I’m off to the University of Notre Dame this long weekend. Their Center for the Study of Social Movements will be honoring William A. Gamson with the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements. The award, won previously by Verta Taylor, Mayer Zald, and Doug McAdam, recognizes mentoring as well as scholarship, and Bill is completely deserving.
Bill, a sociology professor at Boston College, is a prolific author, former president of the American Sociological Association, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He’s the designer of many educational games and exercises, and the inventor of the first version of fantasy baseball.
I’d add that one of the many admirable things about Bill’s work is his ongoing concern with linking studies of social movements to the work of activists. He is the founder and a central figure in the Movement/Media Research Action Project.
I’m indebted to Bill’s scholarship and to his mentoring, and very excited to be part of the event.
Very much in the spirit of John McCarthy and those who have been honored, Notre Dame sponsors a Young Scholars in Social Movements conference coinciding with the celebration. They’ve selected a dozen young scholars within a year or two of the doctoral degree (either way), and are bringing them out to present their work. I feel very fortunate to be able to participate.