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Richard Schroeder
Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences School of Arts and Sciences
(Ph.D., California-Berkeley)
Phone: (848) 445-4350
Core Faculty, Graduate Faculty

Current research projects

Research interests:

political ecology, environmental justice, africa, uneven development, social geography, economic geography, cultural geography, race, gender, nationality, wildlife conservation, mining, forestry, agriculture.


Ph.D., Geography, U California-Berkeley (Dissertation advisor: Michael Watts), 1993
M.S., Institute for Environmental Studies, U Wisconsin-Madison (Thesis advisor: Ann Stoler), 1985
B.A., Religion and Germanics, summa cum laude, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1978
Semester abroad, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 1977

Academic positions:

Professor, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 2013-present
Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 1999-2013
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 1993-99
Graduate Student Instructor, Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1993
Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, 1990, 1992
Graduate Student Instructor, Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984

Administrative positions:
Chair, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 2011-present
Director, Undergraduate Program, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 2011-2012
Associate Director, Center for African Studies, Rutgers University, 2007-2009
Director, Graduate Program, Department of Geography, Rutgers University, 2002-05
Director (founding), Center for African Studies, Rutgers University, 1998-2001

Additional affiliations:
Coordinator, International Studies Certificate Program, 2012
Faculty, Minor in Social Justice, 2008-present
Faculty, Graduate Certificate in African Studies, 2003-present
Faculty, Minor in African Area Studies, 1999- present
Member, Graduate Certificate Program in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change, 1996-present
Member, Center for African Studies, 1995-present

Other Professional Experience
Board of Directors, African Studies Association (Executive Committee Member; Chair, Finance Committee; Chair, Strategic Planning Committee for Annual Meeting and Membership), 2009-2012
Editorial Boards: International Encyclopedia of Geography, section editor: political ecology, 2012-present; Environment and Society, editorial advisory board, 2009-present
Visiting Scholar, Center for African Studies, Stanford University, 2001-02
Advisory Boards: Center for Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Rutgers University, 1999-2004; Rainforest Alliance, Natural Resources and Rights Program, 1996-1999
Food Production Specialist, Save the Children Federation, The Gambia, W. Africa, 1986-88
Program Analyst, Program Evaluation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 1985-1986
Director, Peace Corps/The Gambia, Health and Rural Cooperatives Extension Training, 1983; rural development training consultant for Kenya, Mauritania, and Thailand Peace Corps programs, 1982; coordinator, extension training, Ministry of Agriculture/Peace Corps, Sierra Leone, 1980
Extension Agent, Ministry of Agriculture/Peace Corps, Sierra Leone, W. Africa, 1978-80

Research grants and fellowships
Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Award, 2005-2006
USDA Forest Service, 2004-2008
Association of American Geographers Anne U. White Award (with D. L. Hodgson), 2000
Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Faculty Fellowship, Rutgers University, 1997
Research Council Grant, Rutgers University, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007

Major program development grants
US Department of Education Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program, Rutgers Center for African Studies, 2001-2002
Reinvest in Rutgers program, Rutgers Center for African Studies, 2000, 2001
US Department of Education Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program, Rutgers Center for African Studies, 1999-2000
Ford Foundation, Crossing Borders: Rethinking Area Studies, Rutgers Center for African Studies, 1999
Strategic Resources Opportunity Analysis Project, Rutgers Center for African Studies, 1999, 2000

I am a broadly trained geographer with interests in economic, cultural and social geography, development studies and African studies. I draw much of my inspiration from the fields of political ecology and environmental justice, analytical domains that connect the critical social theories of geography, anthropology and sociology with applied ecological and biological sciences. I am particularly interested in questions of access and control over resources; policies that govern specific natural resource-based production systems; and the contested ideologies and discourses that inflect related political struggles.

In Shady Practices: Agroforesty and Gender Politics in The Gambia, for example, I present a micro-history of successive waves of ostensibly progressive development interventions, documenting how lucrative women’s market gardens were threatened by the closure of the shade canopy as men sought to superimpose orchards and woodlots on the same locations. I use the case as a cautionary tale to highlight the ambiguous nature of gender and environmental discourses and practices, and redirect attention to critical questions of gendered power relations and social justice.

In Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa, my co-editor, anthropologist Vigdis Broch-Due, and I draw together a collection of essays that theorize specific forms of environmental intervention; the degree of historical (dis)continuity that exists between contemporary and past environmental policies and practices; the effect environmental programs have had on localized systems of knowledge production and regimes of value; the strategies of accumulation that have spun out of heavy donor and state investment in environmental programs; and the numerous social, cultural, and political-economic dislocations these initiatives have produced across the African continent in recent decades.

My most recent book, Africa after Apartheid: South Africa, Race and Nation in Tanzania, analyzes the social and cultural dynamics that accompanied the dramatic reconfiguration of Africa’s economic geography in the post-apartheid period. Its focus is the former “frontline” state of Tanzania, once one of the staunchest opponents to apartheid. In a particularly ironic twist of fate, Tanzania emerged as a preferred destination for South African capital when the anti-apartheid boycott ended in the early 1990s. Several thousand South African whites subsequently took up residence in the country and saturated its economy with foreign capital and imported goods – a stunning change of events for Tanzanians. Controversies in the mining and wildlife safari industries and several other sectors of the Tanzanian economy experiencing heavy South African investment are a primary focus of this project. It also tracks a spike in race consciousness that accompanied the emergence of de facto all-white bars, restaurants and clubs catering in part to a South African clientele. Finally, it examines the anger and resentment expressed by Tanzanians who are increasingly fearful that South Africans are bent on reproducing apartheid on Tanzanian soil.


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Africa after Apartheid: South Africa, Race and Nation in Tanzania.Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012. Winner, Association of American Geographers’ Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography, 2012.
Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa.Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic African Institute, 2000 (ed. with Vigdis Broch-Due).
Shady Practices: Agroforestry and Gender Politics in The Gambia.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Guest edited journal issues
2008. Schroeder, R., K. St. Martin, B. Wilson and D. Sen, eds. “Third World Environmental Justice: Expanding the Environmental Justice Agenda.” Society and Natural Resources 21, 7.
2006. Schroeder, R. K. St. Martin and K Albert, eds. "Political Ecology in North America," Geoforum 37, 2.
2006. Schroeder, R. K. St. Martin and K Albert, eds. Geoforum 37, 2.
1995. Neumann, R. and R. Schroeder. “Manifest Ecological Destinies: Local Rights and Global Environmental Agendas.” Antipode 27, 4.

Journal articles and book chapters
2010. Schroeder, R. “Tanzanite as Conflict Gem: Certifying a Secure Commodity Chain in Tanzania.” Geoforum 41, 1:56-65.
2009. Neimark, B. and R. Schroeder. “Hotspots Discourse in Africa: Making Space for Bioprospecting in Madagascar.” African Geographical Review 28:33-59.
2009. Schroeder, R. Commentary on Bjorn Sletto’s “‘We Drew What We Imagined’: Participatory Mapping, Performance and the Arts of Landscape Making.” Cultural Anthropology 50 (4): 469-470.
2008. Schroeder, R. “South African Capital in the Land of Ujamaa: Contested Terrain in Tanzania.” African Sociological Review 12, 1: 20-34. (Edited version with photos available on-line at
2008. Schroeder, R. “Environmental Justice and the Market: The Politics of Sharing Wildlife Revenues in Tanzania.” Society and Natural Resources 21, 7: 583-596.
2008. Schroeder, R., K. St. Martin, B. Wilson and D. Sen. “Third World Environmental Justice.” (Introduction to special issue) Society and Natural Resources 21, 7:547-555.
2006. Schroeder, R. K. St. Martin and K Albert. “Political Ecology in North America: Discovering the Third World Within?” (Introduction to special issue). Geoforum, 37, 2: 163-168
2005. Schroeder, R. “Debating the Place of Political Ecology in the First World.” Environment and Planning A, 37 (6): 1045-1048.
2004. [1996]. Schroeder, R. and K. Suryanata. “Gender and Class Power in Agroforestry: Case Studies from Indonesia and West Africa.” In Liberation Ecology: Environment, Development, Social Movements, R. Peet and M. Watts, eds., 299-315. London: Routledge.
2002. Hodgson, D. and R. Schroeder. “Dilemmas of Counter-mapping Community Resources in Tanzania.” Development and Change, 33, 1: 79-100.
2000. Schroeder. R. “Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa: Continuity and Change.” In Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa, V. Broch-Due and R. Schroeder, eds., 340-348. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordic Institute for African Studies.
2000. Schroeder, R. “Beyond Distributive Justice: Environmental Justice and Resource Extraction.” In People, Plants and Justice: Resource Extraction and Conservation in Tropical Developing Countries, C. Zerner, ed., 52-64. New York: Columbia University Press.
1999. Schroeder, R. “Community, Forestry and Conditionality in The Gambia.” Africa 69, 1: 1-22.
1999. Schroeder, R. “Geographies of Environmental Intervention in Africa.” Progress in Human Geography 23, 3: 359-378.
1997. Schroeder, R. “‘Re-claiming’ Land in The Gambia: Gendered Property Rights and Environmental Intervention.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 87, 3: 487-508.
1996. Schroeder, R. “‘Gone to Their Second Husbands’: Marital Metaphors and Conjugal Contracts in The Gambia’s Female Garden Sector.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 30, 1: 69-87.
1995. Neumann, R. and R. Schroeder. “Manifest Ecological Destinies: Local Rights and Global Environmental Agendas.” (Introduction to special issue; with R. Neumann) Antipode 27, 4: 321-324.
1995. Schroeder, R. “Contradictions along the Commodity Road to Environmental Stabilization: Foresting Gambian Gardens.” Antipode 27, 4: 325-342.
1993. Schroeder, R. “Shady Practice: Gender and the Political Ecology of Resource Stabilization in Gambian Garden/Orchards.” Economic Geography 69, 4: 349-365.
1991. Schroeder, R. and M. Watts. “Struggling Over Strategies, Fighting Over Food: Commercialization among Mandinka Peasants in The Gambia”. In Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 5, Household Strategies, ed. H. Schwarzweller and D. Clay, 45-72. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Teaching awards
Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University, 2011
Lilly Endowment Teaching Excellence Fellowship, Rutgers University, 1995
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Geography, University California-Berkeley, 1993

Graduate courses
Uneven Development, Environment and Development, Research Design

Undergraduate courses
Cultural and Political Ecology, Geography of Development, Africa, Conservation (SAS Signature Course)

Former and current PhD students supervised
Nichols, Karen. Development crisis revisited: Cycles of resource regulation, disenfranchisement, and resistance in Sri Lanka. 2000.
DePlaen, Renaud. Contracting malaria in the paddies: A farming systems approach to malaria in Northern Cote d’Ivoire. 2001.
Neimark, Benjamin. Industrial heartlands of nature: The political economy of bioprospecting in Madagascar. 2009.
Barron, Elizabeth. Situated knowledge and fungal conservation: Morel mushroom management in the mid-Atlantic Region of the United States. 2009.
Wilson, Bradley. Between market and movement: The fair trade coffee ‘buycott’ in Nicaragua and the United States. 2010.
Capoccia, Stella (co-advisor). The role of the animal rights movement in wildlife management in Kenya. 2013.
Andrews, Margo (co-advisor). The political ecology of snowmobiling in Maine. ABD.
Duffy-Tumasz, Amelia. Gendered seascapes in Senegal. ABD.
Scott, Deborah. Soft law and scientific uncertainty: The case of biofuels in the Convention on Biological Diversity. ABD.
Setyowati, Abidah. Plus what? Tracking the development outcomes of Aceh, Indonesia’s REDD+ project. ABD.


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