Ryan Wishart, MA, PhD
Ryan Wishart, MA, PhD

Ryan Wishart, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor
Program Director, Sociology Program
College of Arts and Sciences


  • Environmental Sociology
  • Political Economy/Ecology

Academic Appointments


  • Cultural and Social Studies


  • Assistant Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Environmental Science Program
  • Sociology Program
  • Sustainability Studies Program


Ryan Wishart grew up in east Tennessee and earned interdisciplinary bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Wishart joined Creighton’s department of Cultural and Social Studies in 2014 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. He is also a faculty member in the Environmental Science and Sustainability Studies programs.  In addition to teaching introductory courses on sociology and social problems, he teaches courses on social and cultural theory, environmental sociology, and political sociology. His research has focused on the social and ecological problems associated with coal extraction in the rural Appalachian region, social movements, and elite political organization and mobilization.

Publications and Presentations


  • “Class Capacities and Climate Politics: Coal and Conflict in the United States Energy Policy-Planning Network”, Energy Research and Social Science, 48, 151-165, 2019
  • Jones, Robert Emmet and Ryan Wishart. 2018.  Introduction to Environmental Justice. Pp. 122-128 in Social Justice and the Sociological Imagination: A Reader for the 21st Century, third edition, Sherry Cable and Tyler Wall (eds.). Dubuque, Iowa:, Kendall Hunt, 2018
  • Liévanos, Raoul S., Pierce Greenberg, and Ryan Wishart. “In the Shadow of Production: Coal waste accumulation and environmental inequality formation in Eastern Kentucky.” , Social Science Research, 71, 37-55, 2018
  • Coal River's Last Mountain: King Coal's Apres moi le deluge Reign, Organization & Environment, 25(4), 467-482, 2012
  • Pfleger Robinson, Cassie, Randal Pfleger, Ryan Wishart, and Dave Cooper. “Mountain Justice: A Grassroots Effort to End Mountain Top Removal.” in Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia edited by Stephen Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith., University of Illinois Press, 2012

Editing and Reviews

  • Editorial Assistant for Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique by John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett., Brill, 2016
  • Review of Mountains of Injustice edited by Michele Morrone and Geoffrey L. Buckley, Journal of Historical Geography, 39(3), 2013
  • “Heinberg’s New Coal Question.” Review of Blackout, by Richard Heinberg., Monthly Review, 62(8), 53-61, 2011


  • Jameson, Cade, Ryan Wishart and Chris Hardnack. 2018. “Defensive Environmentalism and Radical Social Change.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania., 2018
  • “The Coal Coalition and Energy Policy Planning Network in 2009: Class Capacities and Climate Politics.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Seattle, Washington., 2016
  • with Paul Gellert. “Political and Legal Aspects of Ecologically Unequal Exchange: Comparing Histories of Access to Coalfields of Appalachia and Kalimantan.” Presented at Ecologically Unequal Exchange: Environmental Injustice in Historical and Comparative Perspective. University of Tennessee, Knoxville., 2015
  • “Internal Peripheries and Modes of Extraction: Appalachia's Persistence as an Internal Periphery.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Chicago, Illinois., 2015
  • “The 'green economy' and 'coal country': federal and state level reproduction of a contested mode of extraction.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. New York, New York., 2013
  • Invited Lecture -- “The Coal Coalition in the Age of Monopoly-Finance Capital.” A ‘Food for Thought’ Discussion Forum presented by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. Cosponsored by the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, Land Air Water, the Department of Sociology, and the Environmental Studies Program, 2012
  • “Apres moi le deluge: King Coal’s Reign on Coal River Mountain.” Presented at Dimensions of Political Ecology: a Conference on Nature and Society. Lexington, Kentucky., 2011
  • “Surface Coal Mining and Socioeconomic Outcomes in Rural Appalachia.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Atlanta, Georgia., 2010
  • “Transforming Places: Lessons in Movement-building from Appalachia.” Invited panelist at the Annual Meeting of the Appalachian Studies Association. Dahlonega, Georgia., 2010
  • “Environmental Justice, Organized Labor, and the Treadmill of Accumulation in the Coalfields of Appalachia.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Boston, MA, July, 2008

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • extractive economies, ecology, and development
    social networks and environmental politics

Current Research Projects

  • Ryan Wishart. “Underdeveloping Appalachia”

Awards and Honors

  • Graduate School Research Award for Publication, University of Oregon, 2013
  • Wayne Morse Center For Law and Politics Dissertation Fellow, University of Oregon, 2012