REUBEN A. BUFORD MAY received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1996. He was most recently named a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Visiting Professor, in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at MIT. King Professors are chosen for their contributions to their professions, and their potential contributions to the intellectual life of MIT. In 2009, May was awarded the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. The institute is the nation's oldest research center dedicated to the study of the history, culture, and social institutions of Africans and African Americans. May spent his residency at Harvard working on his project, “Race, Class, Culture, and Urban Social Space”. His recent publications include two books, Talking at Trena’s: Everyday Conversation at an African American Tavern (New York University Press, 2001) and the Winner of 2008, Association for Humanist Sociology, Book of the Year Award,Living Through the Hoop: High School Basketball, Race, and the American Dream (New York University Press, 2008). May is currently working on a book length manuscript that uses the case of the downtown party scene in Athens, Georgia to examine how race and culture influence interactional dynamics across categories of space users. His work has also appeared in scholarly journals such as Qualitative Sociology, Qualitative Inquiry, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies.
In addition to outstanding research May is the winner of numerous University undergraduate teaching awards and served on the American Sociological Association, Contributions to Teaching Excellence Selection Committee (2003-2006). He also served as associate editor for Symbolic Interaction, the official journal for the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (2003-2007) and was guest editor for a Special Issue on Race and Symbolic Interaction, entitled “Era(c)ing and (Re)constructing Race and the Racialized Self.” May’s interests include Urban Ethnography, Race and Culture, Sociology of Sport, and Sociology of the Everyday.