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The Social Life of Guns Symposium: Presenters & Slides

A two-day interdisciplinary research symposium at the University of Rochester, sponsored by the Humanities Center, to examine what guns mean and how guns matter in the contemporary United States.
Day 1, March 29, 2018 Day 2, March 30, 2018

Panel 1: Policy/Prevention

  • Ziming Xuan, "State gun laws and youth access to guns"
  • Jeffrey Swanson, "Gun violence, mental illness, and the law: Balancing resk and rights for effective policy"
  • Jacqueline Campbell, "Keeping guns out of the hands of known domestic violent offenders"

Panel 4: Policing/Criminality

  • Angela Stroud, Race and the social construction of innocence
  • Peter Benson, Smoking guns: Obviousness and tobacco-causation in the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Sandra Bland
  • Jennifer Carlson, "Beyond the police man’s burden: Gun rights & police populism                  

Panel 2: Community

  • John M. Klofas, "The extent and Nature of gun volence in Rochester"
  • Jed Metzger, "Using community capacity development approaches to change gun use mindsets"
  • Catherine Cerulli, "Examining the role of personal loss in the wake of national tragedy"

Panel 5: State of the Debate

  • Niklas Hultin, "On gun control as social and sensorial practice"
  • Charles Cobb Jr., "Gun possession and gun control: A muddled debate"

Panel 3: Power/Control

  • Akinyele Umoja, “When other folks give up theirs…Black freedom and the gun control debate "
  • Alexandra Filindra, "Race, rights and rifles: Race and gender attitudes in shaping white public opinion on guns and the second amendment"
  • Caroline Light, "A good woman with a gun: American mythologies of race, gender, and self-defense 
  • Chad Kautzer, "Tactical subjects: Whiteness and masculinity in U.S. gun culture"


Panel 1: Policy/Prevention

Ziming Xuan photoZiming Xuan, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health

  • Slides from the symposium
  • Recommended resources:
    • Xuan Z, Hemenway D. State Gun Law Environment and Youth Gun Carrying in the United States. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Nov; 169(11):1024-31. PMID: 26390045; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2116
    • Siegel M, Xuan Z, Ross CS, Galea S, Kalesan B, Fleegler E, Goss KA. Easiness of Legal Access to Concealed Firearm Permits and Homicide Rates in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2017 Dec; 107(12):1923-1929.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29048964; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304057

swanson phtotJeffrey Swanson, Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine

  • Swanson, J. (2017). 19.4 Should juvenile crime records disqualify mentally ill adults from buying firearms, and for how long? Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(10), S332-S332. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2017.07.690
  • Felthous, A., & Swanson, J. (2017). Prohibition of persons with mental illness from gun ownership under Tyler. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 45(4), 478-484.

Jacqueline CampbellJacqueline Campbell, Professor, John Hopkins School of Nursing

  • Kwako, L. E., Glass, N. Campbell, J. C., Melvin, K., Barr, & Gill, J. M. 2011. Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence: A critical review of outcomes and mechanisms. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 12(3):115-26.

  • Campbell, J.C., Webster, D. W., & Glass, N. E. 2009. The Danger Assessment: Validation of a lethality risk assessment instrument for intimate partner femicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 653-674.


Panel 2: Community

John Klofas photoJohn Klofas, Professor and Director Emeritus of The Center for Public Safety Initiatives, Rochester Institute of Technology

Jed Metzger photoJed Metzger, Associate Professor in Social Work, Nazareth College

  • Slides, "Using community capacity development approaches to change gun use mindsets"
  • Publications
    • Metzger, J. (2012). Teaching civic engagement: Evaluating an integrative service-learning program. Gateways : International Journal of Community Research & Engagement, 5(1) link

Catherine CerulliCatherine Cerulli Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center

Panel 3: Power/Control

Akinyele UmojaAkinyele Umoja, Professor of African-American Studies, Georgia State University

  • Umoja, A. (2018). The people must decide: Chokwe lumumba, new black power, and the potential for participatory democracy in mississippi. The Black Scholar, 48(2), 7-19. doi:10.1080/00064246.2018.1435126
  • Umoja, A. (2013). From one generation to the next: Armed self-defense, revolutionary nationalism, and the southern black freedom struggle. Souls - A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, 15(3), 218-240. doi:10.1080/10999949.2013.838857
  • Umoja, A. O. (2013). We will shoot back: Armed resistance in the mississippi freedom movement. New York: New York University Press.

Alexandra FilindraAlexandra Filindra, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois, Chicago

  • Filindra, A., & Kaplan, N. (2017). Testing theories of gun policy preferences among blacks, latinos, and whites in america. Social Science Quarterly, 98(2), 413-428. doi:10.1111/ssqu.12418
  • Filindra, A. and N. Kaplan (2016) Racial resentment and white gun policy preferences in contemporary America. Political Behavior, 38(2), 255-275.



Caroline Light photoCaroline Light, Director of Undergraduate Studies & Senior Lecturer of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University

Chad KautzerChad Kautzer, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Lehigh University

  • Kautzer, C. (2015). Good guys with guns: From popular sovereignty to self-defensive subjectivity. Law and Critique, 26(2), 173-187. doi:10.1007/s10978-015-9156-x
  • Kautzer, C., & Mendieta, E. (2009). Pragmatism, nation, and race: Community in the age of empire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


Panel 4: Policing/Criminality

Angela StroudAngela Stroud, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Justice, Northland College

  • Slides, "Rules of Engagement: Race and the Social Construction of Innocence"
  • Stroud, A. (2015). Good guys with guns: The appeal and consequences of concealed carry. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • Lowe, M. R., Stroud, A., & Nguyen, A. (2017). Who looks suspicious? Racialized surveillance in a predominantly white neighborhood. Social Currents, 4(1), 34-50. doi:10.1177/2329496516651638

Peter BensenPeter Benson, Associate Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

  • Benson, P. (2016). The crime of innocence and the depths of sorriness: Notes on apologies and reparations in the united states. Cultural Dynamics, 28(2), 121-141. doi:10.1177/0921374016653231
  • Benson, P. (2014). Corporate paternalism and the problem of harmful products. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 37(2), 218-230. doi:10.1111/plar.12071

Jennifer CarlsonJennifer Carlson, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Government & Public Policy at the University of Arizona

Panel 5: State of the Debate

Niklas Hultin photoNiklas Hultin, Assistant Professor Program, George Mason University

Charles E. Cobb Jr.Charles E. Cobb Jr., journalist, professor, and former activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

  • Transcript from the symposium, "Gun possession and gun control: A muddled debate"
  • Cobb, C. E., Jr. (2014). This nonviolent stuff'll get you killed: How guns made the civil rights movement possible. New York, NY: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
  • Cobb, C. E., Jr. (2008). On the road to freedom: A guided tour of the civil rights trail (1st ed.). Chapel Hill, N.C: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
  • Minter, W., Hovey, G., & Cobb, C. E., Jr. (2008). No easy victories: African liberation and American activists over a half century, 1950-2000. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.