Dr. Carolan is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Affairs for the College of Liberal Arts. He has published over 200 peer review articles and chapters.

His areas of expertise include environmental and agricultural law and policy, environmental sociology, the sociology of food systems and agriculture, economic sociology, and the sociology of technology and scientific knowledge. He also dabbles in social theory. He recently published the following books: A Sociological Look at Biofuels: Understanding the Past/Prospects for the Future (2010); Decentering Biotechnology: Assemblages Built and Assemblages Masked (2010); Embodied Food Politics (2011); The Real Cost of Cheap Food (2011; second edition 2018); The Sociology of Food and Agriculture (2012 1st ed/2016 2nd ed); Society and the Environment: Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues (2013 1st ed/2016 2nd ed); Reclaiming Food Security (2013); Cheaponomics: The High Cost of Low Prices (2014); Food Utopias: Reimagining Citizenship, Ethics and Community (2015 with Paul Stock and Chris Rosin); Biological Economies: Experimentation and the Politics of Agrifood Frontiers (2016; with Richard LeHeron, Hugh Campbell, and Nick Lewis); No One Eats Alone: Food as Social Enterprise (2017); and The Food Sharing Revolution:How Start-Ups, Pop-Ups, and Co-Ops are Changing the Way We Eat (2018).  Dr. Carolan is also Co-Editor for the Journal of Rural Studies (Impact Factor of 2.444), Associate Editor for the journal Society and Natural Resources (Impact Factor of 2.72), and Associate Editor for the journal Sustainability (Impact Factor, 1.789).

Additionally, Dr. Carolan regularly writes pieces for public audiences, as he works to bridge the town-gown divide.  His pieces regularly appear in such outlets as The ConversationBloomberg, Market WatchMental Floss, Business Insider, AlternetWorld Economic ForumHouston ChronicleBangor Daily NewsSan Francisco ChronicleSeattle PostPopular ScienceThe Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, The IndependentMarket Watch, Scroll.in, and New Food Economy (some of these articles have registered over 150,000 reads!).  He also routinely makes radio and television appearances around the world, having been featured on the popular CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation) program Ideas, NPRRadio New Zealand, and TVNZ-One (TV New Zealand).


Rural Sociology Revival: Overcoming Divides, Affording Additions, Confronting Injustices

While living in what has been designated the Century of the City by the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation and the journal Nature, it is the field of rural sociology that is perhaps best equipped to investigate, comprehend, and help overcome many of the challenges directly linked to these shifting demographics.   Drawing from my ongoing research projects, examples are given to illustrate the value of our toolkit and intellectual heterodoxy for grappling with some of today’s most pressing anxieties.  The empirical projects I draw from include my work on digital agriculture, rural-urban tensions, and conceptualizing producer-consumer linkages in the content of ethical eating and conceptions of good farming.  I also seek to push the field in the direction of doing scholarship that is more reflexive about its underlying normative assumptions, which involves erecting frameworks around being able to articulate not only what we are against but also what we are for—a type of critical, yet hopeful, scholarship.

Keynote #3

Professor Michael Carolan

Michael Carolan