Cultural Sociology Seminar

I am really enjoying my graduate students. We are a small group, just 5 regular students with a visitor or 2 most weeks. I started the semester with Phil Smith’s Cultural Theory, and the students have acquired their own copies. It seems that they generally supplement my reading assignment with a corresponding section of Smith. I’ve actually made one of my own articles assigned reading for next week. They’ve been asking. We’ll see how it goes. Smith will be no help there, obviously.

Today I had a new student. He is a geography Ph.D. student from Xinjiang Province in the far west. He is Uighur and, it is interesting, because when he arrived I assumed he was an international student from northern India/Pakistan or something because he didn’t look (Han) Chinese. I said that I was really looking forward to go”out West” but it looked like we would not make it this time around. I also explained that I want to learn more about China’s minority rights and policies. Since he is doing his research on Islam in China, he will definitely be a good person to know as I develop my cross-national work.

In other news, we have made indoor air quality a priority – the thinking is to exercise control where you’ve got it. In addition to an extensive spring cleaning, we cleaned the air purifiers and air conditioners. Tomorrow I am going to pick up a couple of houseplants.

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