Keynote Speakers

Barry Wellman is Co-Director of NetLab at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. He is a leading scholar in the field of sociology and Canadian Digital Media Pioneer (2014). His areas of research are community sociology, the Internet, human-computer interaction and social structure, as manifested in social networks in communities and organizations. His overarching interest is in the paradigm shift from group-centered relations to networked individualism. He has written or co-authored more than 300 articles, chapters, reports and books. He is the co-author of the prize-winning “Networked: The New Social Operating System” (with Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project) published by MIT Press in 2012.

Beverly Wellman is Research Associate at the Institute for Human Development, Life Course and Aging  at the University of Toronto. Her main research areas are community sociology, community health, health studies, physical/health education and sociology of education. She has published several books and articles including Moving Forward? Complementary and Alternative Practitioners Seeking Self-Regulation (with Merrijoy Kelner, Sociology of Health & Illness 2004), Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Challenge and Change (with Merrijoy Kelner, Gordon and Breach/hap 2000), Health Care and Consumer Choice: Medical and Alternative Therapies (with Merrijoy Kelner Social Science and Medicine 1997).

Gabriel Abend is Professor of Sociology at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. Prior to that, he was Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University. Prior to that, he studied at Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and Northwestern University (United States). He's interested in the sociology of culture, economic sociology, comparative-historical sociology, science and technology studies, sociological "theory," and a few other things. Recent publications include: "Thick concepts and sociological research" (Sociological Theory, 2019); "Outline of a sociology of decisionism" (British Journal of Sociology, 2018); and The Moral Background: An Inquiry into the History of Business Ethics (Princeton University Press, 2014). Abend is the recipient of the 2017 Lewis A. Coser Award for "Theoretical" Agenda Setting.

Taina Bucher is Associate Professor in Screen Cultures at the University of Oslo. Her works focus mainly on the relationship between digital infrastructure and sociality,  the intersection of media, software studies, and science and technology studies. Recent publication IF…THEN: Algorithmic power and politics (Oxford University Press, 2018) focus on  the social and political concerns that arise from new forms of computational media, particularly the impact of algorithms and software on everyday life. Other recent works: The Algorithmic Imaginary: Exploring the ordinary affects of Facebook algorithms (Communication & Society, 2017) and Machines don’t have instincts: Articulating the computational in journalism (New Media & Society, 2016).

Jeffrey Guhin is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His main research interests include education, culture, religion, and theory. His work centers around a few key theoretical concerns: the cognitive, social, and institutional processes through which people’s values and orienting commitments are developed and the relationship between authority and moral life. Recent articles include: Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools (Social Inclusion 2018); Religion as site rather than religion as category: On the sociology of religion's export problem (Sociology of Religion 2014); Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools (Sociological Theory 2016).

Hizky Shoham’s works consist of anthropological history and sociology of Zionism, the Yishuv, and Israel; and cultural theory. He is a senior lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Program for Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies, and co-director of the Center for Cultural Sociology, Bar Ilan University, Israel; and a research fellow in the Kogod Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies at the Shalom Hartman institute in Jerusalem. His publications include Carnival in Tel Aviv: Purim and the Celebration of Urban Zionism (Academic Studies Press, 2014); and Israel Celebrates: Festivals and Civic Culture in Israel (Brill, 2017).

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