Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge has served since 2002 as the primary forum for fostering conversations on topics and themes relevant to the interests of OKCIR: The Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research in Utopia, Mysticism, and Science (Utopystics).
As stated in its editorial perspective, Human Architecture has provided a forum for the exploration of personal self-knowledges within a re-imagined sociological framework. It has sought to creatively institutionalize new conceptual and curricular structures of knowledge whereby critical study of one’s selves within an increasingly world-historical framework is given educational and pedagogical legitimacy. The journal has been a public forum for those who seek to radically understand and, if need be, change their world-historically constructed selves. It is a utopystic research and educational landscape for fostering de-alienated and self-determining human realities.
Human Architecture has made its central aim to transcend the habituated dualisms of young and old, undergraduate and graduate, student and teacher, in and outside classroom, on- and off-campus, academic and non-academic, knowledge and feeling, mind and body, private and public, society and nature, reality and imagination, and philosophy, religion, science, and the arts—East and West. It has sought to establish a conduit whereby authors and editors seek to disempower the social stratifications of class, status, and power arising from economy, culture, and politics in favor of recognizing the all-encompassing stretch of human alienation—fostering new sociological imaginations more conducive to a shared human liberation project.
27 issues of the journal in its Edited Collection Series were published since Spring 2002, 24 of them at UMass Boston (three double-issues, two triple-issues). The journal editor peer reviewed and published about 461 author contributions which included 154 student papers from UMass Boston overall, of which 103 contributions from the students taught by the journal editor at UMass Boston and 33 of student contributions were from prior universities he taught at SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Binghamton and 70 from those from UMass Boston (of which 12 were from first year seminars, and 8 from graduate students, and 50 from other undergraduate students across variously themed courses). The remaining 49 contributions were from students of other UMass Boston faculty (of different ranks, lecturers and tenure-track/tenured), including several award winners, and honor's or MA theses. Also were published 20 contributions from students from other universities as part of various conference proceedings.
Published were 69 contributions from other UMass Boston faculty (of different ranks, lecturers and tenure-track/tenured, including 4 from the Provost of UMass Boston. Also were published about 120 contributions from other US-based university faculty, many recognized and distinguished in their fields. Of there, about 90 were contributions from international faculty and scholars from a wide range of countries including: Denmark, United Kingdom, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, France, Hong Kong, Australia, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, Russia, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, Israel, Palestine, and Singapore. 22 contributions were also published from artists, independent scholars, UMB alumni, community members, and activists
The various issues in the Edited Collection Series of Human Architecture have been freely published as an open access journal online, and has been fully complied in Sociological Abstracts, and full-text in Ebsco's SocINDEX, ProQuest's Social Science Journals,. and Gale's Academic OneFile and Expanded Academic ASAP. It has also been fully compiled in Berkeley Electronic Press's ScholarWorks database (see http://scholarworks.umb.edu/humanarchitecture/). Through these databases, the journal's contents reach hundreds of libraries world wide and thousands of faculty and students using these databases.
As part of OKCIR's ongoing efforts, during the academic year 2003-2004, Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, OKCIR's director and (at the time) assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, co-founded and served as principal organizer and proceedings editor of the annual Social Theory Forum (STF) conference series at UMass Boston.
OKCIR's director established the goals of STF as follows:
- To critically engage with and evaluate classical and contemporary social theories in a
cross-disciplinary and comparative cross-cultural framework in order to develop new
integrative theoretical structures and practices;
- To foster individual and collective self-reflexivity in exploring social theories in global
and world-historical contexts to aid people effectively address social problems and
engage in liberatory social struggles;
- To foster interactive and dialogical learning experience and research in theory within
and across faculty, students, and community divides on and off-campus, characterized
by respect for the dignity and empowerment of ordinary individual lives and opinions
in everyday life;
- To foster dialectical exchange of ideas open to constructive and integrative exploration
of diverse and conflicting viewpoints, modes of thinking, and world-views;
- To foster theoretical education and research within a praxis-oriented and applied
sociological framework capable of addressing concrete issues arising in intrapersonal,
interpersonal and global contexts;
- To foster theoretical education and research as practices of freedom in favor of
transformative and emancipatory personal and global social experience.
The first four annual conferences of STF were devoted to studies on Paulo Freire, Edward Said, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Frantz Fanon. The proceedings of the first two of these conference series on Freire and Said were guest edited and published by the Okcir director via the Discourse of Sociological Practice, the "official journal of the department of sociology" at UMass Boston. The proceedings of the latter two on Anzaldúa and Fanon were edited and published via Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge.