Dr. Susan Pearce is a sociologist by avocation, and not only by vocation. Sociology appeals to her because it asks the big, tough questions across time and place, and digs deeply for answers through rigorous empirical research and insightful theory building. In her work both in and outside of academia, Dr. Susan Pearce attempts to tackle some of those large questions and how they are grounded in actual events, places, and concrete social lives.
After her early career work to address the changing roles of women and men during the 1980s through the nonprofit organization, Catalyst, Dr. Pearce earned her doctorate from the New School for Social Research. Her dissertation analyzed on the grassroots movement to protect the New York African Burial Ground as a challenge to cultural collective memory of the African American presence in New York and early United States. More recently, she has published research on jazz and African American heritage in New Orleans, and is currently researching the collective memory of African American heritage in Eastern North Carolina.
Dr. Pearce loves to travel to view the world from the perspectives of those outside of her regular orbit and has been fortunate to combine scholarship with travel. She taught at University of Gdańsk and Central European University in Poland in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and saw firsthand the joys and struggles of recreating a society as it re-democratized. She has since conducted research on women’s and LGBT activism in Central and Eastern Europe and the collective memory of the 1989 peaceful revolutions.
Dr. Pearce’s post-9/11 work on the needs and activism of immigrant women resulted in the monograph, Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience with co-authors Elizabeth J. Clifford and Reena Tandon and in journal articles with Natalie J. Sokoloff on intimate partner violence among immigrant women. She continues to teach and conduct research on women’s issues at the global level, and most recently has published on the field of sociology in Turkey, and gender issues in Turkey. She is completing two edited volumes, Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City with Nora Fisher Onar and Mosaics of Change, Revisited with Eugenia Sojka (on cultural change in Central and Eastern Europe) and a monograph on the collective memory of the 1989 revolutions.
Continuing her work on culture/s and social change, she is currently doing comparative international research on the role of the arts in social movements, which is the subject of her spring 2017 course for ECU honors students, “Movements Down the Nile,” a collaboration a fine arts course taught by dance professor Teal Darkenwald.
Areas of Interest: Culture and Politics, Ethnicity, Immigration, Gender, Collective Memory, Democratic Transformations
Selected papers and publications
Pearce, Susan C. 2015. "Who Owns a Movement's Memory? The Case of Poland's Solidarity." Book chapter for the anthology, Cultural Memories of Non-Violent Struggle, Hants, UK: Palgrave MacMillan. Edited by Anna Reading and Tamar Katriel.
Pearce, Susan C. 2014. "Producing Culture in Taksim." Book chapter for anthology, Gezi ve Sosyoloji: Nesneyle Yuzlesmek, Nesneyi Kurmak. (Gezi and Sociology: Facing the Object, Constructing the Object). Editedby Vefa Saygin Ogutle and Emrah Goker. Instanbul, Turkey: Ayrinti Yayinlari.
Pearce, Susan C. and Alex Cooper. 2014. "LGBT Movements in Southeast Europe: Violence, Justice, and International Intersections." Book chapter for the Handbook of LGBT Communities, Crime, and Justice. Edited by Dana Peterson and Vanessa R. Panfil. New York: Springer Publishing.
Pearce, Susan C. 2014. "Silence, Screens, and Spectacles after 1989: East Central Europe and the Unfinished Business of Memory Refolutions." Pp. 213-238 in Silence, Screen, and Spectacle: Rethinking Social Memory in the Age of Information. Edited by Lindsey A. Freeman, Benjamin Nienass, and Rachel Daniell. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books.
Pearce, Susan C. and Natalie J. Sokoloff. 2013. "'This Should Not Be Happening in this Country': Private-Life Violence and Immigration Intersections in a U.S. Gateway City." Sociological Forum 28:4 (forthcoming).
Pearce, Susan C., Elizabeth Clifford and Reena Tandon. 2012. "19 Million and Counting: Unique Issues Facing America's Foreign-born Women in the Home and Workplace." Book chapter for the anthology, Agenda for Social Justice - Volume 3, 2012. Lewinston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.
Pearce, Susan C., Elizabeth, J. Clifford and Reena Tandon. 2011. Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience. New York: New York University Press.
Pearce, Susan C. and Slawomir Kapralski, ed. 2000. Reformulations: Markets, Policy, and identities in Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Poland IFIS Publishers.
Pearce, Susan C. and Eugenia Sojka, ed. 2000. Mosaics of Change: The First Decade of Life in the New Eastern Europe. Gdansk, Poland: University of Gdansk Press.
Research Blog on the 20th-Anniversary Commemorations of 1989 in East-Central Europe: http://susancpearce.wordpress.com/
ECU Courses offered:
Sociology 2110 Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 3000 Special Topics: Global Understanding
Sociology 3400 Gender and Society
Sociology 6900 Special Topics: Gender, Cultures and Social Movements in Global Perspective