As appropriate for a university dedicated to the creation of a more just and humane world, Dominican currently sponsors or co-sponsors two sociology-related conferences that further those goals. Both conferences are led by sociology faculty members.
Each March, Dominican University and Concordia University Chicago co-present the annual Gender and Women Studies Mini Conference. This half-day conference features formal paper, poster and art presentations by faculty, staff and students from both universities. All work addresses the themes of gender or the study of women. Christina Perez, associate professor of sociology and director of the Women and Gender Studies Program at Dominican, co-directs the conference.
Every other June, Dominican has hosted Blues and the Spirit, a scholarly symposium that directly precedes the Chicago Blues Festival. In 2010, Blues and the Spirit II commemorated the centennial of the birth of the famed musician Howlin’ Wolf and the 40th anniversary of Living Blues Magazine. Janice Monti, professor of sociology and musicologist, directs the symposium.
Students may also take an associated 3-credit course, Blues and the Spirit: A Seminar and Service Learning Experience on Chicago Blues and Gospel Music. Students attend several seminars prior to the conference, and then participate in the conference itself.