Curb Faculty Fellows
Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management & Professor of Sociology
My primary faculty appointment is in the organization studies area at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, where I write and teach on business ethics, negotiation, workplace rights, and public policy issues. My last book is Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace (Berrett-Koehler, 2007). I also publish in academic management, ethics, and psychology journals on various topics related to behavior at work, including power, conflict, negotiation, and justice. I also am a co-author of three textbooks on negotiation (published by McGraw Hill/Irwin) that are used in courses at universities worldwide and have been translated into an number of languages. I am currently an associate editor at the scholarly journal Business Ethics Quarterly and serve on the editorial boards of three others. Away from campus, I am a board member and past president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, and I am a contributing writer and blogger on politics and media for the Nashville Scene (a weekly alternative newspaper).
Professor of Sociology and Political Science
As a sociology professor, I write and teach about work, artistic careers, labor, and immigration themes, and I am Editor of the quarterly Work and Occupations. I am presently working on a book project about the individual and collective pursuit of artistic freedom. The project is based on in-depth interviews with over 70 Nashville music professionals in several occupations and examines the interplay between individual inspiration and aspiration, labor market opportunity, and the role of entrepreneurship and occupational associations in the pursuit of artistic freedom and career mobility by artistic workers. The research for this project has been supported by a generous grant from the Curb Center and the 2009 Susan C. Eaton Scholar-Practitioner Grant from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. The project and the interview transcripts, as well as general readings in the sociology of artistic careers, communities, and creative economies, form the basis of my first-year writing seminar on “Artistic Dreams, Communities, and Pathways” which is a semester-long, undergraduate sociology seminar on the pursuit of artistic freedom. The seminar includes the “Enterprising Artists Series,” a guest-speaker interview series which showcases individual Nashville music professionals who are actively engaged in both individual and collective pursuits of artistic freedom.
Associate Professor of Sociology
I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. I received my PhD from the University of Chicago in 2002. My first book, Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City (Routledge 2006), describes the interactions between contemporary artists, the neighborhoods they live in, and elements of the new urban economy such as entertainment and design industries. In addition, I have published popular and scholarly articles on Southern rock music, contemporary art, the economy of tourism, globalization and the “creative city,” “new urbanist” civic design, and Max Weber’s social theory. My current research focuses on the ecology of cultural production in Nashville, TN, and on new strategies of downtown residential development in Sunbelt cities and Nashville particularly. I have accepted invitations to speak at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Boston College, Vassar College, and the Amsterdam School of Social Research, amongst others. I serve on the boards of The American Journal of Sociology and City and Community; I was formerly Culture Editor of Contexts.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Dr. Richard N. Pitt is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. As a sociologist, his research interests lie in four principal areas: education, gender, family, and sociology of religion. His work focuses on the maintenance of presumably oppositional identities, such as gay Christians, secularly-employed clergy, house-husbands, and cross-discipline double majors. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Pitt has coauthored Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools (Harvard University Press) and has published articles on men’s gender-role ideology and religious-sexual identity conflicts. He is co-PI (with Professor Steven Tepper) on a Teagle Foundation funded project on double majoring. Current projects related to that research include analyzing the institutional correlates with double majors and the impact of multiple majoring on students’ breadth in liberal arts course completion. Dr. Pitt is also writing a book which uses a series of more than 100 in-depth interviews with aspiring, licensed, and ordained African-American ministers to examine how these men and women negotiate their pursuit of “the call to ministry” with the educational deficiences, gender discrimination, and constrained labor market that threatens both the legitimacy and the pursuit of those callings. In addition to his Curb Center affiliation, Dr. Pitt is also affiliated with the Gender and Women’s Studies and Jewish Studies departments.
Stephanie Pruitt is a poet, arts educator, and dot-connecting innovative thinker whose bills are delivered to a Nashville, Tennessee address. This Cave Canem Fellow and member of the Affrilachian Poets received the 2010 Academy of American Poets Prize, the 2009 Sedberry Prize and was a finalist for Poets and Writers’ Maureen Egen Award. Essence Magazine selected her as as one of their “40 Favorite Poets” in 2010. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies along with an audio CD entitled “Choice Words.” Stephanie is the author of the collection i am and Life on Lay-a-Way, a chapbook of poetry. She conducts artist residencies in k-12 schools in conjunction with the TN Arts Commission and Youth Speaks Nashville. Stephanie also leads writing workshops for and serves on the Board of Directors of Magadalene House, a recovery community for women. Her poems have been described as “high art with a hearty dose of biscuit-sopping goodness.”