Academy Awards 2018

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logo-OFF-2018-02 academy

President – prof. Rosaria Pisa

The University of Rhode Island | Teaching Professor of Sociology, Director of Gender and Women’s Studies – department of sociology & anthropology


biography –

Rosaria Pisa originates from Naples, Italy and has lived in the United States since the age of nine. As a child in Italy, she dreamed of seeing the world, interacting with people from different cultures, and learning multiple languages in her quest to access and understand more intimately human cultural diversity. She did not know it at the time, but the 1971 irreversible journey to the United States set her on the path to pursue that dream in a way she could never have imagined in Italy; now she moved in the world with “America” as an integral part of her identity and imagination. Over the years, Pisa became multilingual (studying French, German, and later Spanish), traveled extensively, and lived in Germany and Mexico for a time.

It was on one of her sojourns abroad that she came to know and love Mexico, a country she considers one of her homes. Her passion for Mexico ultimately shaped the direction of her graduate studies in political science (M.A. 1992), specializing in the field of international development with a regional focus on Latin America. Desiring to get closer to the community-level (social actor level) of the countries she studied and having taken several anthropology and sociology graduate courses that inspired her, Pisa selected to pursue doctoral studies in sociology (Ph.D. 2001).

Pisa’s interest in community-level conditions drew her naturally to ethnographic research. Beginning in 1993, Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico in several states. 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.

Pisa takes an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to her pedagogy. She developed and teaches regularly several cross-listed courses: SOC/APG 329 Contemporary Mexican Society, SOC/APG 415 Migration in the Americas, and SOC/APG/GWS 308 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Cultures. Pisa also teaches SOC240, Race and Ethnic Relation, SOC 100 General Sociology, GWS400 Capstone Seminar: Critical Issues in Feminist Scholarship, and courses for the Honors Programs.

Beginning in 2012, Pisa broadened her pedagogy to include international experiential learning opportunities for students. Translating her research interests and passion for cross-cultural exchange and understanding, Pisa has created two study abroad programs, one in Mexico and one in Italy. Both programs focus on a holistic, comparative approach to the study of the environment, sustainable agriculture, and food. Most importantly, the programs represent a synthesis of Pisa’s cultural homes of the United States, Italy and Mexico.

Her 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. Pisa has presented her work at numerous conferences in the U.S. and in Mexico.


  • Land and Agrarian Reforms in Mexico
  • Neoliberalism and Citizenship
  • Gender Dynamics of Local and Organic Agriculture
  • Women’s Agrarian Rights in Mexico
  • Indigenous Rights in Latin America

Research Appointments

Clark University
The George Perkins Marsh Institute, Worcester, MA
Research Scholar, 2002 to 2003
Project: Environmental Impacts of the Mexican Agrarian Reform

University of Wales at Swansea
Department of Geography, Wales, United Kingdom
Senior Research Assistant, 9/1996 to 7/1998
Project: Deregulating Community Land in Mexico: Implications for Urban Space, Politics and Citizenship. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom. Principal Investigator: Gareth Jones.


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, 2001, Northeastern University
  • M.A. in Political Science, 1991, Northeastern University
  • B.A. in  Political Science, 1986, University of Texas at Dallas


“La lucha por la territorialidad de la comunidades indígenas frente a la nueva reforma agraria.” Los Actores Sociales Frente al Desarrollo Rural, Tomo IV, Gabriela Kraemer Bayer and Sanchez, editors. Mexico: Libros Zacatecas, 2007.

“Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Land Development in Mexico: A Victory for Hope Versus Expectations.” (co-author Gareth A. Jones). Habitat International. 24 (1): 1-18. 2000.

“Public–Private Partnerships in Mexico.” (co-author Gareth A. Jones). In Making Common Ground Public/Private Partnership in Land for Housing. Edited by G. Payne. U.K.: Intermediate Technologies, 1999.

“Hegemonía fracturada: interpretaciones múltiples del zapatismo y de la política agraria en ejidos oaxaqueños.” (co-author Lynn Stephen) Las Disputas por el México Rural. Edited by Sergio Zendejas and Pieter de Vries. Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 1998.

“Popular Response to the Reform of Article 27: State Intervention and Resistance in Oaxaca.” Urban Anthropology, 23 (2-3): 267-306. 1994.

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