Anne Rawls

Plenary Address: Tuesday, July 11 – 11:00am

Working with the Garfinkel Archive: Laying the Foundations for Understanding a Cumulative Body of Collaborative Work

Harold Garfinkel left a massive archive of materials dating to 1940. I will discuss various ways in which our work on the Archive may reveal and repair misconceptions about Garfinkel and those he worked with. Early papers and research make clear that Garfinkel’s approach was paradigmatic in ways that parallel Wittgenstein. His relationships with Parsons, Goffman and Sacks are of particular importance, remaining close over many years. In 2015, a team at the University of Siegen Germany (Erhard Schüttpelz, Anne Rawls, Tristan Thielmann) was awarded multi-year funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to sustain this work.  (See


About Anne Rawls

img_0524Anne Warfield Rawls is Professor of Sociology, Bentley University, Professor of Socio-Informatics, University of Siegen, Germany, Associates Researcher, Centre d’Etude des Mouvements Sociaux (CMS) EHESS, Paris, Senior Research Fellow, Yale University Center for Urban Ethnography, and Director of the Harold Garfinkel Archive. Professor Rawls is a Principal Investigator on the DFG funded Research Project “Scientific Media of Practice Theory: Harold Garfinkel and Ludwig Wittgenstein” supporting a multi-year research collaboration between the University of Siegen and the Garfinkel Archive. Professor Rawls is the recipient of the Charles Horton Cooley Award from the Michigan Sociological Association, and a Senior Research Laureate from the City of Paris. She is the author of books and articles on Durkheim, including Epistemology and Practice(Cambridge University Press, 2009), articles on “race” as an interactional phenomenon, and has edited and introduced several volumes of Garfinkel’s work, including Toward a Sociological Theory of Information (Paradigm Publishers 2008). Her work has focused on the importance of equality in everyday “constitutive” practices for grounding modern democratic public life – an insight she traces to Durkheim and Garfinkel.