Dr. Patricia Widener

Patricia Widener

Associate Professor of Sociology

Phone: (954) 236-1079
Email: pwidener@fau.edu
Office: DW408 (Davie)

Research: Political economy of oil and the environment, transnational activism, environmental and climate justice, globalization, and community responses to petroleum impacts.
Teaching: Environmental sociology, global environmental perspectives, global health perspectives, global social change, poverty & society, and sociology of climate & disaster


Patricia Widener is an associate professor of sociology at Florida Atlantic University. She studies the political economy of oil and the environment, and how national and transnational campaigns are mobilized in response to petroleum impacts, projects, or disasters. Currently, she is analyzing data collected in Aotearoa New Zealand on campaigns of resistance and support for offshore oil in a time of climate change concerns and known disasters.

Professor Widener’s previous work, Oil Injustice: Resisting and Conceding a Pipeline in Ecuador, examines how oil-impacted communities and their transnational allies mobilized in response to the construction of an oil project. In this work, she examines the historical context of resistance, the role of transnational networks, and the success of the Ecuadorian state and an oil consortium to resist, silence or divert challenges to a pipeline project. In addition, this work explores the increasing presence and impacts of Chinese oil interests in Latin America and the absence of Chinese activists confronting China’s overseas operations. Her work has appeared as journal articles in Sociological Inquiry; Global Environmental Politics; Society and Natural Resources; Local Environment; Mobilization; Food, Culture & Society, and Organization and Environment;; and as book chapters in the edited volumes Letting Go; Environmental Inequalities Beyond Borders; and Illness and the Environment.

In the classroom, Professor Widener teaches on poverty, global social change, environmental sociology, and the sociology of climate and disaster. She also works with undergraduate students on independent research and inquiry projects on the environment, climate change, and food in the region.

Selected Works

Widener, P. 2015. “Consuming Violence: Oil and Food in Everyday Life.” Pp 201-209 in Letting Go: Feminist and Social Justice Insight and Activism, eds. D. King and C. G. Valentine. Nashville TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Widener, P. and M. Karides. 2014. “Food System Literacy: Empowering Citizens and Consumers beyond Farm-to-Fork Pathways.” Food, Culture & Society 17(4): 665-687.

Widener, P. 2013. “A Protracted Age of Oil: Pipelines, Refineries and Quiet Conflict.” Local Environment 18(7): 834-851.

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

Widener, P.  2011. “Governing and Contesting China’s Oil Operations in the Global South.” 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 Ecuador and 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 V. Gunter. 2007. “Oil Spill Recovery in the Media: Missing an Alaska Native Perspective.” Society and Natural Resources 20: 767-783.