Jennifer Earl, associate professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara and a specialist in social movements, information technology, and the legal system, has received the campus's coveted 2006-07 Harold J. Plous Memorial Award. She will give the annual Plous Lecture at 4 p.m. May 9 in the McCune Conference Room, Humanities and Social Sciences Building, 6020. The lecture is free and open to the public.
In her talk, titled "Arrests and Political Repression: Understanding the Policing of the 2004 Republican National Convention and Its Implications," Earl will dispel the notion held by many scholars and social commentators that protest-related arrests, particularly mass arrests, are benign events. Using data from records of arrests and interviews with people taken into police custody at protests held during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, she will demonstrate that arrests can be used to punish protesters summarily without substantial judicial review.
Earl, who is director of the Center for Information Technology and Society at UCSB, has received major grant awards, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for young scholars. She has published widely in leading academic journals, such as the American Sociological Review, as well as in more public venues, including The Washington Post. Her current research centers on Internet activism.
The Harold J. Plous Memorial Award was established in 1957 to honor the memory of Harold J. Plous, assistant professor of economics. The award is given annually to a faculty member of the rank of assistant professor or instructor who has demonstrated outstanding performance by creative action or contribution to the intellectual life of the UC Santa Barbara community.