Claire Whitlinger’s research examines how and with what consequences communities commemorate violent pasts. In particular, her work focuses on collective memory, social movements, and the legacy of racial inequity in the United States. Dr. Whitlinger’s current book project tentatively titled “Between Remembrance and Repair” examines these issues in the context of Philadelphia, Mississippi – the town notorious for the silence and denial surrounding the 1964 “Mississippi Burning” murders. Her work has appeared in Sociological Forum, Race and Justice, and the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.

Claire Whitlinger earned her BA degree in sociology from the George Washington University and her MA and PhD degrees in sociology from the University of Michigan. Currently, she teaches courses on social movements, race and ethnicity, and qualitative research methods.​

Name Title Description


Intro to Intergroup Dialogue

Semi-structured meetings between individuals from diverse social identity groups to explore personal and group commonalities and differences; locate these different identities and experiences within societal systems of power, privilege, and oppression; and find ways to work collaboratively to build more inclusive communities. Drawing on research in the fields of sociology and psychology (among others), students will explore group experiences in a variety of social and institutional contexts. The goal is to create a setting in which students engage in open and constructive dialogue, learning, and exploration concerning issues of intergroup relations, conflict, and community.


Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to the sociological perspective on human behavior, including an analysis of theory, research methods, culture, society, personality, the socialization process, social institutions and social change.


Race and Ethnic Relations

An exploration of racial, ethnic and religious minorities in United States and around the world. Topic covered include: race" and social identities; stigmatization and prejudice; inter-group cooperation


Social Mvmnt & Collective Bhvr

Broad examination of social movements, considering movement emergence, movements' influence on social institutions, and movement success. Also considers dynamics within movements, including movement culture, and the motivations of, and impact on, movement participants. Special focus on civil rights, Southern mill strikes, and solidarity movements.


Qualitative Research Seminar

Advanced reading, research and discussion course for majors covering a specific topic in sociology. Topics vary by professor and term and could include such topics as Subcultures and Alternative Lifestyles, The Built Environment or Ethnography of Everyday Life. Special emphasis on qualitative methodology. This course requires an independent or collaborative research project.

  • Whitlinger, Claire. 2015. "Commemoration to Conviction: Prosecuting Edgar Ray Killen for the 'Mississippi Burning' Murders," Race and Justice, 1-24.
  • Whitlinger, Claire. "Countermemory to Collective Memory: Acknowledging the 'Mississippi Burning' Murders," Sociological Forum, 30(SI):648-670.
  • Tsutsui, Kiyoteru, Claire Whitlinger, and Alwyn Lim. (2012) "International Human Rights Law and Social MovementsStates' Resistance and Civil Society's Insistence." Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences 8:367-96.
University of Michigan
University of Michigan
George Washington University

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