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The four social sciences degree programs at Western provide students with a holistic understanding and critical appreciation of the cultural, political, social and economic elements of society. The department curriculum presents a broad-based foundation in the social sciences while offering a rich and diverse range of degree programs and options.
Dr. Christine Hegel holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She teaches courses on economic and legal anthropology, public anthropology, qualitative research methods, and the Middle East, among others. In 2017, Hegel received the CSCU Board of Regents Award for Teaching Excellence. Her current research project examines and contributes to the fight for livelihood rights for waste pickers (also called canners/informal recyclers/micro-haulers), for which she conducts field research in Brooklyn, New York and collaborates with local and global organizations. Prior collaborations have taken her to Finland to study hockey workers as part of research on Arctic economies, and she has undertaken a number of projects since 2012 focused on the intersections between design and anthropology. Her recent co-authored book, Ethnography by Design: Scenographic Experiments in Fieldwork, (2019, Routledge) with George E. Marcus and Luke Cantarella, offers a model for using design thinking and methods for ethnographic research. She has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission to conduct ethnographic research in Cairo and Port Said, Egypt, on on the use of legal fictions to reconfigure debt relations. Hegel has authored essays for the edited volumes Collaborative Anthropology Today: A Collection of Exceptions (2021, Cornell University Press) Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa Into the New Millennium (2013, Indiana University Press) and Family Law in the Muslim World (2016, I.B. Tauris) and articles, essays, and reviews in The Anthropology of Work; Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference; American Anthropologist; Cultural Anthropology; Anthropological Quarterly; and Law, Culture, and Humanities Journal. Her website is http://christinehegel.com/wp/
Dr. Jessica Anderson Schofield earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri in 2017 and a B.A. in Global Studies and Political Science from South Dakota State University. She specializes in the study of international relations and comparative politics. Her research focuses primarily on issues relating to international human rights and enforcement of human rights law through international courts, and she is currently working on a project examining allegations of African bias in the International Criminal Court. Dr. Schofield also conducts research on topics relating to women’s rights, political violence, and African politics. She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences, and her work on human rights theory has been published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory.
Dr. Manoj Misra earned a PhD in Sociology from the University of Alberta, Canada. Before joining this university, he was an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Republic of Korea. After the completion of his PhD, Dr. Misra was invited as a visiting research fellow at the Agrarian Alternatives cluster at Heidelberg University, Germany. His writings have won best graduate paper awards at the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development. He has published research articles in top-tier academic journals including in the Journal of Agrarian Change, Agriculture and Human Values, and Climate and Development. He also regularly writes in newspapers and magazines. His research interests are agrarian change and food sovereignty, energy issues and climate justice, and development dispossession in South Asia.
Dr. Carina Bandhauer, Professor of Sociology, earned a Ph.D. at Binghamton University in 2001. She specializes in the sociology of racism, immigration, Latino/a/x studies, and globalization with a regional specialization in Latin America. Her research focus is on the study of racism, the anti-immigrant movement, international migration and globalization. Bandhauer is committed to teaching, researching and working to achieve social justice through awareness. Dr. Bandhauer founded Undocumented Student Services at WCSU in 2017 in conjunction with Connecticut Students for a Dream, and coordinates the UndocuAlly Task Force. In 2020 she co-founded and now co-chairs the Racial Justice Coalition. Dr. Bandhauer has ongoing partnerships with humanitarian groups in El Salvador where she has worked with rural communities since 1993. Dr. Bandhauer served as creative consultant for the production of the film, “El Pueblo Unido,” which documented her work in El Salvador and premiered at the Montreal Film Festival in 2004. Dr. Bandhauer hosts a variety of alternating speakers series on campus including a Latinx Speakers Series; an Undocumented Speakers Series; a Racial Justice Speakers series; a Transnational Families Speakers Series; and a geographically rotating International Social Sciences Symposium. Please feel free to email to find out what’s on the horizon!