Ph.D., Northeastern University
Political Sociology, Development, Culture, Inequality, Latin America
Professor Pisa originates from Naples, Italy from where she emigrated with her family to the U.S. as a child. In the U.S., Prof. Pisa has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas and Massachusetts before settling in Rhode Island with her family. As a child, Prof. Pisa dreamed of seeing the world, connecting with people from different cultures, and communicating with them in their own language whenever possible.
Prof. Pisa is multilingual, has traveled extensively and has lived in Germany and Mexico for a time. It was on one of her sojourns abroad that she came to know and love Mexico. Her passion for Mexico ultimately shaped the direction of her graduate studies in political science (M.A. 1992) and sociology (Ph.D. 2001). Realizing her childhood dream of intimately connecting with other cultures, Prof. Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico since 1993. Her research has evolved from studying the impact of the privatization of communal land on community life to her current focus on the gender dynamics of local and organic farming.
Prof. Pisa regularly teaches SOC 100 General Sociology and courses in the area of social inequality such as SOC 240 Race and Ethnic Relations. She also teaches two interdisciplinary courses cross listed with anthropology, SOC/APG 329 Contemporary Mexican Society and SOC/APG 416 Migration in the Americas.
Prof. Pisa research on the Mexican Agrarian Reform and land privatization has been published in Urban Anthropology and Habitat International as well as several edited volumes here and in Mexico. She has presented her research at numerous international conferences, in Mexico, and the World Bank.
New Faculty in Sociology:
Dr. Melanie S. Brasher has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University in 2013. Prior to coming to URI, Dr. Brasher was a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College. Her appointment is a joint appointment in Sociology and in Human Development and Family Studies where she will participate in the Gerontology program. For more info click here.
For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award. Assistant Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!
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Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
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