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Schmidt Lecture

The Schmidt Endowment was established by the Schmidt Family: Roberta Schmidt, William and Mary class of 1960, her husband Raymond Schmidt, and their son Douglas, who received his BA from William and Mary in 1984 and his MA in Sociology from William and Mary in 1986. Doug subsequently pursued computer science, and is now Full Professor and Associate Chair of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. The Schmidts are very interested in the impact of technology on individuals and society. With the endowment, the Sociology Department has established the annual Schmidt Lecture on Technology and Society. Each year, we bring to campus a professor who is conducting cutting-edge research in this area. The professor gives a public lecture, lectures in Sociology courses, and meets with Sociology faculty and students.

In Spring 2014, our Schmidt Lecturer was Stephanie Schulte from the University of Arkansas.  She is the author of CACHED: Decoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture.  Professor Schulte gave a fascinating lecture about the very different ways that the Internet, during its early years, was conceptualized within different societies.

And here are the past Schmidt Lectures from beginning to date (there was no lecture in 2010)

  • 2013: Noelle Chesley, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee: "A Nation of Technologically Tethered Workers? Technology Use and the Consequences of Work Intensification." {{youtube:medium:center|xRMouhUT6HE,2013 Schmidt Lecturer Noelle Chesley}}
  • 2012: Hector Postigo, Temple University: "The Digital Rights Movement: Free Culture Activism and the YouTube Generation"
  • 2011: Jennifer Earl, University of California at Santa Barbara: "Digital Protest: Activism in the Internet Age"
  • 2009: Keith Hampton, University of Pennsylvania: "New Technologies and the Structure of Community in Private, Public, and Parochial Spaces"
  • 2008: Zeynep Tufecki, University of Maryland Baltimore County: "On the Internet, Everyone Knows You're a Dog: Facebook, MySpace, and Life in the 21st-Century Village"
  • 2007: James Witte, Clemson University: "Beyond the Digital Divide: Sociological Perspectives on the Internet and Inequality"