Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.Litt., Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway
B.S., Journalism and Political Science, Northwestern University

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University.

Honors and Awards

Best Paper Award. Rural Sociology, L. Ashwood, N. Harden, M. Bell, and W. Bland.
University of California-Davis Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellowship. Declined.
United States Department of Agriculture. National Institute for Food and Agriculture Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant. $146,910. Declined.
Honorable Mention, Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.
Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award, $15,000.
Co-Winner of Society for Agriculture, Human Values, and Society (AHVS) Graduate Student Paper Competition: Harden, N. and L. Ashwood.
Co-Winner of International Symposium on Society and Natural ResourcesDoctoral Student Paper Competition: Harden, N. and L. Ashwood.
Winner of 2009 European Society for Rural Sociology Fred Buttel Award: Best graduate student paper.
University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Letters and Science Early Teaching Excellence Award.

Professional Affiliations

Rural Sociological Society
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics
American Association of Geographers
American Sociological Association

Research Activities

Ashwood works with communities to resolve environmental, political, and social problems. Her research has designed participatory solutions to the problems posed by industrial animal facilities and gulf hypoxia by drawing on the diverse knowledge of experts in many forms: local, governmental, and scholarly. Her most recent ventures into the world of agrifood studies involve two collaborative projects: an examination of the impact of Right-to-Farm laws, and the consolidation of landownership in the United States, on rural communities and family farms.

Her latest research with Auburn and University of Alabama colleagues merges citizen knowledge with science to fine-tune community led research in the context of a leukemia cancer cluster. This is part of her broader research on rural environmental injustices. She has co-edited a Special Issue in the Journal of Rural Studies on the rural as a dimension of environmental injustice. Her forthcoming book with Yale University Press documents how the rural burden of environmental injustice, and the intertwined power of corporations and the state, gives rise to rural discontent with the government.

Courses Taught

RSOC: 7630 Political Economy of Development
RSOC: 3620 Community Organization

Select Publications

  • Ashwood, L. and M.M. Bell. 2017. “Affect and Taste: Bourdieu, Traditional Music, and the Performance of Possibilities.” Sociologia Ruralis 57(S1): 622-640.
  • Bell, M. M. and L. Ashwood. 2016. An Invitation to Environmental Sociology. 5th Edition. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Press.
  • Ashwood, L. and Kate MacTavish. 2016. “Tyranny of the Majority and Rural Environmental Injustice.” Journal of Rural Studies 74(A): 271-277.
  • Ashwood, L. and Steve Wing. 2016. “Exposure and Compensation for Nuclear Weapons Workers.” New Solutions 26(1):55-71.
  • Ashwood, L., N. Harden, M. M. Bell, and W. Bland. 2014. “Linked and Situated: Grounded Knowledge.” Rural Sociology 79(4):427-452.
  • Ashwood, L., D. Diamond, and K. Thu. 2014. “Where’s the Farmer? Limiting Liability in Midwest Industrial Hog Production.” Rural Sociology 79(1):2-27.
  • Harden, N., L. Ashwood, M. M. Bell, and W. Bland. 2013. “For the Public Good: Weaving a Multifunctional Landscape in the Cornbelt.” Agriculture and Human Values 30(4):525-537.