in joining the editorial team for the Culture Section newsletter?  We are looking for two additional section members to join our team. We will work together to highlight the work of section members, disseminate information about ongoing activities within the section, and foster discussion and intellectual exchange on topics of interest to our members. 

Responsibilities include envisioning and organizing content for the newsletter, soliciting contributions and ideas, and preparing submitted material for publications. Our section embraces interpersonal, methodological, and theoretical diversity, and we encourage scholars from underrepresented backgrounds to apply:  

In recognition of the newsletter editor’s significant contributions to the intellectual life of the Culture Section, we will provide an honorary grant of $150, to be used for research or travel expenses. This grant will be disbursed prior to the ASA Annual Meeting in recognition of a full year of service to the section (from one Annual Meeting to the next).  

Please email the current newsletter editors at asaculturenews@gmail.com if you are interested in this service opportunity.