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These days when we hear the term sustaining, we typically think of the environment and the science of climate change. Rates of carbon emissions; renewable energy; food scarcity; pollution, etc. are the variables that come to mind. But how people from diverse populations and from different countries come together to sustain the environment and their social worlds is the cultural-sociological approach missing in the sustainability equation above. Professor of Sociology Pierrette Hongadneu-Sotelo has been studying, thinking, and writing about the relationship between migration and food systems for the past several years. “How we all engage with soil, plants, and water,” writes Hongadneu-Sotelo, “will determine the ecological viability of the planet.” And urban gardens, she has found, are the laboratories where the sustaining of nature and community intersect. Professor Hongadneu-Sotelo will discuss her creative thinking processes in her research, which offer us another model of a polymathic practice that illuminates the interconnectedness of global concerns of such magnitude as climate change and migration.
Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Professor of Sociology
Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. Her research examines how Latino immigrants negotiate challenges with informal sector work, varied legal status, and changing gender, family and community relations. She has authored or edited nine books, and held research and writing fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation for the Humanities, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, UCSD’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, and the Getty Research Institute. At USC, she enjoys helping undergraduate and graduate students construct their own research projects, and her teaching and mentorship have been recognized with the 2006 Mellon Excellence in Mentoring Award, the 2000 General Education Teaching Award, and most recently with the 2015 Feminist Mentor Award from the Sociologists for Women in Society, in recognition of her mentorship of PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. In 2015, she received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Sociological Association, International Migration Section.