Department of Social Science launches book to commemorate 50th anniversary

Portion of book cover for Social Science at 50

The Department of Social Science will celebrate its 50th anniversary this week with two days of festivities that include a student awards ceremony, alumni event, book launch and anniversary gala. The celebration is an opportunity for the department, which houses 12 interdisciplinary programs and two graduate programs, to share its successes and milestones Social Science at 50 bookwith the York community.

The new book, Social Science @ 50, celebrating the Department of Social Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

“When I became chair I was really struck by how little the rest of the University, including our own Faculty, knew about us,” says Department of Social Science Chair Kimberley White. “This celebration and book launch is an opportunity to celebrate what we do well and to draw attention to the department’s larger common vision that has endured over 50 years.”

To commemorate this milestone, social science has published a 50th anniversary book, Social Science @ 50: A Half-Century of Critical Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research at York University. Professor of business & society Darryl Reed, who co-edited the book with Professor Richard Wellen, reflects on the department’s storied past. “It has been a tremendously productive incubator, participating in the development of 15 undergraduate inter­disciplinary programs and offering students a wide variety of pedagogical, curricular and extra­curricular initiatives.”

Throughout these 50 years, the department has maintained its strong focus on the importance of interdisciplinary learning that explores common themes such as social justice, diversity and sustainability across programs.

“We offer the best of what York claims to be: the interdisciplinary university. Our approach is much more integrative than simply bringing different perspectives to an issue or problem. We were doing interdisciplinarity long before it became a buzzword,” explains White.

The department will begin its celebration this Thursday, Nov. 14, with a student awards ceremony and alumni event. Everyone is welcome to attend the book launch of Social Science @ 50, which will take place Friday, Nov. 15, from 4pm to 5:30pm in Founders Senior Common Room, 305 Founders College, Keele campus. It will include a panel discussion and a reception. A gala dinner will follow the book launch. For more information, e-mail For tickets to the dinner, visit the Social Science @ 50 invitation web page.