Dr. Cindy Isenhour

Dr. Cindy Isenhour

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, 2010
M.A. Colorado State University, 2001
B.A. Miami University, 1997

Cynthia Isenhour_CV

Research Topics:

– Economic and environmental anthropology, political ecology.

– Commodity chains, consumption, embodied emissions, climate change.

– Environmental displacement, unequal exchange, environmental justice.

– Global markets, circular economies, reuse, discards, waste.
– Environmental movements, governance and policy.

– Climate mitigation and adaptation policy.

– Global cities and rural resilience.


Professional Interests:

As an ecological and economic anthropologist, I am particularly interested in the cultural construction and contemporary reproduction of linear production-consumption-disposal systems and their associated effects on the environment and climate.  Several current research projects examine the market logics and global relations of trade/negotiation that enable uneven accumulation and degradation.  Other research projects are focused on policies, practices and social movements intended to shift contemporary economies and consumer culture toward more sustainable forms.

Select Peer Reviewed Publications:

2017    Rachel Shwom, Cindy Isenhour, Aaron McCright, Rebecca Jordan, Jennifer Meta-Robinson.  Integrating the Social Sciences to Enhance Climate Literacy. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 15(7):377-384.

DOI: 10.1002/fee.1519

2017    Isenhour, Cindy, Andrew Crawley, Brieanne Berry and Jennifer Bonnet.  Exploring Maine’s Culture of Reuse and its Potential to Advance Environmental and Economic Policy Objectives. Maine Policy Review 26(1):36-46.


2016    Isenhour, Cindy, Jessica O’Reilly and Heather Yocum. Accounting for Climate Change: Measurement, Management, Morality and Myth.  Human Ecology 44(6):647-654.

DOI: 10.1007/s10745-016-9866-1

2016    Isenhour, Cindy. Unearthing Human Progress? Ecomodernism and Contrasting Definitions of Technological Progress in the Anthropocene. Economic Anthropology 3(2)315-328.

DOI: 10.1002/sea2.12063

2016    Isenhour, Cindy, Travis Wagner, Travis Blackmer, Linda Silka, John Peckenham, David Hart & Jean McRae. Moving Up the Waste Hierarchy in Maine: Learning from Best Practice State-Level Policy for Waste Reduction and Recovery.  Maine Policy Review 25(1)15-29.


2016    Love, Thomas and Cindy Isenhour.  Energy and Economy: Recognizing High-Energy Modernity as an Historical Period.  Economic Anthropology 3(1):1-18.

DOI: 10.1002/sea2.12040

2016    Isenhour, Cindy and Kuishuang Feng.  Decoupling and Displaced Emissions: On Swedish Consumers, Chinese Producers and Policy to Address the Climate Impact of Consumption.  Journal of Cleaner Production 134(a): 320-329. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.12.037

2015    Isenhour, Cindy, Melissa Checker & Gary McDonogh. Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

ISBN-13: 9781107076280

2015    Isenhour, Cindy. Green Capitals Reconsidered: The Carbon Emissions Associated with Urban Consumption. In Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice. Isenhour, Checker & McDonogh, eds.  Cambridge University Press.

ISBN-13: 9781107076280

2014    Isenhour, Cindy. Trading Fat for Forests: Palm Oil, Tropical Deforestation and Environmental Governance. Conservation & Society 12(3): 257-267.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.145136

2014    Peterson, Nicole and Cindy Isenhour.  Moving Beyond the Legacy of the Rational Actor in Environmental Governance: An Introduction.  Conservation & Society 12(3): 229-232.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.145128

2012    Isenhour, Cindy. The Devil in the Deal: Trade-Embedded Emissions and the Durban Platform. Ethics, Policy & Environment Special Issue on Durban Platform 15(3):303-308.

DOE: 10.1080/21550085.2012.730241

2012    Isenhour, Cindy. On the Politics of Climate Knowledge: Sir Giddens, Sweden and the Paradox of Climate (In)Justice. Local Environment 17(9).

DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2012.729570

2012    Isenhour, Cindy. Can Consumer Demand Deliver Sustainable Food?: Recent Research in Sustainable Consumption Policy & Practice. Environment & Society 2(1): 5-28.

DOI: 10.3167/ares.2011.020102

2011    McDonogh, Gary, Cindy Isenhour & Melissa Checker.  Introduction: Sustainability in the City.  City & Society 23(3)113-117.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-744X.2011.01057.x

2011    Isenhour, Cindy. How the Grass Became Greener in the City: Urban Imaginings and Practices of Sustainability. City & Society 23(2):118-138.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-744X.2011.01058.x

2010    Isenhour, Cindy. On Conflicted Swedish Consumers, the Effort to “Stop Shopping” & Neoliberal Environmental Governance.   Journal of Consumer Behavior Special Issue on Anti-Consumption and Sustainability 9(6): 454-469.

DOI: 10.1002/cb.336

2010    Isenhour, Cindy. Building Sustainable Societies: A Swedish Case Study on the Limits of Reflexive Modernization. American Ethnologist 37(3):511-525.



Phone: 207.581.1895

Fax: 207.581.1823

Email: cynthia.isenhour@maine.edu

Department of Anthropology

University of Maine

5773 S. Stevens Hall, Rm. 102A

Orono, Maine 04469-5773


Additional Links

Climate Change Institute

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