Social Sciences Symposium Series

The Social Sciences Symposium Series

About the Social Sciences Symposium Series

The purpose of the Social Sciences Symposium Series is to host conferences/workshops and bring scholars from a variety of disciplines to our campus to discuss future directions in social sciences, as a form of knowledge production and as it is institutionalized in the university.

We encourage discussion on the changing role of the university in society; how this relates to the way we teach students, and how we relate with surrounding communities. We seek to promote critical and interdisciplinary discussion of the practice of social sciences.

The series is organized by a faculty committee with current participation from the departments of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Women’s & Ethnic Studies (WEST). The Social Sciences Symposium Series Committee was formed in 1994 by Ruben Martínez. Tre Wentling (WEST) serves as the current chair.

Current Members
Past Chair

Significant Speakers

Since its beginnings, the Social Sciences Symposium Series' guest speakers have enriched the intellectual environment at CU Colorado Springs in many ways and stimulated new approaches to research and teaching. Below is a list of those speakers and their topics.

Selected Past Speakers
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2023
    Liat Ben Moshe Sociology  University of Illinois at Chicago “(Re)Imagining Communities of Resistance”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2021
    Jason Oliver Chang Political Science University of Connecticut “From Orientalism to Yellow Peril: A History of Asians in the U.S.”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2020
    Michael Munger Political Science Duke University “Is Capitalism Sustainable?”
    Terry Moe Political Science Stanford University “Exposing the Second Face of Power”
    Bek Orr Sociology SUNY Brockport “Ethnographic Methods in the Queer Archive”
    Rebecca Hanson Sociology University of Florida “Harassed: Gendered Bodies and Field Research”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2019
    Agustin Fuentes Anthropology Notre Dame University “What is Race, What it’s not, and Why it Matters”
    Audrey Horning Anthropology William & Mary / Queen’s University Belfast “Confronting Pasts in the Present: Archaeology, colonial legacies, and building better futures”
    Amy McDowell Sociology University of Mississippi “‘We’re Drawing a Line’: How Ordinary Evangelicals Promote Religious Liberty at Church”


  • Selected Past Speakers: 2018
    Stanley Thangaraj Anthropology / Ethnic Studies City College of New York "Sporting Culture between ‘Model Minority’ and ‘Terrorist’”
    Mark Koyama Economics George Mason University “Persecution & Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom”
    Klint Janulis Anthropology Oxford “Minds as Materials: What can the intersection of the Environmental Sciences, Anthropology, and Archaeology tell us about Human social structures and cognition in prehistory?”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2017
    Jennifer Lawless Political Science American University “Why Don’t Women Run for Office and What Happens When They Do?”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2015
    Marjorie Zatz Sociology University of California – Merced “Dreams and Nightmares: Immigration Policy, Youth and Families”
    Wenda Trevathan Anthropology New Mexico State University “Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2014
    Steve Chan Political Science University of Colorado- Boulder “Looking for Balance: China, the United States and Power Balancing in East Asia”
    Shari Dworkin Sociology University of California- San Francisco “Men at Risk: Gender Relations and HIV Prevention”
    Barbara Rothman Sociology Baruch College, City University of New York “Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2013
    Myron Gutmann Geography NSF/University of Michigan “Greenhouse Gas Production and the Web of Population in the U.S. Great Plains”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2012
    Sidney Milkis Political Science University of Virginia “What Happened to Post-Partisanship? Barack Obama and the New American Party System”
    John Kedrowsii GES Central Washington University “Sleeping on the Summit: From Colorado to Mount Everest”
    Allison Hopkins GES / Anthropology University of Arizona “Traditional Medicine and the Transmission of Knowledge in Mexico and the Southwestern United States”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2011
    Ben Carrington Sociology University of Texas at Austin “Fear of a Black Athlete: White Sporting Mythologies in the Age of Obama”
    Donovan Kennedy NGO Activist / Human Rights Yobel Market - Colorado Springs “Awareness is a fad! It’s all about action these days.”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2010
    Margaret Randall Independent Artist / Writer Poet, Photographer, Activist “To Change the World: My Years in Cuba”
    Andrea Smith Media & Cultural Studies University of California -Riverside “Women of Color and State Violence”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2009
    Sam Quinones Migration Studies /Human Rights LA Times Reporter and Bestselling Author “True Tales of Mexican Migration”
    Ronald B. Mitchell Political Science University of Oregon “Global Environmental Problems and Politics: Musings of a Pessimistic Optimist”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2008
    Mark Hanis Executive Human Rights Director of the Genocide Intervention Network “Student Activism Symposium -- Beyond Bake Sales: How You Can Make A Difference that Lasts”
    Michael Poffenberger Human Rights Executive Director of Resolve Uganda “Student Activism Symposium -- Beyond Bake Sales: How You Can Make A Difference that Lasts”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2007
    Shep Melnick Political Science Boston College “Law or Politics: Does the Supreme Court Follow the Election Returns?”
    Nathan Morrow Geography United Nations World Food Program “Evidence and Emergency: How Improvements in Information Systems are Showing Us Just How Little We Understand about International Humanitarian Intervention”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2006
    V. Spike Peterson Political Science University of Arizona "From Children and Casseroles to Commodities and Credit: Rethinking the Global Political Economy"
    Michael Blakely Anthropology and American Studies College of William and Mary “New York's African Burial Ground: Bioarchaeology for the 21st Century”
    Cynthia Enloe International Relations Studies Clark University “Gender, Militarization and Security at the Dawn of the the 21st Century”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2005
    Thomas Shapiro Sociology Brandeis University "The Cost of Being Black in America: How Wealth Matters and What Can Be Done About It"
    Mark Moore Criminal Justice Policy and Management Harvard University “Creating Public Value through Public Universities: Challenges of Governance, Purpose, Leadership, and Management”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2004
    Bernard Amadei Professor of Civil Engineering CU-Boulder “Engineering with Soul: Sustainability Engineering and International Development”
    Hillary Mizia Sustainability Outreach Coordinator New Belgium Brewery “Brewing Sustainability: The Business Case for Sustainability”
    Thoric Cederstrom Sustainability Counterpoint International “Malnutrition at the Margin: The Political Ecology of Global Hunger and Sustainability of International Food Aid”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2002-2003
    David Schlosberg Political Science Northern Arizona University “Nature, Justice, and Culture: Environmental Justice in an Era of Globalization”
    Julian Agyeman Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Tufts University “Just Sustainabilities: Race, Class, and Urban Sustainability”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2001-2002
    Sallie Marston Geography University of Arizona “Citizens and the State: Contextualizing Citizenship Formation in Space and Time”
    Paul Quirk Political Science University of Illinois “Can the Public Make Good Policy Choices: The Rational Public Revisited”
    Michael Kimmel Sociology SUNY Stoneybrook co-sponsored a lecture on masculinity in America
  • Selected Past Speakers: 2000-2001
    Simon Glynn Philosophy Florida Atlantic University “Reductive Explanation Versus Interpretive Understanding Human and Social Sciences”
    Kevin McHugh Geography Arizona State University “Will to Power: Retiree-Latino Conflict in Fragmented Phoenix”
    Don Michell Geography Syracuse University “Putting Social Theory to Work: The People’s Geography Project and the Popularization of Radical Geography”
  • Selected Past Speakers: 1999-2000
    • Community Research Luncheon for faculty at UCCS
      • shared research, ideas, and strategies about community-oriented research to facilitate cooperation among faculty
    • “Sustainable Colorado Springs” community conference
      • speakers from the Community Action Network, Center for Colorado Policy Studies, Citizen’s Project, Clean Air Campaign, The Voter’s Network, and Dept. of Sociology
  • Selected Past Speakers: Pre-1999
    Ronald Eller History University of Kentucky
    David Noble Sociology York University
    Joni Seager Geography University of Vermont
    Jim Hightower Social Commentator Dallas, Texas
    Mary Romero Sociologist Arizona State University
    Vandana Shiva Physicist/Environmental Activist Arizona State University
    Jim Blaut Geographer University of Illinois
    Jacek Kugler Political Scientist Vanderbilt University
    Jorge Klor de Alva Sociologist UC Berkeley
    Evelyn Hu de Hart Anthropologist CU Boulder
    Michael Omi Sociologist UC Berkeley
    Sandra Harding Philosopher University of Delaware
    Devon Peña Sociologist Colorado College
    Dorothy Smith Sociologist University of Toronto
    Janice Newson Sociologist York University
    Stanley Aronowitz Sociologist CUNY
    Larry Brown Geographer Ohio State University