Charles Tilly Interviewed by Dan Little 2007.

In this fascinating interview in which the philosopher of science Dan Little (see here for his excellent blog)  “picks the brain” of the late “Chuck” Tilly on the social sciences in general, and Tilly’s own work in particular.  This really is essential viewing for any early career academic, particularly historical sociologists.  Tilly’s humility and candid admission of mistakes and errors made, changes of direction and account of the research process in general are at once illuminating and endearing.

The full interview, including introduction, is available to download from mobileme here.  This is the best quality and, as mentioned, down-loadable.  The youtube links are available here.  The SSRC hosts a very useful page of “Annotated Links to Charles Tilly Resources”.


Arlie Russell Hochschild: WRITING OUT OF BERKELEY, 2006 & 1984.

This post contains two videos featuring Arlie Russell Hochschild, one of the most famous sociologists of emotion in the world.  Both are from Berkeley, where she  first studied as a graduate student and later taught for over 30 years.

Writing out of Berkeley (above) is an interesting and, dare I say, emotional talk by Hochschild on the occasion of her retirement at Berkeley in 2006.  The kernel of the paper, drawing on Orwell and others, is some very sound advice on writing.  Good writing.  The reading of sociology need not always be excruciating!  The talk is in two parts.  The second contains the questions and responses, available here.

Author of such inspired, and now classic, works as the Managed Heart, The Second Shift and Time Bind, Arlie Hochschild’s writing has won the hearts of many. Her contributions to newspapers, magazines, and journals as well as her books have engaged audiences well beyond the academy and the nation. After an illustrious 35-year career at Berkeley she reflects on what writing has meant for her as student, as teacher and as public sociologist. This forum took place on April 27, 2006.

The second is an interview in which Hochschild discuss her work with Nina Eliasoph,
David Moffat and John Bluth in 1984.  Picture quality and sound are not fantastic, given the age of this piece but it is still worth watching for the picture of the process of research presented.

La Maison en Petits Cubes (2008)

As promised when I posted Hedgehog in the Fog some time ago, here is another of my favourite animated short films.  This one, La Maison en petits cubes (つみきのいえ, Tsumiki no Ie, “The House of Small Cubes”) is a 2008 Japanese animated short subject film created by Kunio Katō, with music by Kondo Kenji. It won the grand prize for short films (the Annecy Cristal) at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2008 and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2009.  It is a haunting, beautiful and evocative poem on narrative and memory; transience and love.

Wikipedia give a completely on-the-nose plot summary as follows:

As his town is flooded by water, an aged widower is forced to add additional levels onto his home with bricks (cubes) in order to stay dry. But when he accidentally drops his favorite smoking pipe into the lower submerged levels of his home, his search for the pipe eventually makes him relive scenes from his eventful life.

Comments welcome…

Richard Sennett: The Sociology of Public Life Conference @ the LSE

On Friday, May 14th of this year a number of preeminent sociologists gathered at the LSE to celebrate the work and influence of Richard Sennett.  The conference was convened to mark the end of Sennett’s time at the LSE prior to his move to Cambridge.  Speakers include Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Bruno Latour, Alan Rusbridger, Professor Judy Wajcman, David Adjaye, Professor Geoff Mulgan, Lord Richard Rogers, Polly Toynbee.  It was chaired by Professor Lord Anthony Giddens, Professor Ricky Burdett.

The blurb for the half-day conference reads:

In this exciting half-day conference two panels on ‘Public Life and Public Policy’ and ‘Cities and the Public Realm’, discuss these themes in the context of the work of Professor Sennett, the eminent sociologist whose recent books include The Culture of the New Capitalism and The Craftsman.

Craig Calhoun is president of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) since 1999 and Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University. Bruno Latour is professor at Sciences Po Paris where he is also the vice-president for research of that school. Alan Rusbridger has been editor of The Guardian since 1995. Judy Wajcman is Head of the Sociology Department, LSE. David Adjaye is an architect and principal of London-based Adjaye Associates. Geoff Mulgan is director of the Young Foundation and a visiting professor at LSE. Lord Richard Rogers has gained international reknown as an architect and urbanist. Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian and president of the Social Policy Association.

There are two parts to this session.  The video is available here (look for May 13th).  The links to the audio mp3’s are here and here.