Violence and the Urban Poor is This Year’s Leo Srole Lecture – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Violence and the Urban Poor is This Year’s Leo Srole Lecture

The annual Leo Srole Urban Studies lecture will be given by Elijah Anderson, professor of sociology at University of Pennsylvania, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. The talk, titled “Violence and the Urban Poor,” is free and open to the public.

Anderson is the Charles and William L. Day Professor of the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. An expert on the sociology of black America, he is the author of the widely regarded sociological work “A Place on the Corner: A Study of Black Street Corner Men,” and numerous articles on the black experience, including “Of Old Heads and Young Boys: Notes on the Urban Black Experience,” commissioned by the National Research Council's Committee on the Status of Black Americans, and “The Code of the Streets,” which was the cover story in the May 1994 issue of “The Atlantic Monthly”. For his ethnographic study “Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community,” he was honored with the Robert E. Park Award of the American Sociological Association.

Anderson is director of the Philadelphia Ethnography Project, associate editor of “Qualitative Sociology” and other professional journals, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and past vice president of the American Sociological Association. Other topics with which he concerns himself are the social psychology of organizations, field methods of social research, social interaction, and social organization. He holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana University, a master's from the University of Chicago, and a doctoral degree from Northwestern University, where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow.

The Srole Lecture is the flagship event of the Urban Studies Program, and named after HWS Professor Leo Srole, who taught in the 1940s and wrote the American city studies classic “The Mental Health of the Metropolis,” an exhaustive study of New Yorkers and people who lived in towns and country settings and which dispelled for the first time the myth that city dwellers were less mentally healthy than those others. The lectureship was established in 1989; each year Srole's widow, Esther, his son, Ira, and his daughter, Rebecca have attended the lectures.

Among previous lecturers are Mayor of Rochester William Johnson; Elizabeth Leeds, program officer for the Ford Foundation's Governance and Civil Society Brazil office; Harriet MacDonald, director of New York City's Doe Fund; Mitchell Kosny, head of the Department of City and Regional Planning at Ryerson Polytechinic University in Toronto and a world-recognized expert on what constitutes a good city, Jonathan Kozol, author of “Amazing Grace” and “Ordinary Resurrections,” and Reverend Martha Overall of St. Ann's Parish, South Bronx, N.Y. (featured in Jonathan Kozol's book “Amazing Grace”). The inaugural speaker was William H. Whyte, author of the sociological classics “The Organization Man” and “City”.

The lecture is sponsored by the urban studies program, the provost's office and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.