Social Research and Discussion Group (SRDG)

What is the SRDG?

The SRDG is an annual program at the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. Professor Perez and up to twelve students will meet six times during the academic year (fall and winter terms), over dinner from the Marketplace provided by SOAN. For an hour, the group will have an informal conversation about a book designated in advance. The goal is to provide students an opportunity to connect with each other and faculty, read books with a social science perspective in mind, and further develop their analytical skills.

The theme for the 2021/2022 academic year is "Graphic Novels and Social Criticism."

How do I join?

Students can apply to be a fellow by completing the brief questionnaire at the bottom of this page. The deadline for applications is July 15th, 2021. Decisions about admission to the group will be announced shortly after that date.

What are the responsibilities of a fellow?

Fellows are expected to participate in at least five of the six meetings and share with others their views on the book assigned. There are no tests or papers required. At the end of the academic year, participants who have attended the required number of meetings will receive a certificate.

What is the cost?

Participation is free! There are no fees, and dinner is covered by SOAN. You can purchase the books, or get them from the library.

I am planning to study abroad during one of the terms, can I still participate?

Yes you can, students travelling abroad on a program associated with the university will receive a waiver for the meetings in which they are outside the country.

Where can I find more information?

For questions, please email Dr. Perez at

2021-2022 SRDG Theme

"Graphic Novels and Social Criticism"

Long downplayed as a minor fictional genre, in the past few decades comics have gained much-deserved recognition as tools to explore complex social problems. In particular, the combination of visual arts, powerful narratives, and compelling testimonies have allowed cartoonists to examine some of the most consequential events in recent history. The third cohort of fellows in the Social Research and Discussion Group will read leading cases of historical graphic novels.

Books in the Series

  • Art Spiegelman, Maus.
  • Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis.
  • Joe Sacco, Safe Area Goražde.
  • Guy Delisle, Pyongyang.
  • Josh Neufeld, A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge.
  • Kate Evans, Threads from the Refugee Crisis.