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Center for the Study of Social Justice

The Center for the Study of Social Justice (CSSJ) facilitates interdisciplinary research in areas of inquiry that inform scholars and policy makers about what is fair, equitable, and beneficial for people. Toward that end, the Center offers a forum for faculty and graduate students to share their expertise, collaborate on research projects, and disseminate their work to a broader audience. CSSJ fosters research and teaching related to social justice beyond the boundaries of individual departments and colleges at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. More than 65 UTK faculty members from 22 Departments in seven Colleges are affiliated with the Center as research fellows. CSSJ Fellows recognize the importance of bridging disciplinary boundaries in order to generate science-based solutions to everyday problems. The CSSJ is divided into 16 divisions dedicated to some of the most pressing social problems facing our world. The Center promotes path-breaking insights and new forms of collaboration that advance social justice research and theory.


Dr. Harry F. Dahms
CSSJ Co-Director

Dr. R. Scott Frey
CSSJ Co-Director

Dr. Stephanie Bohon
CSSJ Associate Director


Michael Sandel talks to Tony Harris of Talk to Al Jazeera about justice, its meaning and its context within the Arab Spring demonstrations and protest. Sandel, a teacher and professor of political philosophy at Harvard University, has gained international attention for his online lectures about justice.

The CSSJ is inviting applications for its Fall 2012 Proposal Development Initiative. The goal of this semester-long program is to support exceptional faculty researchers applying for external funding in the social and behavioral sciences. The program will provide structure and support to transform a research plan into a completed grant proposal that must be submitted in spring 2013. Applications are due August 15. Contact Diana Moyer at or 974-5909 for more information.

The Knoxville News Sentinel featured CSSJ Fellow Bharat Mehra's work to address the rural digital divide. Funded through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, Dr. Mehra created an online-based Information Technology Rural Librarian master's program that addresses the challenges of accessing information in areas with limited internet access. The full article is available here.

Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum, a new online and open-access journal, is currently accepting manuscripts and media submissions for its next issue. The deadline for submissions for the Fall 2011 issue is May 15, 2011. The mission of Catalyst is to bring together research and multimedia from multiple disciplines that are oriented toward the understanding and practice of social justice. More information is available at Catalyst or by emailing

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