Welcome to the Tulane University Culture Workshop. In the culture workshop we discuss the latest social science research and hone our craft as publishing researchers in a spirit of support and inter-disciplinary exchange via peer critique.

About the Culture Workshop

What is a workshop? In a nutshell, it’s a place where work-in-progress is openly discussed and critiqued by peers. The idea of a workshop is just what it sounds like. It is not a space where lectures dominate, but where participants meet to collectively hammer-out scholarship. Workshops focus on work-in-progress that are critiqued and commented, with the goal of helping authors rethink, rework and polish their research.

It works like this.

  • A written piece is circulated a week before the session.
  • In the session the presenter assumes participants have read the provided document and gives a 10-15 minute introduction to the piece, describes the larger research agenda it is part of, and where he or she is going with it.
  • A designated discussant begins with 5-10 minutes of commentary.
  • For the next hour or so, there is an extended Q&A on the paper.

Why culture? Over the past couple of decades there has been a ‘cultural turn’ in the social sciences, with research increasingly looking at the role of ideas, values, rituals, and practices in social life. Cultural sociology is not straightforward. It requires discussion and debate to develop nuance of analysis and reflect on our own assumptions about concepts and methods. However, the most appropriate methods and concepts to use are still very much open to debate.

Why should anyone participate? For authors, it provides unparalleled feedback for the writing process. At the same time, workshops provide professionalization for graduate students in the process of moving from the role of knowledge consumers to knowledge creators, a transition that is not straightforward or intuitive. Workshops facilitate the all-important skills of civil critique and debate. In addition, by bringing in external presenters, workshops facilitate the development of professional networks.

Schedule of Events

Fall 2016 Schedule

Expressions of Right and Wrong: The Emergence of a Cultural Structure of Journalism, by Dr. Stephen Ostertag, Tulane University, Sociology
October 17, 2016

When “Get Information” is heard as “Get in Formation:” Interactions Between Medical Organizational Culture And Gay Black Men, by Christopher Adkins, Tulane University, Social Work
November 7, 2016

The Coercion of Freedom: A New Theory of Moral Socialization, bt Dr. Jeffrey Guhin, University of California-Los Angeles, Sociology
December 5, 2016

Spring 2017 Schedule

Moral Boundaries Across Borders, by Dr. Steve Hitlin, University of Iowa, Sociology
February 6, 2017, 3:30PM in Newcomb Hall, Rm 314

Globalizing Sociology, Turning South: Perspectival Realism and the Southern Standpoint,
by Dr. Julian Go, Boston University, Sociology
February 20, 2017, 3:30PM in Newcomb Hall, Rm 314

Racialized Factors in Dominican & Panamanian Black Social Movement Outcomes,
by Lucas Díaz, Tulane University, Sociology
March 15, 2017, 3:30PM in Newcomb Hall, Rm 314

Movements and Ethnoracial Rights in Latin America, by Dr. Tianna Paschel, UC Berkeley, African American Studies
May 3, 2017, 3:30PM in Newcomb Hall, Rm 314



If you are interested in participating in the workshop or keeping up with its activities, please let us know by sending an email to: as we aim to create a listserv.


Workshop Organizer:

David Smilde, PhD, Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Social Relations, Sociology Department

Stephen Ostertag, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sociology Department

Workshop Committee:

Justin Wolfe, PhD, William Arceneaux Professor of Latin American History and Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellow, History Department

Matt Sakakeeny, PhD, Associate Professor, Music Department

Workshop Coordinator:

Lucas Díaz, PhD Fellow in City, Culture and Community program


Tulane University, Department of Sociology, 220 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5820