From New Haven to the four corners of the globe, Yale’s Center for Cultural Sociology Workshop is rapidly expanding.
CCS, which runs a workshop with weekly seminars and speakers, will hold a ceremony Friday for its new building at 230 Prospect Street. Later this month, CCS will launch new Web forum that will include professors from around the world.
“With this location, our grad students and Yale’s commitment — and now with a world contact network and an ongoing cultural workshop — we will be unique in the world,”sociology professor Ron Eyerman, co-director of CCS, said.
The building will include a seminar room; several offices for general sociology students, graduate students and student fellows; and a place for the managing editor of the journal Sociological Theory. It will also house guest lecturers and include an office for a full-time secretary.
CCS is the last of the three research centers in the Sociology Department to have its own building, Eyerman said.
The center focuses on institutional life and how culture and social structure influence each other, according to its Web site. There are currently 10 graduate students in the program, studying topics ranging from the politics of culture to validity of cultural analysis, Ates Altinordu GRD ’08 said.
“Buildings are often central to the identity of institutions, both for insiders and outsiders,” Altinordu said. “The concentration of our activities in this new space, where graduate students will work in proximity, will be a motivating force.”
In addition to creating a community for faculty members and graduate students, the building will provide the program with a stronger link to undergraduates, CCS Co-director and sociology professor Jeffrey Alexander said.
“We are hoping that the place will crystallize the culture of the center,” Alexander said. “Then students can see that when they meet their TAs there.”
Despite its change of location, the Workshop, the core of the CCS program, will remain the same, Alexander said
“We have a culture and a memory that builds every week, and finally we have a physical place,” Alexander said.
In addition to a new building, CCS is also launching a Web forum, which will include around 100 sociology scholars worldwide. The newly designed Web site will allow students and faculty members to post their works in progress. Members will be able to comment on each other’s work and offer other suggestions.
“It is quite a production,” visiting fellow and Ph.D. candidate Jason Mast, the coordinator for CCS, said. “We’ve done a lot of work, but there’s a lot of reward.”
Professors and students selected to participate in the Web forum received invitations about two weeks ago. Approximately one third of the professors have replied and “seem pretty excited about it,” Mast said.
Though it will not be fully completed until next month, the CCS Web site can be accessed at http://research.yale.edu/ccs/index.html. The completed site will feature the Web forum; a discussion forum; pages devoted to working papers, news events and upcoming conferences; and a li ting of the executive seniors and visiting professors.
“This gives us — a unique opportunity to be exposed to different kinds of work in the field of cultural sociology, as well as to build lasting personal connections with other academics in the field,” Altinordu said.
Between the new building and contacts with professors worldwide, Eyerman said he is looking forward to the next few weeks.
“This will be a phenomenal thing for the people in the department,” Eyerman said. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”