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Two Northwestern professors receive top awards from American Sociological Association

Héctor Carrillo and Aldon Morris honored for outstanding scholarship

Northwestern University professors Héctor Carrillo and Aldon Morris have been honored by the American Sociological Association (ASA) for their outstanding scholarship.

The ASA awards are conferred on sociologists for outstanding scholarship, teaching, practice and advancing the public understanding of sociology.

Carrillo and Morris will be honored at the ASA’s annual meeting in San Francisco in August. 

Héctor Carrillo
Hector Carrillo
Hector Carrillo

Carrillo, professor of sociology and gender & sexuality studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has received the ASA’s Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for “Pathways of Desire, The Sexual Migration of Mexican Gay Men” (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

One of the highest honors the association confers, the award is presented annually to an ASA member for the best single book published in the two calendar years preceding the year the book is nominated. This year, the selection committee picked two books as co-winners. Carrillo’s book has previously received awards from three different sections of the ASA: Sex and Gender, Immigration, and Latina/o Sociology.

“Carrillo’s work is important not only for giving us a window into migrant communities that we know relatively little about but is also timely given the rising asylum claims based on sexual oppression and violence,” stated the ASA award committee. 

Co-director of the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN), Carrillo’s research interests include sexualities, race/ethnicity, migration, transnationalism, health promotion and HIV/AIDS.

“I’m extremely happy about this recognition for a book that focuses on the lives of Mexican gay immigrant men and their U.S. partners — men who generously shared their life stories with me and my research team and who were keen to improve the social conditions of people like them,” Carrillo said. “It’s also exciting to see work on the sociology of sexuality — in the past sometimes seen as a marginal topic — be recognized by the mainstream of the discipline.”

Aldon Morris 
Aldon Morris
Aldon Morris

Morris, the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has received the W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, the highest honor the association confers.

The award honors ASA member scholars who have shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline. 

Stated the ASA awards committee: “Morris’ vast scholarly work has not only challenged prevailing modes of thinking in a variety of subfields in and outside of our discipline, it has helped reorient scholarship in sociology itself. Morris’s innovative work in the study of social movements, for example, helped create a paradigm shift in discussions and understandings of collective behavior and social movements.”

Morris’ groundbreaking book, “The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology” (University of California Press, August 2015), pulled from over a decade of research in primary sources such as personal letters, conference proceedings and scholarly writings, and argued that power, money, politics and the ideology of white supremacy led to W.E.B. Du Bois being “written out” of the founding of sociology. The book received the Association of American Publishers’ Award for Excellence in the Social Sciences and later earned its top R.R. Hawkins prize, which recognizes outstanding scholarly works in all disciplines of the arts and sciences. 

Morris received the 2018 John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior presented by the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame. Morris’ first book, “The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change,” received ASA’s 1986 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship award. Morris will become president of the ASA in August. 

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