The Punishment Continuum: How Court Actors Sentence and Enforce Monetary Sanctions

Professor Alexes Harris

Event flyerAt this ISR Reads Event, hosted by The Institute for Social Research and the School of Public Health Epidemiology, Professor Alexes Harris will discuss her book “Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanction as a Punishment for the Poor” (2016 Russell Sage). 

The work examines the system of monetary sanctions (fines and fees), how decision-makers interpret the state law, apply the law to people before the court, and monitor their payments. Dr. Harris will also talk about her current five-year study examining the system of monetary sanctions across eight states and discuss policy implications. 

Alexes Harris is the Presidential Term Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington. 

A livestream of the event will be available:

If you require an accommodation to participate in this event or have any questions, please contact Anna Massey at

Climate Change and Health Symposium

According to the World Health organization, climate change will account for 250,000 more deaths per year — due to heat stress, diarrhea, malnutrition and malaria — between 2030-50. This rise is estimated to cost countries around the world billions of extra dollars per year by 2030.   

A multidisciplinary symposium on the University of Michigan campus will explore the impact that climate change will have on the health of future patients and people worldwide, and also advance the study of behavior change and the psychology behind climate change. 

Members of the Michigan Medicine community are invited to tackle these issues with graduate students across disciplines at the Climate Change and Health Symposium from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. June 15 in the South Commons at Munger Graduate Residences. 

Kaitlin T. Raimi, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, will give a presentation on behavior change and the psychology of climate change. Sue Anne Bell, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, will discuss climate change and its implications in natural disasters and human health. 

Lunch will be served, followed by a case-based discussion. Please RSVP here.

RossTalks – Detroit

Join us for a special RossTalks event in Detroit with current and prospective members of the Ross community. This networking event will include a discussion on the Flint Water Crisis and Beyond featuring: 

Eric Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Jerry Davis, Associate Dean of Business + Impact; the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Dean Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business  

Remarks will begin at 12:00 p.m. A buffet lunch will be served.

We hope to see you soon. Go Blue!

Please register here >>

Poverty Alleviation to Address Health Disparities: Harder Than it Looks

There is conflicting evidence on the health benefits of poverty alleviation programs like the U.S. earned income tax credit or microcredit lending interventions. Dr. Hamad will present her research that delves into these inconsistent findings. She will discuss the possible reasons for the conflicting results, including methodological challenges as well as the possibility that well intentioned policies may have negative effects.  This work highlights the importance of evaluating the effects of even the most commonsense programs, and informs the design of future policies to address poverty as a social determinant of health.

Dr. Hamad’s presentation is part of the Emerging Scholars Exchange Program.

Register here.

Student Symposium on State & Local Renewable Energy Policy

Free and open to the public – refreshments provided

About the symposium: 
Students will share their research on the web of state and local policies facilitating and hindering renewable energy deployment in California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming.

This event showcases the work of students enrolled in Sarah Mills’ section of PubPol 750 that is part of the CLOSUP in the Classroom Initiative, and made possible with support provided by the Ford School Renewable Energy Support Fund with a generous gift from Dennis and Nancy Meany.

More about PUBPOL 750: Renewable Energy Policy at the State & Local Level
This course considers the range of state and local policies that impact renewable energy development, understanding how these policies interact and the politics at play behind their adoption. It covers not just policies traditionally associated with climate action—such as the carbon tax, cap and trade, RPS or municipal climate pledges—but also the suite of policies that facilitate or hinder renewable energy development from state tax policy to local land use laws regulation to infrastructure investment. It also explores the diverse stakeholders who shape these policies and the motivations behind their positions—from economic development, to energy independence, to landowners’ rights. The primary class assignment is for students to work together in teams, with each team developing an additional state case study that they will present at an end-of-term public symposium. This symposium allows them to share their research.

Sponsored by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP)

For more information visit or call 734-647-4091. Follow on Twitter @closup

MUSE Workshop: Discussion: ethics, big data, and our response to climate change

Tom Logan (Industrial and Operations Engineering)

MUSE workshopThe MUSE workshop is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop that brings together sustainability researchers from across the university to discuss ideas and promote interdisciplinary connections and collaborations.
The workshops are informal gatherings with a facilitator who leads an often wide-ranging discussion.
Workshops occur at least biweekly (with special workshops arising for hot topics). Check out the line up of further speakers

Panel: Viewpoint Diversity and the Future of Intellectual Discourse

Lee Jussim (Rutgers, Psychology); Hrishikesh Joshi (Michigan, Philosophy)

F&F Panel
We live in increasingly polarized times, and partisan animosity is at a high. Against this backdrop, it is tempting to sort ourselves into echo-chambers. What effects might this have on future discourse about important scientific, ethical, and policy matters? How does polarization affect the academy? Can viewpoint diversity increase the quality of research in politically relevant fields like social psychology, sociology, or political philosophy? Join us for a panel discussion with Lee Jussim, Professor of Psychology at Rutgers, and Hrishikesh Joshi, Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan. All are welcome. Coffee and snacks will be provided!

Hosted by the Freedom and Flourishing Project.

CRITICAL x DESIGN. Apparatuses of recognition: Google, Project Maven and targeted killing

By Lucy Suchman

In June of 2018, following a campaign initiated by activist employees within the company, Google announced its intention not to renew a US Defense Department contract for Project Maven, an initiative to automate the identification of military targets based on drone video footage. Defendants of the program argued that that it would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of US drone operations, not least by enabling more accurate recognition of those who are the program’s legitimate targets and, by implication, sparing the lives of noncombatants. But this promise begs a more fundamental question: What relations of reciprocal familiarity does recognition presuppose? And in the absence of those relations, what schemas of categorization inform our readings of the Other?

The focus of a growing body of scholarship, this question haunts not only US military operations but an expanding array of technologies of social sorting. Understood as apparatuses of recognition (Barad 2007: 171), Project Maven and the US program of targeted killing are implicated in perpetuating the very architectures of enmity that they take as their necessitating conditions. I close with some thoughts on how we might interrupt the workings of these apparatuses, in the service of wider movements for social justice.

About the Speaker:

Lucy Suchman is Professor of Anthropology of Science and Technology at Lancaster University in the UK. Her research interests within the field of feminist science and technology studies are focused on technological imaginaries and material practices of technology design, particularly developments at the interface of bodies and machines. Dr. Suchman’s current research extends her longstanding critical engagement with the field of human-computer interaction to contemporary warfighting, including the figurations that inform immersive simulations, and problems of “situational awareness” in remotely-controlled weapon systems. Dr. Suchman is concerned with the question of whose bodies are incorporated into these systems, how and with what consequences for social justice and the possibility for a less violent world.

This lecture is also part of the ETHICS AND POLITICS OF AI series. Both series are generously supported by the School of Information; the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research; and the Science, Technology and Society program and the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Fourth Annual DISC Distinguished Lecture. “More Perfect”: A Politics of Empathy in a Challenging American Moment

Abdul El-Sayed, Physician | Public Health Expert | 2018 Candidate for Governor of Michigan

Abdul El-Sayed

“We, the People, in order to form a more perfect union.” Those are the first eight words of the preamble of our Constitution, the foundation of our system of government and politics. When I ran for Governor in Michigan, I aimed to advance universal healthcare, a sustainable energy system, access to public goods and services, and against corporate capture of our economy. And yet the focus was nearly always on my name, my faith, and my ethnicity—that I could be “first Muslim Governor.” In union halls, living rooms, and town watering holes across Michigan, I had the opportunity to listen to and learn from Michiganders—as a millennial, Muslim-American candidate. In this talk, I reflect on the roles of identity and ideals in our current political moment. I argue for a politics of empathy, that centers our actions on the systems of oppression, rather than its symbols, and embrace the responsibility to speak truth to power, only after we’ve learned to empathize with pain. I center these in what it means to be “more perfect,” advancing mutual aims from diverse perspectives in a pluralistic society. 

Named “The new Obama” by The Guardian, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a physician and public health expert who ran to be the first Muslim-American governor of Michigan. His campaign excited Americans, with his progressive focus on public health, education, diversity, and dialogue. Before running for governor, El-Sayed served as Health Commissioner in Detroit, where he rebuilt Detroit’s Health Department after it had been privatized during the city’s municipal bankruptcy.

Prior to his work in public service, El-Sayed was tenure-track faculty member at Columbia University’s Department of Epidemiology; director of the Columbia University Systems Science Program, and co-director of Global Research for Population Health. El-Sayed holds a doctorate in public health from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, as well as an MD from Columbia University. He graduated with Highest Distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan. At graduation, El-Sayed was selected to deliver the Student Commencement Address alongside President Clinton, who said of him, “I just wish every person in the world could have heard you speak today.” 

For full bio, visit


The Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) aims to provide students with global perspective on Islam and the Muslim world by coordinating an Islamic studies curriculum across the Big Ten via synchronous videoconferencing and distance learning technology. DISC is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and housed at the U-M International Institute. The Annual DISC Distinguished Lecture features a prominent scholar or public figure speaking about issues related to Islamic studies. 

Organized by the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC), with support from the Global Islamic Studies Center, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar, and International Institute.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland

Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health, and Society; Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society; Professor of Psychiatry; Vanderbilt University

book cover "Dying of Whiteness"In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death.

Physician Jonathan M. Metzl’s quest to understand the health implications of “backlash governance” leads him across America’s heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. And he shows these policies’ costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, rising dropout rates, and falling life expectancies. White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise.

Event Accessibility : 
Ramp and elevator access at the E. Washington Street entrance (by the loading dock). There are accessible restrooms on the south end of Lane Hall, on each floor of the building. A gender neutral restroom is available on the first floor.