This interview originally appeared at: https://smithieleigh.tumblr.com/post/132876063309/interview-with-my-sociology-professor-marc
Name: Marc Steinberg
Department: Sociology for 21 years
What courses do you teach? Classes on power, social change, and theory.
What does your research focus do? I am currently doing a study with a researcher at another university on activists within the Catholic Church who mobilized in 2002 in response to the priest sexual abuse crises.
What can you tell me about what makes the soc department special?: The sociology department has a very strong and cohesive group of people that focus on key issues of inequalities and social change. As an 8 person department, we cover a large range of topics. (Learn more about the Smith Sociology faculty here!http://www.smith.edu/sociology/faculty.php)
What cool research opportunities are available for smith students studying sociology? Our department encourages students to do their own research projects with faculty advisors. These projects are known as “special studies.” An example of a project a student did last year was looking at how social media is used by local social activist organizations.
Any thoughts on Northampton as a college town? Northampton is great for smith students because it offers easy access to entertainment and alternative social life off campus. There are many accessible restaurants, clubs, and music venues. (check out this video about life in Northampton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYZh91VFeQw)
Do you have any advice to offer to prospective students? I would tell prospective students to think carefully about themselves, and what they want out of an education. Realize that there are a number of schools where they would be comfortable and thrive and to remember that the admissions process doesn’t have to be as fraught as it is for many students. Asking questions is important! Make sure to talk to everybody – current students on campus, faculty, but most importantly the students!
What do you think is the benefit of attending a women’s college? In my experience teaching at co-ed colleges, male students tend to dominate in-class dynamics, which is detrimental female students. Women’s colleges have a focused mission: to empower all of the students, making sure they all have a voice.
Favorite Smith tradition: Graduation every spring. I appreciate seeing the excitement and sense of achievement in students.
Favorite food: Noodles, especially with broth based curries.
Favorite beverage: Diet pepsi
If you were a vegetable, what would you be? Asparagus. Because it’s green, can grow tall, it’s hardy and nutritious.
Do you have any collections? For the last 10 years, I have collected pocket watches. I have about a dozen or so. I keep them attached to a chain at my belt and switch them up every few days.
Favorite bands/singers/music genres: My favorite Indie band is called Cold War Kids. My favorite singer/songwriter is Billy Bragg, and my favorite punk band is Bad Religion.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Florence, Italy
If you had a superpower, what would it be? Super healing powers.
Do you have any cool office trinkets you want to share? Here is my Walking Blue Pig (pictured). It walks and oinks. Everybody needs a little humor in their lives, occasionally.