Molly Doane

Associate Professor
Affiliated Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies

Director of Undergraduate Students

(link to Molly Doane @


PhD, CUNY, 2001


Latin America, Mexico, United States

Topics of Interest:

sociocultural anthropology, environment, social movements, globalization, political economy, consumption, commodity chains, organic agriculture, cooperatives

My ongoing research concerns environmental politics, alternative markets and commodities, and social movements in Mexico and the United States.  My book, Stealing Shining Rivers: Agrarian Conflict, Market Logic, and Conservation in a Mexican Forest (University of Arizona Press, 2012) explores the attempts of an NGO-led social movement to incorporate an agenda of local autonomy into a “mainstream” environmental conservation project. This work received the 2012 prize for the best social science book on Mexico from the Latin American Studies Association. Article:

Most recently, my research has explored alternative political and economic models as they are expressed through fair trade coffee.  My article “The Political Economy of the Ecological Native” (American Anthropologist, 2007) received the Junior Scholar Award from the AAA Anthropology and Environment Section in 2008.  I am currently working on a book, Meaningful Markets:  The Culture and Politics of Fair Trade Coffee, concerning fair trade coffee that is produced in Chiapas, Mexico and marketed in the Midwest and the UK.  In the 2011-2012 academic year, I was able to work on this book full-time while a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities, UIC.   My research and writing on these topics has also been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. I have recently begun a research project on organic agriculture, local food, and the politics of scale in Wisconsin.
Additionally, I am the co-editor of Critical Green Engagements: Investigating the Green Economy and It´s Alternatives, a new environmental book series published by University of Arizona Press. I am also the Affiliate Faculty for the Campus Social Justice Initiative and the Campus Sustainability Initiatives . 

Selected Publications:

Stealing Shining Rivers: Agrarian Conflict, Market Logic, and Conservation in a Mexican Forest. University of Arizona Press, 2012.

 “Orphans in the World System: Maya Coffee Producers in Chiapas, Mexico.” Anthropology Now 3 (2): 17-27, September 2011. 

“Relationship Coffees: Structure and Agency in the Marketplace.”  In Sarah Lyon and Mark Moberg, eds. Fair Trade and Social Justice: Global Ethnographies, pp. 229-257. New York University Press, 2010. 

“The Political Economy of the Ecological Native” American Anthropologist 109(3): 452-462, September 2007.

 “The Resilience of Nationalism in a Global Era: Megaprojects in Mexico’s South.” In June Nash, ed. Anthropology of Social Movements, London and Medford, MA: Blackwell, 2004.

 "A Distant Jaguar: The Civil Society Project in Chimalapas, Mexico.”  Critique of Anthropology 21: 361-381, 2001

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Contact Information

Office Phone:
(312) 413-0653