Dr Hermilio Santos is first non-European to preside ISA's Research Committee 38 Biography and Society
School of Humanities professor and coordinator of the Center for Economic and Social Analysis of PUCRS (CAES), Dr Hermilio Santos, has been unanimously elected president of Research Committee 38 Biography and Society of the International Sociological Association (ISA) on July 18. This is the first time a non-European individual serves as president of the Committee. “I will be serving or four years and will be in charge of coordinating this committee that seeks to foster discussions of research based on biographical analyses. This is a specific area of studies in the area of Sociology in which the investigations of specific social phenomena, such as migration, violence – victims and perpetrators – as well as unemployment, are addressed as researchers conduct biographic interviews with people who have gone through that”, says he.
In his view, biographic research in sociology in Brazil is not as popular as it is in Germany, France and Netherlands. “In this sense, becoming president of this ISA’s committee will help increase the popularity of this area in Brazil too”, explains he. In addition to discussions in conferences, congresses and a forum to be held every four years, two yearly newsletters are produced. On top of that, the committee’s productions will be published in special editions of academic journals all over the world.
On the same day, the documentary Lifeworld – The sociology of Alfred Schütz, was exhibited in Toronto, Canada. The film was watched by around 300 people. It was directed and written by Santos, who also directed the photography. The audience joined a debate on Schütz’s sociology. The material is expected to be used in university classrooms all over the world. “They were very impressed about the technical quality, images, interviews and soundtrack”, says he.
Santos also represented PUCRS at the 19th Congress of Sociology of the International Sociological Association (ISA) on July 14. He gave a speech in the opening ceremony as president of the local organizing committee of the 4th Forum of Sociology of ISA, which will be held at PUCRS in 2020. Santos coordinates all activities under the Forum, including fundraising, program designing and the recruitment of volunteering students, among others. It is important to mention that ISA’s directors are directly involved in designing the program.
“The Forum will possibly bring some innovations, such as sessions for internationally-recognized sociologists to comment on the articles submitted by PhD students from all over the world”, says he. Organizers are also planning to have sessions to exhibit and discuss documentaries produced by ISA-associated sociologists. The 4th Forum has been designed to reduce the volume of printed materials and use recyclable material as much as possible.