Section Officers and Council

2015 – 2016 

Chair (2015 – 2016): Joachim Savelsberg, University of Minnesota 

Joachim Savelsberg is a professor of sociology and law and the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair, University of Minnesota. His work is on human rights and collective memories and representations. His most recent book is Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur (University of California Press, 2015;

Chair-elect: Kiyo Tsutsui, University of Michigan,

Council (2015 – 2016):

Liz Boyle, Wade Cole, David Embrick, Lindsey Peterson, Rusty Shekar, Robin Stryker, Kiyo Tsutsui

Elizabeth Heger Boyle is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, and an affiliate faculty at UMN’s College of Law. Her work focuses on women and children’s rights globally, especially rights to health and education. Recent publications include analyses of abortion liberalization policies (American Journal of Sociology, co-authors Minzee Kim and Wesley Longhofer), the impact of cause lawyers on the implementation of trafficking policies (Law & Social Inquiry, co-author Eunhye Yoo), and the most effective framing of anti-child marriage laws (Law & Society Review, co-authors Minzee Kim, Wesley Longhofer, and Holly Nyseth Brehm). Professor Boyle is the Principal Investigator for an ongoing NICHD-funded project that makes the Demographic and Health Surveys easily accessible to researchers and policymakers (

Wade M. Cole is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Utah. His work uses quantitative methodologies and macro-sociological perspectives to study human rights. His recent work analyzes cross-cultural variability in levels of respect for bodily integrity rights and civil liberties (Social Forces, 2016), the relationship between human rights and economic growth (Sociology of Development, 2016), and the effect of human rights treaties on outcomes such as income inequality (American Sociological Review, 2015) and women’s rights (International Studies Quarterly, 2013). He is currently working on a book project that analyzes cross-cultural variation in respect for bodily integrity rights, civil liberties, socioeconomic rights, and women’s rights. The project draws upon various macro-cultural perspectives in sociology, including world society theory and civilization-analytic perspectives, synthesized within a Durkheimian framework.

Dr. David G. Embrick is an Associate professor in the Sociology Department and African Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut. Formally, he spent a decade at Loyola University Chicago in the Sociology Department. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2006.  He is a former American Sociological Association Minority Fellow, Past-President of the Southwestern Sociological Association, and current Vice President-Elect of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and President-Elect of the Association for Humanist Sociology.  In addition, Dr. Embrick serves as Founding Co-Editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the newest ASA sponsored journal of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, and Associate Editor of Social Problems.

Robin Stryker is Professor of Sociology, Affiliated Professor, Rogers College of Law and Affiliated Professor, School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona.  Her work focuses on legal rights, inequality and social change.  With LaDawn Haglund, she co-edited Closing the Rights Gap: From Human Rights to Social Transformation, University of California press, 2016.  She has been a Visiting Professor at Sciences-Po, LIEPP and at EHESS in Paris.   She has won scholarly article awards from the Sociology of Law, Political Sociology and Comparative & Historical Sociology sections of the American Sociological Association and is a previous recipient of a Jean Monnet Fellowship(2001)  and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship (2008).  In 2016-2017, she is a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford, conducting research on US voting, housing and employment rights.

Secretary/Treasurer (2016 – 2019): Annie Isabel Fukushima, University of Utah

Annie Isabel Fukushima is Assistant Professor in a joint position between the Ethnic Studies Division in the School for Cultural & Social Transformation and the College of Social Work at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Utah, she received her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University (2013 – 2015). Dr. Fukushima’s scholarly and public works on immigration, citizenship, victimhood, criminality, and violence has appeared in multiple edited anthologies, encyclopedias and handbooks for ABC-Clio, Greenwood Press, and MacMillan, scholarly peer reviewed articles in journals such as Feminist Formations, Frontiers: Journal of Womens Studies and Praxis: Gender & Cultural Critiques, and non-scholarly publications in the Nation, Foreign Policy in Focus, Alternet, and Asia Times Online. She has served as an expert witness and consultant regarding human trafficking. She has worked at all levels of organizations.

Student Representatives

Jennifer Cheek, Vivian Shaw


2014 – 2015

Chair (2014 – 2015): Manisha Desai, University of Connecticut 

Manisha Desai is associate professor of Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University of Connecticut.  She is the Sociologist for Women in Society’s 2015 Distinguished Feminist Lecturer.  Her forthcoming book is titled: Subaltern Movements in India: Gendered Geographies of Struggle (Routledge).

Chair-Elect (2016-2017) Joachim Savelsberg, University of Minnesota 


Names forthcoming

Bios forthcoming 

Secretary/Treasurer (2012 – 2015): Rusty Shekar, Denison University

Russell Shekha (Rusty) is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. In addition to acting as the Section’s Secretary-Treasurer, Rusty is the Newsletter Editor. His research and teaching focuses on welfare states, human rights, transnational movements, Latin America, and quantitative methods. Rusty is also active in the Fair Food Alliance, and is the faculty adviser for the Denison Student/Farmworker Alliance. 

Student Representatives

Names forthcoming


2013 – 2014

Chair (2013 – 2014): LaDawn Haglund, Arizona State University

LaDawn Haglund is associate professor of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University. She is also a Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Global Institute of Sustainability and fellow of Human Rights and Sustainability at the Lincoln Centre for Applied Ethics at ASU.  She is co-editor (with Robin Stryker) of Closing the Rights Gap: From Human Rights to Social Transformation (University of California Press, 2015; and the author of Limiting Resources: Market-Led Reform and the Transformation of Public Goods (Penn State University Press, 2010; Her work has received support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the Brazilian Fulbright Commission.

Council (2013 – 2014)

David Brunsma, Susan C. Pearce, Kiyoteru Tsutsui, David Embrick, Lindsey Peterson 

David L. Brunsma is professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech. He is currently founding co-editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and a past co-editor of Societies Without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences. His body of published work includes The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights (with Smith and Gran) as well as The Leading Rogue State: The U.S. And  Human Rights (with Blau, Moncada, and Zimmer). He lives and loves in Blacksburg, VA with his wife, Rachel, and three children, Karina, Thomas, and Henry.

Susan C. Pearce is Associate Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University, and earned her PhD in Sociology from the New School for Social Research. She has served on the sociology faculties of Gettysburg College, West Virginia University, and University of Gdańsk (Poland). She conducts research on the cultural contexts of politics, particularly concerning ethnicity, migration, gender, and social movements, and is co-author of Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience (New York University Press, 2011).

Kiyoteru Tsutsui is associate professor and Associate Chair of Sociology, Director of the Human Rights Initiative, and Associate Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research examines the impact of global human rights on local politics, and his publications appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology and other sociology and political science journals. His most recent publication is Corporate Social Responsibility in a Globalizing World (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Link for Kiyo Tsutsui’s Cambridge book:

Wade M. Cole is associate professor of Sociology at the University of Utah. He conducts research in political sociology and global/transitional sociology, with a theoretical grounding in sociological institutionalism and substantive emphasis in human rights. His recent work focuses on the effects of international human rights treaties, cross-cultural variability in human rights practices, and the relationship between economic growth and human rights. More information about his research, including a list of publications, can be found here:

David G. Embrick is associate professor of Sociology at Loyola University-Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2006. He is a former American Sociological Association Minority Fellow and the Past-President of the Southwestern Sociological Association.  In addition, Dr. Embrick serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Humanity & Society (the official journal of the Association for Humanist Society) and Founding Co-Editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the newest ASA sponsored journal of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. He has published in a number of journals including Sociological Forum, Symbolic Interaction, Race and Society, Sex Roles, Critical Sociology and the Journal of Intergroup Relations.

2012 – 2013 

Chair (2012 – 2013): Mark Frezzo, University of Mississippi 

Mark Frezzo is associate professor of Sociology at the University of Mississippi. He has published two recent articles on the topic of human rights and social actors: “Sociology, Human Rights, and the World Social Forum,” in Societies Without Borders, 3 (2008), 35-47; and “Rethinking Human Rights, Development, and Democracy: The Paradox of the UN,” in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, 9 (2010), 28-38. His most recent book is The Sociology of Human Rights (Polity, 2014).

Secretary/Treasurer (2012 – 2015): Rusty Shekar, Denison University

2011 – 2012 

Chair (2011 – 2012): Keri Iyall Smith

Council (2011 – 2012):

David Brunsma, Manisha Desai, Brian Gran, Lisa Hajjar, Zakiya Luna, and Susan Pearce

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