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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago Department of Sociology Records 1924-2001

© 2018 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. Department of Sociology. Records

Dates:

1924-2001

Size:

6.5 linear feet (7 boxes, 1 folder)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago was founded in 1892 and was the first academic department of sociology in the United States. This collection contains materials related to the administration of the Department such as meeting minutes, student rosters, examinations, materials relating to the passing of Louis Wirth, and materials relating to the non-reappointment of sociology professor, Marlene Dixon. It also contains programs, brochures, and photographs related to the Centennial Conference, 1892-1992 as well as a map depicting East and West Garfield Park (1924).

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: University of Chicago. Department of Sociology. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago was founded in 1892 and was the first academic department of sociology in the United States. Albion Small was appointed Head Professor, and he played a key role in developing sociology as an academic discipline, also helping to establish the American Journal of Sociology (1895) and the American Sociological Association (1905). Other prominent members of the Sociology Department in the early twentieth century included W.I. Thomas, Robert Park, and Ernest Burgess. Park and Burgess co-wrote the influential textbook, Introduction to the Science of Sociology (1921). During the 1920s and 1930s, Park and Burgess along with other members of the faculty, focused on eclecticism as well as process and change as opposed to fixed social structures. They also revolutionized studies of urban spaces and their social institutions. This era became known as the first Chicago School. After World War II, a new generation of sociologists such as Everett Hughes, Lloyd Warner, and Herbert Blumer emphasized methods of urban ethnography and interpretive sociology, and formed what came to be known as the second Chicago School.

Some documents in the collection relate to the death of Louis Wirth (1897-1952). Wirth was a professor in the Sociology Department from 1926 until his death, and published several books and articles, including The City (with Robert Park et al, 1925), The Ghetto (1928) and Urbanism as a Way of Life (1938). Wirth passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on May 3, 1952 at age fifty-four after delivering a speech at the University of Buffalo.

Other materials in the collection are related to the controversy surrounding the non-reappointment of Marlene Dixon, a sociology professor under consideration for contract renewal. On November 13, 1968, during a faculty procession for the inauguration of Edward Levi, the University’s eighth president, Dixon stood with approximately one-hundred students who chanted, “Work, study, get ahead, kill!” outside of the Conrad Hilton. Later, in early January, 1969, her colleagues in the sociology department declined to renew her appointment for a second term, arguing that the intellectual quality of her work did not meet the university’s standards. In response, Dixon maintained that she had been fired due to her radical feminist political views and also because she was a woman.

As a result of the decision to not reappoint Dixon, student activists launched a series of demonstrations on her behalf. They sent an open letter to the Maroon, demanding that Dixon be rehired and that students be given an equal say in decisions to hire and fire professors

On January 30, 1969, students staged a sit-in at the Administration building and remained there until February 11. They demanded various reforms including the reservation of half the places in each freshman class for working class students, a faculty consisting of 51 percent women, and the establishment of programs in Black studies, women’s studies, and working-class studies.

The students’ demands were not met, although the Administration appointed a faculty committee to review Dixon’s dismissal. The committee upheld the previous decision that Dixon lacked the appropriate credentials to receive tenure, although they offered Dixon a one-year extension of her contract, which she rejected. Meanwhile, the Administration expelled 48 of the student strikers.

Some materials in the collection relate to the Centennial Conference 1892-1992: Sociology and the Public Agenda: In the Second Century, May 1 to 3, 1992, at the University of Chicago. This event was an attempt to review the effect of the sociological profession on the public agenda.

Scope Note

The University of Chicago, Sociology Department collection is organized into four series: Series I: Administrative files; Series II: Course materials; Series III: Centennial Conference, 1892-1992; and Series IV: Maps. The collection contains materials related to the administration of the Sociology Department such as meeting minutes, student rosters, examinations, materials relating to the passing of Louis Wirth, and materials relating to the non-reappointment of sociology professor, Marlene Dixon. It also contains programs, brochures, and photographs related to the Centennial Conference, 1892-1992, as well as a map depicting East and West Garfield Park (1924). Materials date between 1924 and 2001.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

Browse finding aids by topic.

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Administrative files

This series contains material related to the administration of the Sociology Department including memos and correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, student rosters, and BA, MA, and PhD examinations. It also contains documents related to the passing of Louis Wirth as well as to the non-reappointment of Marlene Dixon in 1969.

Box 1   Folder 1

Society for Social Research, 1930. Includes Program for the Ninth Annual Institute of the Society for Social Research, August 20-23, 1930 and The Growth of the City: An Introduction to a Research Project.

Box 1   Folder 2

List of graduate students in Sociology, 1933-1946, Part 1.

Box 1   Folder 3

List of graduate students in Sociology, 1947-1953, Part 2.

Box 1   Folder 4

Bachelor’s and Master’s Comprehensive Examinations, 1934-1941.

Box 1   Folder 5

Bachelor’s and Master’s Comprehensive Examinations, 1942-1944.

Box 1   Folder 6

Bachelor’s and Master’s Comprehensive Examinations, 1945-1953.

Box 1   Folder 7

Master’s Examinations, 1936-1938.

Box 1   Folder 8

Master’s Examinations, 1939-1941.

Box 1   Folder 9

Master’s Examinations, 1942-1945.

Box 1   Folder 10

Master’s Examinations, 1946-1952.

Box 1   Folder 11

Master’s Examinations, 1953-1957.

Box 1   Folder 12

PhD Examinations, 1936-1939.

Box 2   Folder 1

PhD Examinations, 1940-1942.

Box 2   Folder 2

PhD Examinations, 1943-1945.

Box 2   Folder 3

PhD Examinations, 1946-1948.

Box 2   Folder 4

PhD Examinations, 1949-1953.

Box 2   Folder 5

PhD Examinations, 1955-1956.

Box 2A

Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1926-1938.

Box 2A

Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1939-1949.

Box 2B

Faculty Seminar Minutes (2 volumes) 1951-1952

Box 3   Folder 1

Memos and Correspondence, Reports, and Newsletters.

  • Includes fellowship and scholarship applications, 1948-1949; summaries of applications for fellowship, 1948-1949; Sociology Department newsletters, 1948 and 1954; admissions to the Social Sciences, 1946-1947; Checklist of Requirements, 1952; Assignment of Students to Departmental Counselors, 1952; and a memo from Ernest W. Burgess, 1953-1954.
Box 3   Folder 2

Materials Related to the Death of Louis Wirth, 1951-1953.

  • Includes correspondence, eulogies, obituaries, and related materials. Also include miscellaneous correspondence, 1951.
Box 3   Folder 3

Miscellaneous Memos, Reports, and Course Listings, 1966-1975.

  • Includes Memo from Ad Hoc Committee on Sociology of Education, 1971; Policy Statement on Methods Requirement and Preliminary Examination Incorporating Actions Taken by Faculty, 1974; Admissions and Aid Statistics, 1974; Methods Committee memo, 1974; Report on Preliminary Examination and Related Matters, 1974.
Box 3   Folder 4

Announcements, Publications, Memos, and Reports, 1967-1973.

  • Includes flyer for protest against inaction on class ranking, 1967; substantive items raised by student-faculty meetings, 1967; Society for Social Research announcements, 1968-1971; The Bulletin, Winter, 1968; Society for Social Research Executive Committee, 1972-1973; and SSR Survey of Student Opinion Concerning the Appointment of the Departmental Chairman, undated
Box 3   Folder 5

Correspondence, Memos, and Reports related to Non-Reappointment of Marlene Dixon, 1969, Part 1.

  • Includes Criteria and Procedures for Reappointment and Promotion in the Department of Sociology, 1969.
Box 3   Folder 6

Correspondence, Newspapers, and Reports related to Non-Reappointment of Marlene Dixon, 1969, Part 2.

  • Includes correspondence, issues of the Chicago Maroon, 1969; Edward Shils, “Note re papers submitted by Marlene Dixon to Personnel Committee,” undated; Philip M. Hauser, “On Actionism in the Craft of Sociology,” 1969; Meeting Minutes, 1969
Box 3   Folder 7

Correspondence and Memos, Newspapers, Reports, and Statements related to Non-Reappointment of Marlene Dixon, 1969, Part 3.

  • Includes issues of Chicago Maroon, 1969; “Hyde Park Renewal: UC Racism”; Event Chronologies; and Proposal to Restructure Sociology Department.
Box 3   Folder 8

Student-Faculty Relations, 1969-1970, Part 1.

  • Includes memos and correspondence, reports, publications such as SSR Survey of Student Opinion Concerning the Appointment of the Department of Sociology; University of Chicago Record, 1969; Guidelines for Student Committee; Condemnation of Vietnam War by Members of Faculty of Sociology Department, 1969; issues of the Chicago Maroon, 1969; Terry Clark, “On Norms, Students, and Sanctions,” 1969; “A Free School Today!”; Bill Morgan, “Comments on the HSS proposal and a Curriculum Alternative,” 1969; Ted Hayes, “The Structure of University Decision Making: Faculty Appointments and Student Revolt,” 1969; “Why Are Your Colleagues Militant?”; and Report of Student-Faculty Meeting to Discuss Political Action, 1970;
Box 4   Folder 1

Student-Faculty Relations, 1969, Part 2.

  • Memos and correspondence, reports, statements, and flyers. Includes Terry Clark, “Some Personal Reflections on Current Discussions about University Organization,” 1969; “Administration Declares War on Students”; “School Crimes Tribunal”; Status Quo History; Statement by D. Gale Johnson Concerning Events of January 27; and issues of the Chicago Maroon,1969.
Box 4   Folder 2

Student-Faculty Relations, 1969, Part 3.

  • Correspondence, pamphlets, flyers, and press releases. Includes issues of the Chicago Maroon and Criteria and Procedures for Recommendations for Reappointment and Promotion in the Department of Sociology, 1969

Series II: Course materials

Box 4   Folder 3

Course Syllabi, 200 Level, 1976-1997.

Box 4   Folder 4

Course Syllabi, 200 Level, 1983-1996.

Box 4   Folder 5

Course Syllabi, 200 Level, 1985-1996.

Box 4   Folder 6

Course Syllabi, 200 Level, Related Courses, 1976-1996.

Box 4   Folder 7

Course Syllabi, 300 Level, 1984-2001.

Box 4   Folder 8

Course Syllabi, 300 Level, 1982-1997.

Box 5   Folder 1

Course Syllabi, 300 Level, 1978-1996.

Box 5   Folder 2

Course Syllabi, 300 Level, 1977-1997

Box 5   Folder 3

Course Syllabi, 400-500 Level, 1977-1997

Box 5   Folder 4

Course Syllabi, 400-500 Level, 1976-1997.

Series III: Centennial Conference, 1892-1992.

Box 5   Folder 5

Centennial Conference, 1892-1992: Sociology and the Public Agenda: Into the Second Century, brochures and programs, 1992-1994.

Box 5   Folder 6-9

Centennial Conference, 1892-1992: Sociology and the Public Agenda: Into the Second Century, photos, 1992.

Series IV: Maps

Folder 1

East and West Garfield Park Map, 1924.