Department of Sociology

Dr. Patricia Widener

Assistant Professor of Sociology



Patricia Widener studies the political economy of the environment and community responses to the social, economic and environmental impacts of oil disasters and natural resource extractions. Her recent work, Oil Injustice, examines how oil-impacted communities and their transnational allies mobilized in response to the construction of an oil project in Ecuador. Currently, she is developing research projects on climate change and food-system justice in South Florida. She has conducted research in Alaska, Ecuador, Florida and the Philippines.


  • Ph.D.,BrownUniversity, 2006
  • M.A.,UniversityofNew Orleans, 2000
  • B.S., B.A.,UniversityofKansas, 1990

Research Interests

  • Environmental & Climate Justice
  • Environmental Health
  • Food-System Justice
  • Globalization
  • Oil Impacts, Conflicts & Disasters
  • Political Economy of the Environment
  • Transnational Activism


  • Poverty & Society
  • Global Social Change
  • Climate, Disaster & Society
  • Health & Social Inequalities
  • Justice, Health & the Environment
  • Global Environmental Perspectives (graduate seminar)
  • Global Health Perspectives (graduate seminar)


Widener, P. 2011. Oil Injustice: Resisting and Conceding a Pipeline in Ecuador. Another World is Necessary series. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Recorded interview with Nicholas Crowder, editor of Latin American Book Review & Current Events:


Widener, P. 2011. “Governing and Contesting China’s Oil Operations in the Global South.” Pp. 159-184, in Environmental Inequalities Beyond Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Injustices, eds. J. Carmin and J. Agyeman. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 

Widener, P. 2009. “Oil Tourism: Disasters and Destinations in Ecuadorand the Philippines.” Sociological Inquiry, 79(3): 266-288. 

Widener, P. 2009. “Global Links and Environmental Flows: Oil Disputes in Ecuador.” Global Environmental Politics, 9(1): 31-57.

Widener, P. and Valerie Gunter. 2007. “Oil Spill Recovery in the Media: Missing an AlaskaNative Perspective.” Society and Natural Resources, 20: 767-783. 

Widener, P. 2007. “Benefits and Burdens of Transnational Campaigns: A Comparison of Four Oil Struggles in Ecuador.” Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 12(1): 21-36.

Widener, P. 2007. “Oil Conflict in Ecuador: A Photographic Essay.” Organization and Environment, 20(1): 84-105.

Widener, P. 2000. “Lead Contamination in the 1990s and Beyond: A Follow-up” Pp. 258-80, in Illness and the Environment: A Reader in Contested Medicine, eds. S. Kroll-Smith, V. Gunter and P. Brown. NY:New YorkUniversity Press.


 Last Modified 4/1/14