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WVU Sociology & Anthropology to host prominent sociologist

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is pleased to announce that Randall Collins will be on campus to present “When Violence Happens, or Not: The Emotional Dynamics of Violent Situations” at 4 p.m. March 29 in White Hall B51.

According to Professor Collins, most of what people think they know about violence is wrong.  Drawing on evidence from a wide variety of sources – from the accounts of ancient battles to footage of modern street fights – Collins dispels the popular myths about fights and other violent encounters.  In his talk, he will address the up-close reality of violent acts, and present his innovative explanation of why some encounters end in violence while others do not.

Randall Collins is Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and is perhaps the most influential living theorist in the field.  A former president of the American Sociological Association, he has published many influential books on a wide variety of subjects, including education, inequality, social rituals, face-to-face interaction, intellectual creativity, and global politics.  His most recent book, Violence: A Microsociological Theory, received the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Book Award.

The talk is the final installment of Sociology and Anthropology’s 2015-16 Mary L. Thomas Lecture Series in celebration of its new doctoral program in Sociology. 

The series has been made possible with funds from the Mary L. Thomas Endowment. Established by a generous gift by alumna Mary L. Thomas in 1992, the Mary L. Thomas Endowment supports the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of English to support lectureships, colloquia, symposia, or seminars alternating biennially between both departments.

For more information, please contact Jason Manning ( or Katie Corcoran (

Tagged with Sociology