Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Professor focuses on visual sociology at seminar

Wheaton College Professor John GradyProfessor of Sociology John Grady, a past president of the International Visual Sociology Association, last summer was an invited scholar at the Visual Methods Seminar at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. The seminar provided an opportunity for attendees—mostly college professors and postdoctoral students—to explore the latest developments in visual research and to identify how these can be of use in their own current research. We talked to him about the seminar and his work.

What is the main focus of your research?

While I consider myself a general sociologist—interested in what is happening to society (both domestically and globally) and what should be done about it—I have for the most part focused on visual sociology or the study of images as social information. I am interested in what the study of visual evidence tells us about how society is organized and changes.

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Economist gauges impact of renewable energy

Professor Russell WilliamsRussell Williams, associate professor of economics, ventured into new territory during his spring 2011 sabbatical, serving as lead economist on a study of the economic impact of renewable energy projects on rural areas. The work, examining nine projects in seven states, comprised the U.S. component of an international study sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Based in Paris, the OECD is a 34-nation consortium that seeks solutions to shared economic and social problems. Senior writer Hannah Benoit talked with Professor Williams about his recent work. [Read more...]

“Sex and Work”

Associate Professor of History Kathryn TomasekProfessor looks at gender divisions of labor

This winter the ban on female soldiers serving on the frontlines was lifted, which, according to news reports, could free up to 237,000 Army jobs for women, who make up 15 percent of the U.S. military. We talked to Associate Professor of History Kathryn Tomasek about the decision. During the spring semester, she taught “Sex and Work,” about the role gender plays in the workforce. In the course, she examines the persistence of gender division of labor as it has differentiated women’s work from that of men; that division’s organization over time, place and occupation; and its variations by race, class and religion.  [Read more...]

Found in translation

Wheaton Professor Tessa Lee

Professor Tessa Lee, right, and Shawn Peaslee ’12 discuss a document from the Holocaust.

Professor and student decipher Holocaust document

Last year, Associate Professor of German Tessa Lee and her then-student Shawn Peaslee ’12, a German studies major, got a rare chance to translate from German to English a historically significant document from the Holocaust. It was written by a female inmate of one of the concentration camps, and given to Lee by another Holocaust survivor, who had found this manuscript among the belongings of his deceased sister. Lee and Peaslee’s work is now in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. We asked the professor the story behind the translation.

Tell us about the project.

The project started as a request for translation by a Holocaust survivor, Michael Gruenbaum. In his possession is a 12-page manuscript that a woman named Selma from Vienna had written in 1941–1943, during her internment in Theresienstadt [Terezín], a concentration camp in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. He wanted to have it translated before turning it over to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gruenbaum himself survived Theresienstadt as a 14-year-old through the efforts of his remarkable mother, who got him off the deportation list to Auschwitz four times. In this manuscript were a few lines that describe specifically how Mr. Gruenbaum’s father, a respected lawyer from Prague, had been murdered in Theresienstadt. He wanted the exact translation of that particular sentence since he was going to quote it in his biography (scheduled to be published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster).

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