Burke's Work Lauded by Professional Sociology Society
Feb. 10, 2016
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The Midwest Sociological Society (MSS) will present its biennial
Early Career Scholarship Award to Illinois Wesleyan University Associate Professor
of Sociology Meghan Burke.
The award recognizes publications by a younger scholar, working alone or with collaborators,
which are particularly meritorious, creative or enlightening, and is designed to recognize
the creative and original work of an individual at the beginning of a promising career.
Burke, whose scholarly research centers on racial discourse, will receive the award
at the MSS annual meeting March 25 in Chicago.
The awards committee noted she has already produced several peer-reviewed articles
and two important books: Race, Gender, and Class in the Tea Party (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015) and Racial Ambivalence in Diverse Communities: Whiteness and the Power of Color-Blind
Ideologies (Lexington Books, 2012). In notifying Burke, the committee wrote they were “greatly
impressed with the depth and coherence of Professor Burke’s scholarly vision, as well
as her distinctive voice and clear research agenda. Her work squarely addresses urgent
and compelling sociological questions about race, politics, and social inequality.”
The committee also noted Burke’s written publications are penned for public as well
as scholarly audiences. “Taken together, her books and articles show strong evidence
of a sophisticated theoretical and empirical project,” the committee wrote.
Burke joined the Illinois Wesleyan faculty in 2009 after earning a Ph.D. from Loyola
University Chicago. At IWU she directs the Engaging Diversity program, an innovative
pre-orientation program designed for white students to learn about privilege and racism.
She was named Student Senate Professor of the Year in 2013.
Nearly 1,400 scholars, students and practicing sociologists in universities, government
and business belong to the Midwest Sociological Society. The organization was founded