Faculty Profile for Dr. Joseph Kotarba

profile photo for Dr. Joseph Kotarba
Dr. Joseph Kotarba
Professor — Sociology
THH 466
phone: (512) 245-8905

Biography Section

Biography and Education

My interest in sociology can be traced back to high school in Chicago, where it served as an intellectual context for the fascinating social and cultural changes taking place in the 1960s. I majored in sociology all the way through my doctorate at the University of California at San Diego. My wife, Polly, and I raised three children while I taught at the University of Houston for 30 years and chaired the Department of Sociology. We moved to Wimberley in 2010 to engage in the rich intellectual fervent being generated at Texas State University and to enjoy the peaceful, small town/country lifestyle of the Texas Hill Country.

Teaching Interests

I love to teach popular music in society, qualitative research methods, the sociology of everyday life, social theory, and the sociology of culture at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I teach graduate seminars in the classroom, and my undergraduate courses online.

Research Interests

I am conducting studies of music experiences across the life course, with special attention given to the elderly. I am also conducting funded research on the social-cultural organization of Frontier Medicine, in areas ranging from NASA space flight to to the West Texas Post-Rural areas. I am also examining the relationship of music and science, the social organization of translational bio-medical research, and storytelling as lay ethnography.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Kotarba, J. A. (2023). Exploring Team Dynamics During the Development of a Multi-Insitutional Cross-Disciplinary Translational Team: Implications for Potential Best Practices. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 6(October), 1–7.
  • Kotarba, J. A. (2023). Music in Symbolic Interaction. In The Oxford Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism. London, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Kotarba, J. A., & Melnikov, A. (2023). Existential Sociology. In Routledge International Handbook of Existential Human Science (pp. 12–22). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • Kotarba, J. A. (2023). Music in the Course of Life. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Routledge.
  • Director, Compassion for the Elderly Through Music: A Sociological and Visual Portrait. October 1, 2021 - May 2022.
    • The University's Fine Arts Advisory Board. January 1, 2022 - May 1, 2022 Lyndon Baines Johnson Student Center, Texas State University.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: “Local Authors Celebration” Wimberley, Texas Village Library (multi-media display), Wimberley Village Library Board of Directors. October 14, 2023
  • Award / Honor Recipient: The Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching, Texas State University, College of Liberal Arts. August 18, 2023
  • Award / Honor Recipient: "Teaching and Learning through a Pandemic", "From The Hill" Texas State University publication. December 14, 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: The oH Project: Oral Histories of HIV/AIDS in Houston..., The Woodson Research Center at Rice University. May 2019
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Fulbright Specialist Fellowship, Fulbright. January 1, 2014 - January 1, 2018

Selected Grants

  • Kotarba, Joseph A (Principal). Analysis of the 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Network Website and Area Information Center data‰€, The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, State, $52000. (Funded: 2014). Grant.
  • Kotarba, Joseph A. Toward a Vision of Diversity in Science and Society, Committee for Equity and Access, Texas State University, $5000. (Funded: April 25, 2018 - May 3, 2018). Grant.
  • Kotarba, Joseph (Principal), Wyvagg, Jonathan (Co-Principal). A Needs Assessment Study for the Texas Veterans Commission, TVC, State, $95000. (Funded: August 2015 - June 2016). Grant.
  • Kotarba, Joseph (Principal). Symbolic Interactionist Takes on Music: The Couch-Stone Symposium, The Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, Private / Foundation / Corporate, $20000. (Funded: 2014). Grant.
  • Kotarba, Joseph A (Principal). John Johnson Lecture, Texas State University, University Lecturers Committee, $3500. (Funded: 2013). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Reviewer / Referee
The Fulbright Scholar Program
Athletic Advisory Council
Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects
Friends of Woodcreek Foundation
January 2023-Present
Reviewer / Referee
Texas Commission on the Arts
November 3, 2021-Present