ARC Seminar: Gary Alan Fine

Thursday, May 11, 2023

4:00 pm — 5:30 pm

Hybrid (see description for details)

Open to the Public

“How to Become a Fallen Demagogue: The Reputational Politics of ‘Cotton’ Tom Heflin”

Admission Price



In-Person: Registration not required.  

Online: Register here (to participate in this and other ARC Seminars via Zoom). 


This is a hybrid event. 
Participants may choose to attend in person at the CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5318, or online via Zoom (link provided upon registration).  

Gary Alan Fine is the James E. Johnson Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University. Previously he taught at the University of Georgia and the University of Minnesota. During his long career, he has been affiliated with the University of Cambridge, Oxford University, Australian National University, Sciences Po, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Iceland, and the University of Bremen. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been a Fellow at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Several of his twenty books have received disciplinary awards in sociology and in folklore.

Fines's research has four distinct streams. He is interested in understanding controversial reputations and problematic collective memories of figures such as Joseph McCarthy, Warren Harding, George Wallace, and Benedict Arnold. This research was published in Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept, and Controversial. His current research involves shifting reputations and political positions of Southern segregationist politics and the examination of ruptures in political alliances. As an ethnographer he has recently published a book (Fair Share: Senior Activists, Tiny Publics, and the Culture of Resistance), an examination of senior citizen progressive activists and the way in which history and experience shapes social movements. His current ethnographic project is an examination of Civil War history enthusiast, and the way that American citizens engage with their past. His third stream of research involves the interpretation of rumor and contemporary legend, particularly political and economic rumor. Fine is the  co-author of The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration and Trade Matter. Finally, he writes on microsociological theory, focusing on small group culture, and has recently published The Hinge: Civil Society, Group Cultures and the Power of Commitment addressing the role of small groups in the public sphere.



CUNY attendees must show proof of vaccination by presenting a valid CUNY Access Pass through the CLEARED4 health validation platform upon entry. Non-CUNY visitors will need to show proof of ID by presenting a valid government-issued photo document. See the full Building Entry Policy for more information.