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Kristin Lawler, PhD

Kristin Lawler


Professor of Sociology
PhD, City University of New York
BA, The Catholic University of America

Areas of Interest 

  • Social Theory
  • The Labor Movement
  • Popular Culture



  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 301 Social Problems
  • SOC 302 Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 306 The Family
  • SOC 310 Sociology of Deviance
  • SOC 324 Sociological Theory



2024 | Live Theory: The Aronowitz Reader, Peter Bratsis, Bruno Gulli, Kristin Lawler, and Michael Pelias, eds. New York: Eris Press/Columbia University Press, forthcoming.

2024 | Roll and Flow: the Cultural Politics of Surfing and Skateboarding, David Cline, Kristin Lawler, and Michael Roberts, eds. San Diego: San Diego State University Press.

2011 | The American Surfer: Radical Culture and CapitalismNew York: Routledge.

Book Chapters

2024 | Interventions in the Social Construction of Space and Time: What’s at Stake in the Roll and Flow of Skateboarding and Surfing, with Michael James Roberts, in Roll and Flow: the Cultural Politics of Skateboarding and Surfing. San Diego: San Diego State University Press.

2024 | Heroic Idleness: The Anti-Work Ethic in Surfer-Wobbly Countercultures, with Michael James Roberts, in Roll and Flow: the Cultural Politics of Skateboarding and Surfing. San Diego: San Diego State University Press.

2023 | Sex, Hope, and Rock and Roll: Radical Feminism and the Freudian Left, in Feminism and the Early Frankfurt School, Christine A. Payne and Jeremiah Morelock, eds. New York: Brill.

2020 | Radical America: the 1930s and the Politics of Storytelling in Back to the 30s?: Recurring Crises of Capitalism, Liberalism, and Democracy, Susan Falls, Taylor C. Nelms, Jeremy Rayner, and George Souvlis, eds. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2019 | Labor’s Will to Power: Nietzsche, American Syndicalism, and the Politics of Liberation in Nietzsche and Critical Social Theory: Affirmation, Animosity, and Ambiguity, Michael Roberts and Christine Payne, eds., Boston: Brill Publishers.

2017 | Free Ride: the Food Stamp Surfer, American Counterculture, and the Refusal of Work in The Critical Surf Studies Reader, Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee and Alexander Eastman, eds., Durham: Duke University Press.

2017 | The Politics of Austerity and the Ikarian Dream in Class: The Anthology: Perspectives from History, Political Economy, and Cultural Studies, Stanley Aronowitz and Michael Roberts, eds., Boston: Wiley-Blackwell.

2017 | San Onofre Surfers: Roots of American Counterculture, 1920-1946 in Southern California Bohemias, Jay Ruby, ed., San Diego: San Diego State University Press.

2014 | Η πολιτική της χαλαρότητας και το Ικαριακό όνειρο in Διάλογοι Ενάντια στην Κρίση Για τα Κοινά, Μπαρέλη-Γαγλία Μ. και Φάκαρη Α.(ed), Free Flights: Athens.

2013 | “Fix the Tired”: Cultural Politics and the Struggle for Shorter Hours in Living With Class: Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Material Culture, Ron Scapp, and Brian Seitz, eds., New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Refereed Articles

2021 | (with Arto Artinian, Peter Bratsis, Jeremy Glick, Bruno Gulli, Michael Pelias) Revolution in the Virocene: Near (or Nearing) the End of Time. Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, Summer.

2018 | Slackers, Sabotage, and Shorter Hours: Cultural Politics and the Class Struggle. Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, Winter.

2016 | The Mediterranean Imaginary: A Nationalism of the Sun, a Communism of the Sea. Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, Winter.

2014 | Oceanic Futures: Mataroa and the Mediterranean Imaginary. Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, Winter.

1988 | (with Zukin, Sharon, et. al.) From Coney Island to Las Vegas in the Urban Imaginary: Discursive Practices of Growth and Decline.Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 33, Number 5, May.

Book Reviews, Interviews, and Other Academic Publications

2023 | Book review of To Live is to Resist: the Life of Antonio Gramsci (Jean-Yves Fretigne, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022) in Contemporary Sociology 52.

2016 | Living Laboratories: From Detroit to Athens and Back, a Conversation with Dan Georgakas and the Situations Collective. Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, Winter.

2015 | Aloha and the Mediterranean: A Review of “Bella Vita,” Italian American Review,Volume 5, Number 2.

2008 | Book review of Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom (Santa Monica: Santa Monica Press, 2008) in Southwest Journal of Cultures, Winter.

2005 | Book review of Hard Work: Remaking the Labor Movement (Rick Fantasia and Kim Voss, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) in New Politics Vol. X, Number 3, Summer.

2004 | Book review of The New Left Revisited (John McMillian and Paul Buhle, eds., Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003) in New Politics Vol IX, No. 4.

2013 | The Politics of Austerity and the Ikarian Dream. Z Magazine, Volume 26, Number 3, March.

2012 |  Πολιτική της Λιτότητας και το Ικαριακό Όνειρο (το κείμενο). Ikaria Magazine,

2011 | Fear of a Slacker Revolution: Occupy Wall Street and the Cultural Politics of the Class Struggle. Possible Futures Digital Forum, Social Science Research Council., December.

2011 | (with William Kornblum) Collecting and Connecting in New York’s Central Park. Lo Squaderno: Explorations in Space and Society, Special Issue on Urban Knowledge, No. 19, March.

2001 | (with William Kornblum) Public Use of Urban Parks: A Research Manual. New York: Lila Wallace Foundation.

Conference Presentations and Invites Talks

2023 | Surfing, Capitalism, and the Refusal of Work. Invited talk at University of California, Santa Cruz Center for Cultural Studies, April 19.

2023 | Imaterial and Flanantes: Brazilian Skateboarding and Filmmaking Cultures. Plenary session at “The Stoke Sessions: an International Conference on the Culture, History, and Politics of Surfing and Skateboarding,” San Diego State University, April 20 – 23.

2023 | Flow: Beyond Conventional Psychological Interpretations of the Surfing Experience. Regular session presentation at “The Stoke Sessions: an International Conference on the Culture, History, and Politics of Surfing and Skateboarding,” San Diego State University, April 20-23.

2023 | Heroic Idleness: the Antiwork Ethic in Surfer-Wobbly Countercultures. Regular session presentation at “The Stoke Sessions: an International Conference on the Culture, History, and Politics of Surfing and Skateboarding,” San Diego State University, April 20 – 23.

2023 | Labor and Power. Presentation at “The Singularity of Stanley Aronowitz,” Graduate Center, CUNY, March 3.

2022 | Class Struggle, Sabotage, and the Refusal of Work. Presentation at “Historical Materialism Nineteenth Annual Conference – Facing the Abyss: An Epoch of War and Permanent Counterrevolution.” School of Oriental and African Studies, London,10th-13th November 2022.

2021 | Radical Culture, Class, and Education, presentation given at “Carry it On: the Radical Imagination, Past and Present: a Tribute to the Work of Stanley Aronowitz,” a conference organized by the CUNY Graduate Center Department of Sociology and the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, November.

2021 | Revolution in the Virocene: Near (or Nearing) the End of Time, group presentation by the Situations Collective at Marxist Education Project and Left Forum, October.

2021 | Radical America: the 1930s and the Politics of Storytelling, presentation at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics’ book event for Back to the 30s?: Recurring Crises of Capitalism, Liberalism, and Democracy, May.

2021 | Pulling Punches: Attention, Capital, Labor, presentation of short film by Kristin Lawler and Julian Chehirian with Q and A with the filmmakers afterward, Monira Foundation, March.

2020 | Attention and Anticapitalism, presentation at “The Politics of Attention II: Self and Other in the Shared World,” organized by the Friends of Attention, New York City.

2019 | Antifascism, Counterculture, and the Surfer Imaginary, Plenary Sessions presentation at “Impact Zones and Liminal Spaces: the Culture and History of Surfing” conference, San Diego State University, April.

2018 | Athletes, Civil Rights Activism, and American History, Presentation at “Sports and Society” conference, University of Mount Saint Vincent.

2018 | Slackers, Sabotage, and Shorter Hours, Presentation at Pacific Sociological Association conference.

2017 | Culture, Refusal, and the Point of Production in False Promises and The Crisis in Historical MaterialismPresentation at “Stanley Aronowitz and the Labors of Theory” conference, City University of New York Graduate Center.

2017 | Power and Culture: Nietzsche and Syndicalist Labor Politics, Presentation at “Nietzsche and Critical Social Theory: Affirmation, Animosity, Ambiguity” conference, San Diego State University.

2016 | Shanty Irish: the Roots of American Syndicalism, Presentation at “Ireland and the Wobbly World” conference, National University of Ireland Galway.

2016 | Offing the Grid: Self-Provisioning Communities and the Refusal of Work, Presentation at the Society for the Anthropology of North America/Canadian Anthropology Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

2015 | Postindustrial Counterpublics: the Surfer Imaginary and the Politics of Leisure, Presentation at the Society for the Anthropology of North America, New York City.

2014 | Althusser and Reproduction: A Symptomatic Reading of the Politics of Defeat, Presentation at Left Forum, “Rereading Althusser” panel sponsored by Verso Books, New York City.

2014 | The Cultural Politics of the Gezi Uprising, Presentation at Left Forum, “Gezi Resistance,” New York City.

2014 | Reform School: Higher Education and the Politics of the Speedup, Presentation at Left Forum, “Is Education Reform Possible?” New York City.

2013 | Slacker Politics: the Work Ethic and the Mediterranean Imaginary, public address, Raches Town Hall, Ikaria, Greece, July 18, 2013.

2013 | The Cultural Politics of Shangri-La. Presentation at “Mataroa: Against Crisis, for the Commons.” Ikaria, Greece.

2009 | The American Surfer: Capitalism and the Countercultural Image. Presentation at the Pacific Sociological Association, San Diego, CA.

2007 | Radical: The Image of the Surfer and the Politics of Popular Culture. Presentation at Regular Session on Popular Culture, American Sociological Association, New York, NY, August 11, 2007.

Other Media

2023 | The American Surfer and Capitalism, guest on “The Surfing Historian” podcast,

2022 | Whither Sexual Liberation? Guest on “Prosperity Marxism” podcast,

2019 | Pandemic Politics and Today’s Mass Uprising, video for Democracy@Work,

2011 – present | Slackerpolitics. WordPress blog.

Conferences Organized

2023 | The Stoke Sessions: an International Conference on the Culture, History, and Politics of Surfing and Skateboarding, San Diego State University.

2014 – 2017 | The Left Forum, John Jay College, CUNY.

Recent Professional Activities

  • Affiliated faculty and founding member, Surf and Skate Studies Collaborative, San Diego State University
  • Advisory board member, Board Cultures journal
  • Discussant on PhD Student Seminar, Second to Third year Defense, University of Rome, La Sapienza, for Andrea Bucchetti’s dissertation, “Skatebordering: Global Production and Local Consumption of a Popular Culture at the US – Mexico Western Border”
  • Member, Board of Directors, Institute for the Radical Imagination, November 2021 – present.
  • Member, editorial collective, Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, 2013 – present.
  • Member, Board of Directors, Left Forum, 2014 – 2017.
  • Peer reviewer: Routledge, University of Michigan Press (books), Open Anthropological Research (article)
  • Social science reviewer, CUNY JFRASE Junior Faculty Research Award program, Spring 2020 and Research in the Classroom program, Fall 2020

Professional Appointments

University of Mount Saint Vincent

  • June 2021 – present | Professor
  • July 2014 – present | Associate Professor
  • August 2014 – present | Department Chair
  • August 2008 – 2014 | Assistant Professor
  • July 2014 – August 2022 | Department Chair
  • Courses Taught: Social Theory, Senior Capstone Seminar, Race and Ethnicity, The Family, Sociology of Deviance, Social Problems, Introduction to Sociology, The Sociological Imagination, Research in Public Space, Politics and Culture, Honors: Methods of Cultural Analysis, Honors: What is Evidence?, Literature as Social Knowledge, Power and Conflict, Social Change and Social Movements, Urban Sociology.

Bard Prison Initiative

  •  February 2019 – June 2020 | Instructor, Bard Prison Initiative
  • Courses taught: The Sociological Imagination, Social Movements, Introduction to Sociology

Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library

  • Feb. 2022 – Jan. 2024 | Instructor, Bard Microcollege
  • Courses taught: Urban Ethnography, Introduction to Sociology

City University of New York 

  • August 2006 – May 2008 | CUNY Writing Fellow, Borough of Manhattan Community College Aug. 1997- May 2000   Graduate Teaching Fellow, Queens College, CUNY
  • August 2003 – May 2006 | Adjunct Lecturer, Queens College, CUNY