2024 SOM Annual Conference

How Bizarre?

Exploring the peculiar, uncanny, and disturbing in everyday life

October 10–12th

Minnesota College North – Vermillion • Ely, MN

A headshot of Dr. Dennis Waskul.
Keynote Speaker

Dr. Dennis Waskul

Professor of Sociology and Graduate Coordinator at MSU Mankato

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Thursday, October 10

Silent Auction

We will host a silent auction at Grand Ely Lodge on October 10th from 6 - 9pm. There will be art from local artists and more available in the silent auction! In addition, there will be a cash bar available for those interested.

Friday, October 11

Site Visits

Included in your ticket purchase is one pass for a site visit. You may request additional site visit passes as a first come first serve basis. These Site visits will all take place on the morning of October 11th (Friday) of the conference. Specific times of departure will be posted as we get closer to the conference.

A headstone in the Buhl Cemetary.
Buhl Cemetery Tour

The Buhl Cemetery is a well-known location for paranormal activity in Northern Minnesota. Dan Amitrano from Northland Paranormal will be leading this tour and guiding us to where these claims took place. In addition, we will learn about how Paranormal Investigations take place. After the tour a discussion will be led by a Sociologist.
(Transportation will be provided)

City of Buhl

The top of the Soudan Mine.
Soudan Underground Mine Tour

The Soudan Mine underground tour takes you into the past of what life was like for Miners in Northern Minnesota. Be prepared to go deep underground, 2,341 feet to be exact, and travel back in time. Our tour will be led by local Historian Reed Petersen who has special expertise in the history of the mine as well as a strong focus on Minnesota History.
(Transportation will be provided)


Dorthy Molter in front of a sign that says Root Beer.
Dorothy Molter Museum

The Dorothy Molter Museum preserves and interprets Northwoods wilderness heritage through learning opportunities inspired by Dorothy with a vision of inspiring the next generation of Northwoods stewards. Our tour will focus on women and wilderness, as well as environmental policy.
(Must provide own transportation) Located in Ely.


A white wolf howling.
International Wolf Center

Wolves at our Door, is a presentation crafted for those interested in wolf/human relations. This tour includes video footage as well as an opportunity to observe wolves in center. Our discussion following the tour will focus on human and non-human animal relations as well as environmental policy.
(Must provide own transportation) Located in Ely.


Interested in Presenting?

We welcome submissions for sessions, papers, posters, and panels. Please send the title and a brief abstract (~ 3 sentences or 100 words maximum) for review to Conference Coordinator, Sarah Epplen (Sarah.Epplen@mnsu.edu) with the subject line Sociologists of Minnesota Submission. If you would like to submit a paper or serve as panelist for one of the sessions below, please indicate the session title in your email. We welcome original research on local or global issues, theoretical or applied areas, works in progress, and discussions on teaching from students, faculty, researchers, scholars, community activists, policy makers, and fellow conscious citizens.

Submission Deadline: September 15th, 2024

Proposed Panels / Sessions

Caroline Rose Student Paper Competition

The Caroline Rose Student Paper Competition is a great opportunity for students to share their work with a professional audience! The Sociologists of Minnesota is offering cash prizes for first-and second-place within the undergraduate and graduate divisions. All winners receive free conference registration, meals, and membership in SOM. Winners are expected to present at our Annual Conference on October 11th or 12th. All submissions will be reviewed by at least two members of the Student Paper Competition Committee using a rubric, and all students will receive feedback from the Committee on their work, even if they do not win an Award. Faculty, please invite your students to enter their papers in recognition of their outstanding work under your guidance. Students, we welcome you to submit one or more papers. Such a submission (and win) looks good on your resume and/or graduate school application and recognizes your outstanding engagement as a student sociologist. *Please see the accompanying rules of the competition. If there are no acceptable papers, prizes will not be offered.*

Please submit an electronic version (Word or PDF) of the paper to via email to Aaron Hoy (aaron.hoy@mnsu.edu). Please also indicate in your email whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.

Papers involving human subjects must have Institutional Review Board (or its equivalent) approval and must note the receipt of approval in the methodology section of the paper.

Submission Deadline: September 15th, 2024

For questions, Please contact Aaron Hoy aaron.hoy@mnsu.edu

View The Rules

Travel Info

We have two hotel blocks for the conference. Each hotel has rooms available for the nights of October 10 - 12. This is a busy time for tourism in Ely so we recommend booking early.

Grand Ely Lodge

400 N Pioneer Rd, Ely, MN 55731

Call to book with code SOM
Phone: (218) 365-6565

$210 / Night

Our Thursday evening silent auction will take place at Grand Ely Lodge. Wheelchair accessible, has a pool, sauna, bar and restaurant.

Northwoods Inn and Suites

1605 E Sheridan St, Ely, MN 55731

Call to book with code SOM
Phone: (218) 365-2873

$99 / Night

Close to campus. Walkable to the conference