The Workshop in History, Culture, and Society provides a forum for the exploration of new developments in historical social science, especially in the fields of Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. The workshop's primary methodological goal is to initiate a discussion about what constitutes acceptable historical evidence in each of the social sciences. Its main substantive goal is to understand how the past influences the present. The workshop is open to students and faculty from all departments across the University as well as from other institutions.

The Workshop is held in room 1550 on the 15th floor of William James Hall. Lunch is provided. Students can register for the course by searching for Sociology 3317.

Sign up for our mailing list here.

The workshop has been generously funded by the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Faculty Sponsors:
Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology
Ya-Wen Lei, Assistant Professor of Sociology


Upcoming Events

2020 Oct 30

Xueguang Zhou (Stanford University)

12:00pm to 1:30pm



Fragmented Authoritarianism Revisited: China's Governance Through the Lens of Personnel Flow

In this study I re-examine and reinterpret the prevailing image of fragmented authoritarianism in China in the theoretical framework of “loose coupling” in organizational analysis. In contrast to the rational model of organizations, the “loose coupling” model argues...

Read more about Xueguang Zhou (Stanford University)
2020 Nov 06

Sarah Brayne (The University of Texas at Austin)

12:00pm to 1:30pm



Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing

In the digital age, we scatter millions of digital traces in our wake as we go about our everyday lives. How are these data used by law enforcement? In her book, Predict and Surveil: Data, Discretion, and the Future of Policing, Sarah Brayne draws on ethnographic research with the Los Angeles Police Department to provide an on-the-ground account of how police use big data and associated surveillance technologies. She highlights the growing role of the private sector in public...

Read more about Sarah Brayne (The University of Texas at Austin)