Becky Mansfield

Becky Mansfield

Becky Mansfield

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

(614) 247-7264

1054 Derby Hall
154 North Oval Mall
Columbus OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Nature-Society Relations
  • Political Ecology
  • Science Studies


  • Ph.D., 2001 Geography, University of Oregon
  • M.S., 1996 Environmental Studies, University of Oregon
  • B.A., 1991 Environmental Studies (Honors), University of California, Santa Cruz

Current CV:



Interests: My research is in the areas of nature-society geography, political ecology, and science studies. Broadly interested in the recursive relationship between power and nature, I study diverse bodily and planetary socionatures. I am particularly interested in how traditional ideas about a separation between humans and nature seem to be giving way to new, non-dualist, fluid understandings of nature-society dynamics that undermine any notion of foundational separations. Yet a central focus of my work is how these non-dualist nature-society relationships do not erase but transform and unleash new power dynamics. This raises key questions about who (both human and non-human) will benefit and who will be harmed, and in what ways. Questions about race, gender, and reproduction are central to these new power dynamics and problems of injustice. Building on these interests, I also bring feminist and anti-racist perspective to bear on academia.


Current Research: Much of my recent work focuses on chemical geographies as exemplar and mechanism of human-nature entanglement. I recently completed projects on the biopolitics of epigenetics and on deregulatory science at the US Environmental Protection Agency. I am currently engaged in a collaborative project the global pesticide complex, addressing industry, regulation, and contested knowledges of toxicity and harm. Another ongoing collaborative project is on the role of ideas about nature in limiting racial diversity in environmental sciences.


Courses taught:

Geography 2800- Our Global Environment

Geography 3800-Geographical Perspectives on Environment and Society

Geography 3801-Political ecology


Select Publications

Forthcoming. The history of natural history and race: Decolonizing human dimensions of ecology. Ecological Applications. With M Miriti and A Rawson.

2022. Particulate Matters: Trump EPA deregulatory science, fossil fuels, and racist regimes of breathing, Antipode

2022. Deregulatory science: Chemical risk analysis in Trump’s EPA, in Social Studies of Science

2021. The Glyphosate Assemblage: Herbicides, Uneven Development, and Chemical Geographies of Ubiquity, in Annals of the AAG (OPEN ACCESS). With M Werner and C Berndt

2021. Bodies of the Anthropocene: On the interactive plasticity of earth systems and biological organisms, in Anthropocene Review. With M Meloni and R Wakefield-Rann.

2019. It’s time to recognize how men’s careers benefit from sexually harassing women in academiaHuman Geography With K McSweeney, R Lave, A Bonds, J Cockburn, M Domosh, T Hamilton, R Hawkins, A Hessl, D Munroe, D Ojeda, and C Radel.

2019. Situating data in a Trumpian era: the Environmental Data and Governance InitiativeAnnals of the Association of American Geographers. Dillon L, Lave R, Mansfield B, Wylie S, Shapiro N, Chan A, and Murphy, M.

2018. A new biopolitics of environmental health: permeable bodies and the Anthropocene. In T Marsden (Ed.), Sage Handbook of Nature

2017. Folded futurity: epigenetic plasticity, temporality, and new figures of fetal life. Science as Culture.

2017. Nature: A conversation in three parts. Special Forum on Intradisciplinarity in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, with M Doyle.

2015. For slow scholarship: a feminist politics of resistance through collective action in the neoliberal university. Acme. Mountz A, Bonds A, Mansfield B, Loyd J, Hyndman J, Walton-Roberts M, Basu R, Whitson R, Hawkins R, Hamilton T, and Curran W., 2015

2015. Environmental politics after nature: conflicting socioecological futures. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Mansfield B, Biermann C, McSweeney K, Law J, Gallemore C, Horner L, and Munroe DK

2015. Epigenetic life: biological plasticity, abnormality, and new configurations of race and reproduction. Cultural Geographies, with J Guthman.

2013. The implications of environmental epigenetics: A new direction for geographic inquiry on health, space, and nature-society relations. Progress in Human Geography, with J Guthman.

2012. Race and the new epigenetic biopolitics of environmental health. BioSocieties.

2012. Gendered biopolitics of public health: regulation and discipline in seafood consumption advisories. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.