Tag Archives: ASA meeting

Wrapping up the 2014 ASA Annual Meeting

On the last night of the ASA meeting, we were joined by an even younger set of New Day filmmakers-in-training: Debbie Lum’s daughters Nina and Anna!

photo 1 New Day’s youngest representatives at ASA 2014.

Later on, we got to attend the plenary session, where the keynote speech was by author and intellectual superstar Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell spoke about privilege, discrimination and tokenism, focusing on the examples of Elizabeth Thompson (Lady Butler) and Moses Mendelssohn. The sociologists really gave him a hard time during the Q&A afterwards – challenging both his assumptions and methods (Gladwell comes from a psychology background, and openly acknowledged that his academic perspective might be different). But overall his talk was warmly received, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

photo 2 Malcolm Gladwell delivers the keynote speech at ASA 2014.

Attendance was really high in the exhibition hall on the last day – we had people still at our booth asking questions a full ten minutes after the 1pm cut-off! Yun and I were pretty exhausted by the end, but New Day classics member Frances Nkara came to our rescue, helping us get everything packed up into a remarkably small number of boxes. We shipped everything out to the east coast team that will be representing New Day Films at the National Media Market later this fall.

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Frances our Fairy Godmother takes charge of the packing-up process.

ASA Conference, Day 3

By Vanessa Warheit, New Day Member

Today, Debbie Lum joined the New Day team at Booth 301 – and a lot of ASA attendees were delighted to meet the celebrity star of “Seeking Asian Female”!
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Debbie Lum with a “Seeking Asian Female” fan from Connecticut

We had another whirlwind day of conversations on a wide range of topics. Among the many visitors to our booth, we chatted with Josh LePree, a PhD candidate and sociology instructor from CU Boulder, who teaches diversity, race/ethnicity, and classes on gender, race, and the state. Josh told us, “I love showing films in my classes – and I feel so blessed to know there are filmmakers like you who see the world the same way we do! And my students really love it when I show films – I think it’s one of the reasons why I get such good teaching scores.”

Photo 2“I’m so happy that New Day exists!” says Matthew Eddy, assistant professor of sociology at Minot State University in North Dakota. Shown here with New Day filmmakers Yun Suh and Debbie Lum.

Photo 3Vanessa Warheit with Ted Cohen, Professor and Chair of Sociology & Anthropology at Ohio Wesleyan University, who told us: “I’ve never used a New Day film I didn’t love!

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Vanessa Warheit with Boaz & Eva Kahana, a husband-and-wife team from Cleveland State University.

Our crew also sat in on a few of the many relevant panel presentations – including sessions on gender, diversity, and indigenous populations. And we’ve finally got the discount code sorted out! Hooray for the New Day web team!
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Debbie Lum, trying to sort out the ASA discount code…

ASA Conference, Day 2

By Vanessa Warheit, New Day Member

Greetings from San Francisco! New Day filmmakers Regan Brashear, Yun Suh, and Vanessa Warheit have been here for the past two days, representing New Day at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. The theme of this year’s conference is “Hard Times: The Impact of Economic Inequality on Families and Individuals” – and we’ve got a LOT of relevant material. Some of the sociologists visiting our booth already know about New Day (particularly those who have been working on reproductive sociology since the 70s), but for a lot of them our booth is their first glimpse into the wide array of films we have on offer.

photo 3Regan and Yun chatting with sociologists at ASA14.

photo 4Regan and Vanessa at the New Day Films Booth #301

For instance – Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, of U.T. Austin, whose work focuses on sexual violence. When she first came by the booth, she looked skeptical, and didn’t even want to put her card in our drawing (we’ll be giving away a free DVD to one lucky winner at the end of the conference). But after talking with us for a while, and learning that we are a collective formed out of the feminist movement, and learning about the range of films we have on offer, her whole demeanor changed – and we’ve now got a new fan.“I’m so glad you guys exist!” she told us. “And yes, you can quote me on that.” We are super glad that Gloria exists, too!

photoYun Suh, Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, and Regan Brashear at Booth #301

The hours have flown by, talking with a lot of really interesting people like Gloria, who are teaching and researching a wide variety of social topics. In addition to inequality, visitors to Booth 301 have shared their interests in race, climate change, deviance, families, addiction, healthcare, and transnational movements – as well as the ever-evolving “social problems.” Sociology is an incredibly rich and diverse field, and we’ve had fascinating conversations with a diverse range of people – from grad students to tenured faculty, coming from institutions right here in the Bay Area and places as far-flung as Australia and Portugal. (“Do you have any films that are subtitled in Portuguese?” asked a woman visiting our booth this morning. Vanessa and Yun started to shake their heads in dismay, when Regan piped up with “Oh, yeah, my film is subtitled in Portuguese – the science museum in Lisbon provided it when they screened it.” Who knew?)

Which brings up an interesting dilemma for those of us representing the collection as a whole. We made a huge effort to see as many New Day films as possible prior to the conference – and to spread the viewing out so at lease one of us would have seen any given title – but with so many titles, and more arriving every day, it’s hard to keep up. Nevertheless, we’ve managed to get a pretty good handle on the collection – and it’s exciting to come up with films that satisfy a  particular need. (Disability & sexuality? How about Sins Invalid?! Environment and development? Try Taking Root! Families and disabilities? Read Me Differently! and more!)

We also got a visit from the Deputy Editor of the Teaching Sociology journal, Michele Kozimor-King, who was interested in finding films to review. The journal often pairs films with books on a relevant topic. We sent her away with a catalogue, postcards, and a few DVDs – but other New Day filmmakers should contact her if they are interested in having a specific new title reviewed!

The smallest visitor to our booth was Goby Greene, a Chihuahua service dog. Her mom – sociologist Dana Greene – told us that Goby is on Facebook (she is), and gave us one of her cards. We dutifully entered her into our drawing to win one free New Day film. If she wins, what will she pick? The Shrimp? Eating Alaska? Or maybe Bag It?

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Goby and her owner, Dana Greene
photo 1 goby card

 Goby’s business card