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Sociology Professor Erin O’Connor Wins Rakow Grant

Associate Professor of Sociology Erin O’Connor, Ph.D., has been awarded a 2023 Rakow Grant for Glass Research from the Corning Museum of Glass. This grant will fund her upcoming project, “Following the Glass: Mapping the Material Life of Glass Batch and Its Kin,” which is uniquely placed at the intersection of Politics and Human Rights, Art, and Environmental Studies. Check out Dr. O’Connor’s description below!

“Following the Glass: Mapping the Material Life of Glass Batch and Its Kin” builds upon O’Connor’s first glass research project, “Firework: art, self, and world among glassblowers” (in submission), which drew from four years of ethnographic research on embodied knowledge in the glassblowing studio in which she became a glassblower. Turning toward issues of environmental justice in art worlds, “Following the Glass” explores the material life of glass “batch” and its kin—cullet and nuggets—in studio glassblowing. Using social science methodologies, including fieldwork, interviews, and archival research, O’Connor’s project will map studio glass batch while connecting the studio glass art world to resource extraction and the legacies of settler colonialism. “Following the Glass” will provide a socio-political story of studio glassmaking, a map of the global studio glass supply chain, as well as critical insights into the onto-epistemology of materiality in the studio glass art world.

Though the exact number of Rakow Grant recipients has not been publicly released yet, it tends to average out at about four per year. This interdisciplinary project is sure to be stunning!

As an associate professor at MMC, Dr. O’Connor has spent years teaching courses such as EcoCulture and Sustainability, Anthropology at Museums in NYC, Radical Labor and Artisan Movements, and Great Social Thinkers. She is also the head of the Department of Politics and Human Rights.

Congratulations, Dr. O’Connor!

Published: March 30, 2023