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Sophia Krzys Acord CV

Name Sophia Krzys Acord
Nationality American

2009: Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Exeter, supervised by Tia DeNora and Robert Witkin

-- Dissertation: Decoding the Good Eye: The Role of Tacit Knowledge, Taste, and Embodied Cognition in Curating Contemporary Art -- Honourable Mention awarded by the 2009 ASA Dissertation Prize committee.  

2005: M.Res. (Masters of Research Methodology) in Sociology, University of Exeter, Graduated summa cum laude

-- Thesis: Classifying Obscenity - Robert Mapplethorpe’s X Portfolio: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Artistic Controversy and the Discursive Constitution of the Public Sphere  

2003: B.A., Sociology & Anthropology (Minor, Interpretation Theory), Swarthmore College, PA, Graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

-- Thesis: The Art of Legitimacy: An Ethnographic Study of the Parisian Artistic Squat Movement

Selected Work/Service

2010-present: Associate Director, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, University of Florida

-- Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law

2007-present: Specialist Researcher, Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), University of California, Berkeley

-- Project Manager, The Future of Scholarly Communication, funded by the Andrew W. -- Mellon Foundation. Researcher on the Open and Affordable Textbooks project, and the Mellon-funded Meaning and Locus of Peer Review for Publication project.

2007-present: Founding Editor, Music and Arts in Action (MAiA)

2006-2008: UK Subject Network for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP)

-- Sociology group member, Created national resources and programs to support undergraduate teaching and learning in sociology across the UK

2004: Invited Lecturer and Seminar Discussant, Department of Drama, University of Exeter

-- On the M.A. course in Applied Drama 2003-2007:

Undergraduate Tutor, Department of Sociology, University of Exeter

-- Tutor for Social Anthropology I and II 

2001-2002: Internship, La Délégation aux Arts Plastiques (Research and Diffusion), Ministry of Culture

-- In conjunction with Internships in Francophone Europe and Sciences Po, Paris, France

2000: Outreach Assistant Instructor, InterAct Theatre Company, Philadelphia

-- Group instructor in theatrical residencies focusing on conflict resolution in juvenile detention centers, group homes, and underprivileged schools. Contributed to federal grant applications.

1999-2000: Arizona Alliance for Art's Education - Advisory Board Member

-- Designed an online-art-course to provide instruction and certification in the fine arts to rural and disadvantaged students:


Center for Mobile Communication Studies, Rutgers University, Research Associate. Designed and conducted research, literature reviews, secondary data analysis, and small-scale surveys in the areas of: e-health, mobile communications, virtual communities, spirituality and digital technologies, and mobile gaming. Drafted and contributed to publications. (2003-2007)

School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter, Research Assistant. Provided literature surveys and research support to Professor Gert Biesta on the topic of evidence-based practice in education. (2005)

Department of Drama, University of Exeter, Research Consultant and Evaluator. Action research of On the Edge, a dramatic intervention into Devon Colleges on the subject of first-episode psychosis. On the Edge won the UK Department of Health’s 2005 Health and Social Care Awards for Mental Health in the Southern region. (2003-2004)


Refereed publications

Acord, S.K. (conditionally accepted). Installing contemporary art: Curatorial power and agency in configuring museum publics. Cultural Sociology.

Acord, S. K. (2010). Beyond the head: The practical work of curating contemporary art. Qualitative Sociology 33(4), Special Issue: Knowledge in Practice. 

Harley, D. and Acord, S.K. (2010, April). Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: Its Meaning, Locus, and Future. Berkeley, CA: Center for Studies in Higher Education. Available at:

Harley, D., S. Lawrence, Acord, S.K. & J. Dixson. (2010). Affordable and open textbooks: An exploratory study of faculty attitudes. California Journal of Politics and Policy 2(1): article 10. . Berkeley, CA: Center for Studies in Higher Education. Available at:

Acord, S.K. & DeNora, T. (2008). Culture and the arts: From art worlds to arts-in-action. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 619(1), 223-237.

Katz, J.E. & Acord, S.K. (2008). Mobile games and entertainment. In J.E. Katz (ed.), Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge: MIT Press, 403-418.

Sutherland, I. & Acord, S.K. (2007). Thinking with art: From situated knowledge to experiential knowing. The Journal of Visual Art Practice 6(2), 125-140.

Acord, S.K. (2006). Beyond the code: New aesthetic methodologies for the sociology of the arts. Sociologie de l’Art OPUS 9-10, 69-86. 2 (issue on contemporary curatorship). Available at:

Katz, J., Rice, R.E. & Acord, S.K. (2006). Uses of internet and mobile technology in health systems: Organizational and sociocultural issues in a comparative context. In M. Castells & G. Cardoso (eds.), The Network Society: From Knowledge to Policy. Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 183-214. (Co-published in Portuguese. Lisboa: Gulbenkian Foundation).

Katz, J., R. Rice & S.K. Acord. (2004). E-health networks and social transformations: Expectations of centralization, experiences of decentralization. In M. Castells (ed.), The Network Society: A Global Perspective. London: Edward Elgar, 293-318. (Translated in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese).

Katz, J., R. Rice, S.K. Acord, K. Dasgupta & K. David. (2004). Personal mediated communication and the concept of community in theory and practice. In P. Kalbfleisch (ed.), Communication and Community: Communication Yearbook 28. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.: Mahwah, NJ, 315-371.


Other publications: Book reviews, interviews, and translations

Acord, S.K. (2008). Review of Bogart, The Politics of Urban Beauty: New York and its Art Commission. Sociology 42(4), 781-783.  

Acord, S.K. (2008). Review of Hobbs & Wright (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Fieldwork. Sociology 42(1), 207-209.  

Acord, S.K. (2007). Review of Ericsson, Charness, Feltovich & Hoffman (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance. Sociology 41(6), 1231-1233.  

Acord, S.K. & Kaul, P. (2007). Review of Nayar, Reading Culture: Theory, Praxis, Politics. Sociology 41(4), 752-753.  

Acord, S.K. (2006). The road to public art: Interview with Hans-Ulrich Obrist. ARCO Contemporary Art (special art fair edition), 38. 

Willaime, J.P. (2004). The cultural turn in the sociology of religion in France. Translated by S. Acord and G. Davie. Sociology of Religion 65(4), 373-389.


“Understanding Digital Natives” web seminar. Presented by the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) in collaboration with the Association for American University Presses (AAUP) (2010)

“Does ‘it work’? A microethnographic study of the installation of contemporary art.” Evaluation Practices in Art Worlds, Social Science Research Center Berlin (2009)

“What is in a glimpse? A grounded aesthetic for expertise in contemporary art.” American Sociological Association, San Francisco (2009)

“A relational aesthetic for social theory: Culture, cognition, and curating contemporary art.” Junior Theorists Symposium, Berkeley, CA. Theory Section of the American Sociological Association (2009)

“Working with the informed informant: Sociological discourses in the curation of contemporary art.” Arts, Culture and the Public Sphere, European Sociological Association (ESA) Interim Conference, Venice (2008)

"Absent presence: The new curator of contemporary art." 1st ISA Forum of Sociology, Barcelona (2006)

“Arts sociology: Cultural work through material practice.” International Sociological Association (ISA) 1st Forum of Sociology, Barcelona (2008)

“Reshaping our heritage: The rise of the temporary exhibition in museums of modern and contemporary art.” Lectures on Everything, Bridport/Symondsbury, UK (2007)

“Installing contemporary art: Configuring the next generation of museum visitors.” American Sociological Association, NYC (2007)

“Thinking with art: From situated knowledge to experiential knowing.” Experiential Knowledge Conference, University of Hertfordshire (2007)

“The construction of patrimoine: Gatekeeping in contemporary art.” HuSS Postgraduate Conference, University of Exeter (2007)

“Getting it ‘just right’: Artistic meaning-making through the exhibition of contemporary art.” ESA Research Network for the Sociology of the Arts Interim Conference, Lüneburg (2007)

“Ethnographies of curatorial practice: Towards a more aesthetic sociology.” Ethnographies du Travail Artistique - International Colloquium, Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne (2006)

“Negotiating meaning in curatorial practice: Rethinking tacit knowledge, or how does culture really get into action?” ISA World Congress, Durban (2006)

“The curator as sociologist: Bridging the gap between sociology and the exhibition of contemporary art.” ISA World Congress, Durban (2006)

“Cultural strategies of classification: Artistic controversy and the public shaping of cultural heritage.” ESA, Toruń (2005)

“The art of legitimacy: What happens when art worlds collide?” ESA, Toruń (2005)

“New aesthetic methodologies for the sociology of the arts.” SHIPSS Postgraduate Conference, University of Exeter (2005)

“A case study of the Parisian squat movement: Problematizing bounded hierarchies in contemporary art.” Eastern Sociological Society (ESS), Philadelphia (2003)


American Sociological Association – Member, research network on Culture 

Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, École des Mines (Paris), Doctoral Fellow

Centre for Cultural Sociology, Yale University (USA), Doctoral Fellow

European Sociological Association – Member, research networks on the Arts, Culture

International Sociological Association – Member, research network on the Arts

Sociology and Anthropology of the Visual Arts in Peripheral Contexts, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), Member 

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