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Sharing Social Knowledge Conference

Sharing Social Knowledge 2021: Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference
Thursday, May 20, 2021
DePaul University

Zoom Information Forthcoming

*All DePaul students, staff, faculty, family and community members are welcome to attend.

If you are interested in participating in this year's conference please refer to the SSK Call For Papers for submission guidelines for the 2021 Conference. Submission deadline is Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Students whose submissions are accepted will present their work in one of the following formats:

2020 Keynote Speaker - Black Hawk Hancock

If You Can't Stand the Heat: Mexican Immigrant Kitchen Workers and the Prism of Identity

This talk focuses on the world of male Mexican immigrant kitchen workers in Chicago's restaurant industry by exploring how work becomes a prism through which these men interpret their wider socio-cultural and politico-economic relations in the world.

Dr. Black Hawk Hancock is an Associate Professor of Sociology at DePaul University. He earned his bachelor's degrees in English and Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His past ethnographic research has explored the revival of swing dancing through his experiences as a student, teacher and performer during a six-year period. This scholarship has appeared in article form in: Ethnography, Qualitative Sociology, and Sociological Perspectives, and culminated in the book entitled American Allegory: Lindy Hop and the Racial Imagination, published (2013), by The University of Chicago Press. His current ethnographic research explores the Mexican workers that have come to define the backbone or infrastructure of the restaurant industry of Chicago. This study is animated by two apparently divergent yet intimately interrelated questions. First, how do our understandings of ethnicity, authenticity and culture come through the ways that people use food to make sense out of themselves and others? Second, how do people secure spaces of culture and identity in the face of economic, political, and socially antagonistic living conditions? In a world where it is difficult to assess people's understandings of other cultures, or even their own in any direct manner, food serves as an ideal medium through which to explore the cultural imagination, as well as an opening to explore cultural appreciation. This work is under contract at The University of Chicago Press.

His teaching focuses primarily on classic and contemporary theory, urban ethnography, and the sociology of food. He is currently developing a new course on the philosophy of science and technology, to investigate how society, politics, and culture affect scientific research and technological innovation, and in turn how these developments shape the contours of everyday life.

When not pretending to be a Sociologist, he enjoys social dancing, Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir, and perfecting on his Federer-style one-handed backhand on the tennis court.

Conference Information

The Department of Sociology at DePaul University hosts an annual research conference for undergraduate students who have completed their own scholarly or creative project with a faculty member or from a sociology course. The Sharing Social Knowledge conference is an opportunity to showcase the hard work of our students, to give them a forum in which to share what they have learned in conducting their own research, and to provide the wider community a chance to learn something new about the society we live in, whether that be the DePaul community, Chicago more generally, the United States, or globally.

Students present their work in one of the following formats as a paper presentation, as a poster presentation, as a roundtable discussion, or as a creative display such as a short film or a photography exhibit much like at a professional sociology conference. Each presentation format allows students to summarize their main findings and to highlight the contribution of their work as well as answer questions from audience members.

The SSK Call For Papers for the 2021 Conference is published. The submission deadline is Thursday, April 8, 2021. If you have questions, contact Karyn Stewart (, Faculty and Chair of Co-Curricular Committee, Tracey Lewis-Elligan (, Chair of Sociology or Martha Martinez-Firestone (, Director of Undergraduate Program.