Jennifer Keahey

Assistant Professor
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3051

Biography

I am a development sociologist with more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications on issues pertaining to global justice and sustainable development. I have worked in several world regions and possess significant expertise in anti-racist, anti-colonial, and feminist perspectives. I am particularly interested in Black, Indigenous, and Global South development approaches that challenge conventional thought/praxis. I am skilled in the use of qualitative, mixed, and participatory action research (PAR) methods that open spaces for multi-paradigmatic knowledge building.

My work advances development theory and practice in two key ways. First, it decolonizes theory to improve understanding of development and its alternatives. By interrogating the power dynamics informing sustainability in action, I unpack structural, relational, and cognitive barriers and identify pathways for transformation. Second, my work informs social research methods through the publication of critical reflections and systematic reviews of practice. By clarifying standards and methods that support connection across difference, I strengthen ethics for interdisciplinary and intercultural engagement.

I currently am working on two book projects that problematize the politics of sustainability through the lens of social justice.

Decolonizing Sustainable Development is a solo-authored comparative historical study of post-authoritarian transitions to sustainability in Latvia and South Africa. This book unpacks the oppressive legacies and insurgent knowledges informing development in societies situated at two frontiers of the modern-colonial world system. More specifically, it examines efforts to develop alternative food systems and sustainability agendas at a time of democratization and free-market triumphalism. Drawing from qualitative and participatory fieldwork with local farming communities, the book offers situated insight into cultural negotiations with marginalization and agency; tradition and modernity; heritage and change. It joins political economy analysis with the Indigenous knowledges of formerly colonized peoples to develop a decolonial theory and practice of sustainable development that challenges business-as-usual.

Democratizing Energy is an edited volume on energy and democracy. As co-editor, I have organized a diverse body of scholars to examine questions pertaining to energy insecurities, risks, and transitions to sustainability. Their rich contributions range from theoretical coverage of energy imaginaries to empirical analyses of alternative energy formations that are occurring in societies around the world.

I also remain involved in a research project on development ethics and research methods. Currently, I have produced three solo-authored articles: (1) a systematic review of peer-reviewed sustainable development studies that employ participatory action research to facilitate transitions to sustainability; (2) an article on development research ethics that delivers a common set of principles for planning, conducting, and evaluating international development research; and (3) a article on transnational feminisms that examines the politics of oppression and liberation in development.

Completed Research Projects

  • Livelihoods and Well-Being in the South African Cederberg
  • Knowledge and Capacity in South African Rooibos Tea
  • Organic Agriculture and Market Development in Latvia
  • Fair Trade Movement: The Case of Ten Thousand Villages

Education

  • Ph.D. Sociology, Colorado State University
  • M.A. International Development and Social Change, Clark University
  • B.A. Anthropology and French, University of Utah

Google Scholar

Research Interests

  • Globalization and development
  • Social justice and sustainability
  • Decolonizing research and practice

Publications

Courses

Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 501 PS Social Justice&Human Rights
JHR 590 Reading and Conference
JHR 592 Research
JHR 593 Applied Project
JHR 598 Special Topics
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 501 PS Social Justice&Human Rights
JHR 590 Reading and Conference
JHR 592 Research
JHR 593 Applied Project
JHR 598 Special Topics
JHR 599 Thesis
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
SOC 331 Environmental Sociology
SOC 339 Grassroots Social Movements
SBS 339 Grassroots Social Movements
POS 339 Grassroots Social Movements
ASB 339 Grassroots Social Movements
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 598 Special Topics
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
SOC 264 Gender and Society
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 598 Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
SOC 264 Gender and Society
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 598 Special Topics

Presentations

  • Session Co-Organizer. Frontiers of Feminist Development. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2018).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Cultivating Heritage: Sustainable Development in the South African Cederberg. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2018).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Knowledge in Action: Negotiating Theories of Power in the Field. Action Research Network of the Americas Annual Meeting, University of California San Diego (June 2018).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Negotiating Power: Intersectional Praxis in Action Research. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Wayne State University (Oct 2017).
  • Jennifer Keahey. The Ethics of Development Research: A Critical Review. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Wayne State University (Oct 2017).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Gendered Livelihoods and Community Politics in Post-apartheid South Africa. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2017).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Staan Saam: Intersectional and Participatory Development in South Africa. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Cornell University (Oct 2016).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Capabilities for Sustainability: Livelihoods and Culture in the South African Cederberg. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2016).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Participatory Commodity Networking: An Integrated Framework for Fairtrade Research and Support. ASU Democracy Conference (Dec 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Whose Knowledge Counts? Skills Development in Fairtrade Producer Networks. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. The Sustainability of  Power or the Power of Sustainability? Emerging Farmer Participation in South Africa's Rooibos Tea Industry. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Brown University (Mar 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Fair Trade and Racial Equity in Africa. International Studies Association Annual Convention (Feb 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Sustainability, Power, and Participation in South Africa's Rooibos Tea Industry. SBS Symposium at ASU West (Oct 2014).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Fair Trade and Racial Equity in Africa. Western Social Science Association Annual Conference (Apr 2014).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Paternalism or Empowerment? Racial (In)Equity in African Fair Trade. New College Faculty Colloquium at ASU West (Mar 2014).
  • Jennifer Keahey. From Dependency to Interconnectedness: Introducing the Participatory Commodity Network Research Approach. American Sociological Association Development Sociology Conference (Oct 2013).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Emerging Markets, Sustainable Methods: Political Economy Empowerment in South Africa's Rooibos Tea Sector. Sociology in Progress Lecture Series (Feb 2013).
  • Jennifer Keahey. South Africa's Rooibos Tea Industry: Social Sustainability Dimensions and Prospects. American Sociological Association Development Sociology Conference (Nov 2012).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Commodity Networking for Sustainable Development: Fair Trade and South Africa's Emerging Rooibos Tea Sector. American Sociological Association Annual General Meeting (Aug 2012).
  • Jennifer Keahey. New Methods for Sustainable Development: Participatory Commodity Networking within South Africa's Emerging Rooibos Tea Sector. Center for Fair & Alternative Trade Seminar (May 2012).
  • Jennifer Keahey and Sandra Kruger. Improving Market Access for Emerging South African Rooibos Farmers. UC Davis HortCRSP Workshop (Apr 2011).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Sustainable Market Access Development in South Africa's Emerging Rooibos Tea Sector. Africa Rising: New Enterprise Solutions to Old Development Problems Research Colloquium (Mar 2011).

Professional Associations

Associate: Center for Fair & Alternative Trade (CFAT)

Member: American Sociological Association (ASA)

Member: Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA).

 

Service

  • Chair Elect, Sociology of Development, American Sociological Association (2018 - Present)
  • Ad Hoc Journal, Book, and Grant Reviewer (2011 - Present)
  • Co-founder & Co-Chair, Feminist Development Subsection of ASA Sociology of Development (2016; 2017 - 2018)
  • Webmaster, ASA Sociology of Development (2016 - 2018)
  • Council Member, ASA Political Economy of the World System (2015 - 2018)
  • Facebook Master, ASA Sociology of Development (2011-2016)
  • Member, ASU Interdisciplinary Global Learning and Engagement Advisory Board (2014 - Present)
  • Member, ASU West Campus Sustainability Committee (2014 - Present)
  • Refugee Farm Volunteer, International Rescue Committee (IRC) New Roots Farm Project (2014)

Industry Positions

EDUCAIDS Intern: Education Sector, UNESCO (2006)

Refugee Volunteer Coordinator: Catholic Community Services (2002-2003)

Volunteer Teacher Trainer: United States Peace Corps (1999-2002)