Amanda is scholar of home, work, and economic change. She is a PhD candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s joint departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology, advised by Michael Bell. Her research interrogates the relationship between structural, environmental, and economic change and lived experiences of home and community. Specifically, she is interested in how low-income communities adapt to globalizing economies and changing environments over time, through the lens of land tenure, environmental history, and economic development/undevelopment.
Her qualitative field work has taken her from homesteads in Swaziland, to kitchen tables in dairyland Wisconsin, to red-dirt roads post-war northern Uganda, and most recently, to urban and rural Rust Belt communities. Amanda’s research situates the stories people tell about their places and their people within patterns of macroeconomic transformation.
As a teacher, Amanda encourages students to draw connections between global and local, environment and politics, and ideological and structural components of social change. Amanda’s pedagogical philosophy is to foster intellectual exchange and curiosity by cultivating a classroom atmosphere which is simultaneously safe and challenging. Students gain skills in written and spoken communication, applicable research skills, and self-motivation for mastering difficult material. By the end of each semester, she aims for students to see relationships between course material, historical context, current events, and personal experience.