Photo of Mary Romero
The 2021 SWS Distinguished Feminist Lecturer Award Winner is Mary Romero. Thank you to the SWS Distinguished Feminist Lecturer Subcommittee that was comprised of Kimberly Kelly (Chair), Katie Acosta and Morgan Matthews. The SWS Distinguished Feminist Lectureship was founded in 1985 as a way of recognizing members whose scholarship employs a feminist perspective, and of making this feminist scholar available to campuses that are isolated, rural, located away from major metropolitan areas, bereft of the resources needed to invite guest speakers, and/or characterized by hostility to feminist scholarship. A key goal of the program is to provide a feminist voice on campuses where such a perspective is unusual and/or unwelcome. Please note that the Lectureship originally carried the name of Cheryl Allyn Miller, but now there is a separate Cheryl Allyn Miller Award.
Mary Romero is Professor Emerita, Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. She served as the 110th President of the American Sociological Association. She is the 2017 recipient of the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, 2015 Latina/o Sociology Section Founders Award, 2012 Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award, the Section on Race and Ethnic Minorities 2009 Founder’s Award, and the 2004 Study of Social Problems Lee Founders Award. She is the author of Introducing Intersectionality (Polity Press, 2018), The Maid’s Daughter: Inside and Outside the American Dream (NYU, 2011), Maid in the U.S.A. (NYU, 1992), co-editor of eight books, and numerous social science journals and law review articles.
As noted in her nomination materials submitted by Bandana Purkayastha, Josephine Beoku-Betts, Melanie Heath, Georgiann Davis, Shobha Hamal Gurung, Vrushali Patil, and Ranita Ray:
“Dr. Romero’s work in Maid in America and The Maid’s Daughter remains pertinent to the immigration landscape in the U.S. today. The earlier book, not surprisingly, has remained in print for over 20 years. These books tap into a key theme—the need for decent work conditions. As the number of female workers have grown in the U.S., often, women and men in upper-level white collar jobs have used the labor of poor immigrant women to manage “family responsibilities.” This story needs to be told repeatedly if we are truly striving for equity, and Professor Romero has done so with great sensitivity. Importantly, Professor Romero has produced her analysis from her location in the state of Arizona where anti-immigration politicians have created a state of fear and hate for immigrants and people of color.”
The nominators also noted: “Professor Romero’s work with faculty and graduate students of color at Arizona State University is legendary. However, we have seen her quiet activism within SWS as she supported so many junior and senior faculty by lending an ear when they needed it, including them in programs she was involved in, and travelling to their universities to give lectures to show the strength of sociologists on campuses that had very few feminist scholars.”
We hope you will join us in congratulating Mary and that you will make plans to join us for the 2021 Winter SWS Awards Reception to be held on Saturday, January 30, 2021. Please register here for the 2021 SWS Winter Meeting where you will have the opportunity to attend the Awards Ceremony where we will honor Mary.