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Peter Little

photo of Peter Little Gaige Hall
(401) 456-2839

Academic Background

Ph.D., Oregon State University, 2010
M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2005
B.A., Binghamton University, 2003

Courses Taught

First Year Seminar: Dynamics of Disaster
First Year Seminar: Waste Matters
First Year Seminar: Mountains of Power and Culture
First Year Seminar: Beyond the Selfie: Exploring Injustices in Our Communities
ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 343: Environmental Anthropology
ANTH 309: Medical Anthropology
ANTH 347: Environmental Justice
ANTH 460: Seminar in Anthropology (Senior Capstone)
ENST 200: Environmental Studies
ANTH 237: Measuring Inequality, Analyzing Injustice

Research Interests

Dr. Little's research is focused largely on environmental and medical anthropology, with a strong focus on environmental health and political ecology. Fascinated by the complexities of human-environment relations, as well as human dimensions of ecology and economy, Dr. Little has published on the social, political, and health dimensions of industrial pollution, and finds inspiration from the growing connections between anthropology, environmental studies, disaster studies, science and technology studies, and environmental justice activism. He is author of Toxic Town: IBM, Pollution, and Industrial Risks (2014, New York University Press). Link to book:Outside Link

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Political Ecology, Social Theory, Industrial Pollution, Environmental Health Conflicts, Electronic Waste, Ghana​

Selected Publications


Under Contract. Burning Matters: Life, Labor, and E-Waste Pyropolitics in Ghana. New York and London: Oxford University Press.

2014. Toxic Town: IBM, Pollution, and Industrial Risks. New York and London: New York University Press. 

Journal Articles

2019. Little, P.C. and G.A. Akese. Centering the Korle Lagoon: Exploring Blue Political Ecologies of E-Waste in Ghana. Journal of Political Ecology 26(1):448-465.

2019. Little, P.C. Bodies, Toxins, and E-Waste Labour Interventions in Ghana: Toward a Toxic Postcolonial Corporality? Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 14(1):51-71. 

2018. Akese, G.A. and P.C. Little. Electronic Waste and the Environmental Justice Challenge in Agbogbloshie.Environmental Justice 11:77-83. 

2018. Little, P.C. Corporate Mortality Files and Late Industrial Necropolitics. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 32(2):161-176.

2017. Little, P.C. and C. Lucier. Global Electronic Waste, Third Party Certification Standards, and Resisting the Undoing of Environmental Justice Politics. Human Organization 76(3):204-214.

2017. Little, P.C. and K. Pennell. Measuring Vapor Intrusion: From Source Science Politics to a Transdisciplinary Approach. Environmental Sociology 3(2):145-154.

2016. Little, P.C. On the Micropolitics and Edges of Survival in a Technocapital Sacrifice Zone. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 4:62-77.

2015. Little, P.C. Sustainability Science and Education in the Neoliberal Ecoprison. Environmental Education Research 21(3):365-377.

2013. Little, P.C. Envisioning the Political Ecology of Mitigation in a Microelectronic Disaster Setting. Journal of Political Ecology 20(13): 217-237.

2013. Little, P.C. Vapor Intrusion: The Political Ecology of an Emerging Environmental Health Concern. Human Organization 72(2): 121-131. 

2012. Little, P.C. Another Angle on Pollution Experience: Toward an Anthropology of the Emotional Ecology of Risk Mitigation. Ethos 40(4): 431-452.

2012. Little, P.C. Environmental Justice Discomfort and Disconnect in IBM's Tainted Birthplace: A Micropolitical Ecology Perspective. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 23(2): 92-109. 

2009. Little, P.C. Negotiating Community Engagement and Science in the Federal Environmental Public Health Sector. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 23(2): 94-118.

Book Chapters

Forthcoming. Little, P.C. Witnessing E-Waste through Participatory Photography in Ghana. In Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post-Truth Age. Thom Davies and Alice Mah, eds. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Forthcoming. Little, P.C. Global E-Waste Health Science and Politics of Bioinformatic Extraction. In The Anthropology of Bioinformation: Worlds and Futures, Edited by EJ Gonsalez-Polledo and Silvia Posocco. London and New York: Routledge.  

2017. Little, P.C. Sustainability Science and Education in the Neoliberal Ecoprison." In Neoliberalism and Environmental Education. Joseph Henderson, David Hursh, and David Greenwood, eds. New York and London: Routledge. 

2016. Little, P.C. New Toxics Uncertainty and the Complexity Politics of Emerging Vapor Intrusion Risk. In A Companion to the Anthropology of Environmental Health, Edited by Merrill Singer ed., Pp. 281-301. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Research Grants

Post-PhD Research Grant. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Project Title: “An Ethnographic Political Ecology of Electronic Waste Recycling and Risk Mitigation in Accra, Ghana.” Principal Investigator. May 2016-August 2017 (USD $18,200)

Dissertation Improvement Grant (NSF DIG S1096A). U.S. National Science Foundation, Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences Program. Project Title: “An Ethnographic Study of Environmental Contamination, Risk Perception, and Advocacy in a Post -IBM Community in Upstate New York.” Co-Principal Investigator. June 2008-May 2009 (USD $7,900)


2007, Honorable Mention, Peter Kong-Ming New Award, Society for Applied Anthropology

2002, Junior Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Science

Page last updated: February 24, 2021