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 2022-2023 academic year is "Bearing Witness."

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, 2022. 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

2022-2023 SRDG Theme

"Bearing Witness"

The 20th century combined unprecedented technological progress with extreme human catastrophes. Throughout them, both observers and victims recorded events, either for personal reasons or with future generations in mind. The fourth cohort of fellows in the Social Research and Discussion Group will read leading examples of people who used personal diaries, literary fiction, and journalistic essays to bear witness to the experiences going on around them.

Books in the Series

  • Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
  • John Hersey, Hiroshima
  • James Baldwin, Notes of A Native Son
  • Rodolfo Walsh, Operation Massacre
  • Svetlana Alexievich, Zinky Boys