Couch-Stone Symposium 2019 – De Moines (May 16 – 18)

Fellow Interactionists:

The Couch-Stone Symposium in Des Moines is just two weeks away (May 16-18). Our theme is “Teaching & Symbolic Interactionism.”

Highlights will include:

• Nancy Berns’ address on “Helping People Grieve: Teaching Theory as a Matter of Life and Death” (Thursday afternoon)

• Maxine Atkinson’s address on “Keep it Active: Teaching Symbolic Interactionism in Introductory Courses” (Friday morning)

• Kerry Ferris’ address on “Teaching with Symbolic Interaction: Meeting Them Where They Are” (Friday afternoon)

• SSSI Banquet (Friday evening)

• Paper sessions related to teaching and to general topics

If you’re planning on attending but haven’t yet reserved a room at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown, please do so by Wednesday, May 1 using this link:

Also, if you are attending but haven’t been in touch with the organizers, please let us know at

We will be contacting all attendees later this week to ask what meals you will be attending.

Laurie Linhart, Des Moines Area Community College
David Schweingruber, Iowa State University

Student Directors:
Steve Beeman, Iowa State University
David W. Wahl, Iowa State University

About Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction - Blog

The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) is an international professional organization of scholars interested in the study of a wide range of social issues with an emphasis on identity, everyday practice, and language.
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2 Responses to Couch-Stone Symposium 2019 – De Moines (May 16 – 18)

  1. Robert Lee Overby says:

    I recently did an Internet search for Dr. Gregory P. Stone. I was a student in his Introduction to Social Psychology class; in 1970, as I recall.
    I don’t recall any details about the course, but I thought Dr. Stone was the most interesting professor I had in my 4 years at the University of MN.
    The class provided an interesting view of society. At the time, I had just switched from being a Linguistics major (German and French) to the field of Urban Sociology.
    After commuting from home to campus for 4 years and delivering mail in the urban renewal area of Saint Paul, I had developed an interest in learning more about cities, and specifically the question of why some areas had nice homes and other areas had old, run-down homes. I was not naive about racism and redlining, but I wanted to understand more about how society “allowed” that to happen.
    Anyway, here is the reason I have emailed your conference site: to tell two amusing anecdotes about Dr. Stone.

    1. He had an office in the Sociology Dept, but said you could usually find him at Caesar’s bar in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis.

    2. 1970 saw many students taking an active part in anti-war protests, and marching from the campus to the Federal Building in downtown Mpls.
    So one week, a protest march was scheduled for the same time as the Social Psychology class. We talked about in class, and Dr. Stone said he would cancel that class session- so students could go to the protest.
    Well, that got him in trouble with his department chair, who said that he had to provide a time for a make-up session for that missed class time.
    So Dr. Stone provided a make-up
    class time (and sent a message to his dean at the same time): the class would be held at 3:13 am! Of course, we all that this was great, but the really amusing thing is that some students actually attended that class! Not
    me; I was at home sleeping.

    The “rest of the story” for me was that I got my BA in Sociology in June of 1971. But since I had not found any jobs in Sociology, I went back to delivering mail for the USPS.

    Two years later, the wanted me to become a manager. I turned that down and decided to go back to graduate school and get an MA in Urban and Regional Studies. I went on to work in planning, zoning, and policy research for the next 25 years. So I received my “field work” in the community after all!

    That’s all I have.
    You can reply to my email, if you have any questions or comments.

  2. andee9 says:

    Hi, Robert,
    Please excuse the lateness of my reply to your response, as I just saw it. Thank you so much for telling us of your experience in Gregory Stone’s course in Social Psychology. I also went to school around that time of demonstrations and protests. Your story is fantastic, so rewarding to read. I am happy you went on to attend grad school in Urban Studies and that you found your career there.

    andee/ Dr. Andrea Baker, Associate Professor of Sociology Emerita, Ohio University)

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