UC Riverside Sociology Professor Named President of the Pacific Sociological Association, Planning 88th Annual Conference

Sociology Professor Karen Pyke calling for papers and ideas for “Institutional Betrayal: Inequity, Discrimination, Bullying, and Retaliation in Academia” conference

W. Kamau Bell speaking at the Pacific Sociological Association conference in 2015.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Karen Pyke, sociology professor at the University of California, Riverside, has been named the president of the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA), and the program chair for PSA’s annual conference. The theme for the 2017 meeting is “Institutional Betrayal: Inequity, Discrimination, Bullying, and Retaliation in Academia.” The conference will be held April 6 – 9, 2017, at The Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon.

Planning is underway for the conference. There is a call for papers – scholars and researchers at all universities and colleges are welcome to submit their work. If you are interested in presenting or speaking at the conference, submit a proposal, or email Karen Pyke at Karen.pyke@ucr.edu.

Karen Pyke

Karen Pyke

One of the conference speakers will be the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Chai Feldblum, a President Obama appointee and co-chair of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. Feldblum played a leading role in drafting the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. She has also worked on advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and has been a leading expert on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.

University of Oregon psychology professor Jennifer Freyd will also be presenting. She is the originator of the concept of “institutional betrayal,” which she defines as “wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon individuals dependent on that institution, including failure to prevent or respond supportively to wrongdoings by individuals (e.g. sexual assault) committed within the context of the institution.”

One of the sessions will focus on those who have won legal challenges to “institutional betrayal” at their universities. Amy Block Joy, a UC Davis professor who wrote the books “Whistleblower” and “Retaliation” about her experiences reporting embezzlement, and Janet Conney, a former assistant clinical professor at UCLA who was awarded $4.07 million in her suit against the University of California for sexual harassment, pay inequity, and retaliation for complaining of discrimination, are both scheduled to speak at the conference.

There will also be a session called “Institutional Betrayal: Sexual Assault on Campus,” which will include Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who is spearheading the recall of Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced a convicted rapist and Stanford student to only six months in jail, and political science professor Caroline Heldman from Occidental College.

Workshops on how to deal with hostile work environments, bullying, and micro-aggression will be part of the program, as well as the latest research findings on inequity in academia, including the National Science Foundation ADVANCE funded scholarship. The goals of ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers, are to: 1) develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers; 2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity in the STEM academic workforce; and 3) to contribute to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce.

Pyke is a critical race feminist theorist whose primary research concerns internalized racial/gendered oppression among second-generation Asian Americans. In 2015 she received the Innovative Teaching Award from UCR, and in 2015 Pyke was honored with the Dean S. Dorn Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from the Pacific Sociological Association. She was an assistant professor in sociology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, prior to joining UCR in 2000.

For more information about the conference, and the activities that will take place, please visit the conference website.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-5893
E-mail: mojgan.sherkat@ucr.edu
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Karen Pyke
E-mail: karen.pyke@ucr.edu

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