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UC Berkeley Press Release

American Sociological Association's 99th annual conference to emphasize "public sociology"

– The American Sociological Association (ASA) is opening the doors of its 2004 annual conference to the public for major addresses by internationally recognized authorities and activists on such topics as human rights, markets and power. This year's conference will be held in San Francisco.

Among the free talks open to the public:

* "W.E.B. DuBois: Lessons for the 21st Century," by a panel of distinguished academicians on the opening day of the conference, Friday, Aug. 13, at 6:30 p.m.

* A discussion of human rights and "ethical globalization" at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 14, by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and ex-United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

* An address, "Public Power in the Age of Empire," by author, activist and public intellectual-at-large Arundhati Roy at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 16. Roy wrote the Booker-Prize winning novel, "The God of Small Things."

* A final public address examining the future of neoliberalism by Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, along with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former two-term president of Brazil and ex-head of Sao Paulo University, at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 17.

Michael Burawoy, president of the ASA and former chair of the University of California, Berkeley's Sociology Department, said "public sociology" is critical to stimulate debate about important current issues and to help sociologists work with other disciplines to reach wider, public audiences.

In addition to the public addresses, more than 5,000 sociologists and others at the conference will explore topics including welfare reform and marriage promotion, the media's role in a war culture, the fate of the public university in California, the globalization of love, immigration and human rights, AIDS in Africa, and the politics of family policy.

Among conference panelists and presenters are several UC Berkeley professors from sociology, philosophy, law, rhetoric, geography and anthropology, as well as staff from UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Education and Research, and Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism.

The public sessions of the 99th annual ASA gathering will take place at the San Francisco Hilton, 333 O'Farrell St., near BART and San Francisco MUNI stations. For more information, visit the convention website.