Michael Lengefeld

Assistant ProfessorSociology

Michael Lengefeld is Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Sociology at Goucher College. His focus on social justice guides his research and work with community organizations, such as the Goucher Prison Education Project and the Washington State University Food Recovery Network. Professor Lengefeld teaches courses in Sociology and Environmental Studies, with a focus on social and environmental transformation. His research examines the intersection of political ecology and war, with emphasis on the ways in which the developing tension between war and society has transformed the global ecology.
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Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress

Dr. Lengefeld’s comparative-historical work examines the environmental consequences of historical and social forces. Examples include Cold War nuclear weapons production in the United States and the former Soviet Union/Russia, and the dynamics of cocaine production and gold mining in Latin America.


Lengefeld, Michael. 2020. “Nuclear Weapons and the Treadmill of Destruction in the Making of the Anthropocene.” Journal of World-Systems Research 26(2): 203-230.

Smith, Chad L., Gregory Hooks, and Michael Lengefeld. 2020. “Treadmills of Production and Destruction in the Anthropocene: Gold Mining in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.” Journal of World-Systems Research 26(2): 231-262.

Rotolo, Thomas, and Michael R. Lengefeld. 2020. “Clearing the Cobwebs: The Reframing of Youth Concussions as a Health Crisis.” Social Science & Medicine, November 2.

Lengefeld, Michael, Greg Hooks, and Chad Smith. 2020. “Social Science Contributions to the Study of Zoonotic Spillover: Normal Accidents and Treadmill Theory.” This View of Life (TVOL).

Hooks, Greg, Michael R. Lengefeld, and Chad L. Smith. Forthcoming 2021. "Recasting the Treadmills of Production and Destruction: New Theoretical Directions." Sociology of Development.  

Lengefeld, Michael, Greg Hooks, and Chad Smith. Forthcoming 2020. "War and the Environment." The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology coedited by Beth Caniglia, Andrew Jorgenson, Stephanie Malin, Lori Peek, and David Pellow.

Smith, Chad, and Michael Lengefeld. 2019. "The Environmental Consequences of Asymmetric War: A Panel Study of Militarism and Carbon Emissions, 2000-2010." Armed Forces and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X19832615

Smith, Chad L., Greg Hooks, and Michael Lengefeld. 2014. "The War on Drugs in Colombia: The Environment, the Treadmill of Destruction and Risk-Transfer Militarism." Journal of World-Systems Research 20(2): 185-206.

Lengefeld, Michael, and Chad L. Smith. 2013. "Nuclear Shadows: Weighing the Environmental Effects of Militarism, Capitalism, and Modernization in a Global Context, 2001-2007." Human Ecology Review 20(1):11-25.

Conference Papers & Panel Participation

2020 - American Sociological Association Conference. San Franscisco.

2019 - American Sociological Association Conference. New York.

2017 - Sociology of Development Conference, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

2017 - American Sociological Association Conference. Montreal, Canada.

2017 - European Research Group on Military and Society. Hellenic Army Academy, Athens, Greece.

2017 - EARThS Conference. Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

2016 - American Sociological Association Conference, Seattle, Washington.

2016 - Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, Seattle, WA. 

Invited Talks

Gonzaga University, "Theory: Durkheim and Religion."
Gonzaga University, "Violence, Environment, Food, and Water."
Gonzaga University, "GIS and Socio-spatial Analysis."

Academic or Professional Associations

American Sociological Association

Section on Environmental Sociology

Other Professional or Scholarly Activity

Interview with Sara Zaske. 2020. “Football-loving states slow to enact youth concussion laws.” WSU Insider. Washington State University, December 1. https://news.wsu.edu/2020/12/01/football-loving-states-slow-enact-youth-concussion-laws/

Feature article “Social Science Contributions to the Study of Zoonotic Spillover: Normal Accidents and Treadmill Theory”. American Sociological Association, Section on Environmental Sociology, Fall 2020 Newsletter.