Jeffrey Prager Appointed Interim Chair of UCLA’s Department of Information Studies

UCLA Sociology Research Professor Emeritus is an expert on racism, trauma, and memory.

UCLA sociology professor Jeffrey Prager has been appointed interim chair of the Department of Information Studies at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.  Professor Prager begins the new post July 1, 2020.

“We are very pleased to welcome Professor Prager to the Department of Information Studies,” said Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. “His wealth of experience, keen intellect and broad comparative research augurs well for his new responsibilities at this important juncture in the Department of Information Studies.” 

Prager is a Research Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Sociology in the College of Social Sciences at UCLA. He has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1977 and is a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and other academic honors. He received his Ph.D. (Sociology), from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978.

“It is a pleasure now to be affiliated with the Department of Information Studies, and to work with this exceptional faculty as they address many of the most pressing, vital, and thorny issues of this digital age,” Professor Prager said.  “I look forward to helping chart its future, aiding the Department to further establish itself as pre-eminent in this rapidly changing field.” 

Professor Prager has worked his entire career on issues of racism, trauma, and memory.  He is the author of the award winning Presenting the Past, Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Misremembering, co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalysis for the Social Sciences and the Humanities, co-editor of the soon to be published Post-Conflict Hauntings: Transforming Memories of Historical Memory, as well as the author of many articles on contemporary racism in America and in South Africa. Recently, he published “Do Black Lives Matter?: A Psychoanalytic Examination of Racism and American Resistance to Reparations.” At UCLA, he has gained prominence for his teaching, offering courses in Contemporary and Classical Social Theory as well as in American Racism and Psychoanalytic Sociology.

Prager also holds a second Ph.D. (Psychoanalysis) from the New Center for Psychoanalysis where he was a former Dean, and is now a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst. He is on the Board of Directors of the Freud Archives of the Library of Congress and an active member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. He currently teaches psychoanalysis in Beijing and Shanghai to mental health professionals seeking to become psychoanalysts.  

In his new role, Professor Prager will lead the Department of Information Studies at UCLA in setting the intellectual, scholarly and interpersonal agenda for the future. The Department’s work enriches public awareness of the pervasiveness and role of information in our lives, and confronts issues of trust, validity and equity. It advances the essential and enduring roles played by information institutions such as libraries, archives and museums as social, cultural, educational, memory and intellectual centers in our society, as well as the complementary and critical roles played by other forms of community organizations. It is also situated at the forefront of scholarship on digital society and the Internet. The department offers a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Degree, and a Ph.D in Information Studies.