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Daniel Renfrew, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies - Anthropology


Dr. Renfrew received a Ph.D. in anthropology from Binghamton University, State University of New York in 2007. He joined the WVU faculty in Fall 2008 after a year as a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Towson University. 

His teaching and research interests span the environmental, critical medical, urban, and political anthropology sub-fields, in addition to interdisciplinary approaches to social movements, science and technology studies, political ecology, and Latin American studies.

His dissertation research in Montevideo, Uruguay, analyzed social movement formation and its relation to place identity and urban spatial transformations, through the examination of a grassroots environmental justice movement against lead poisoning. It also addressed the creative responses of the state and the medical and scientific communities to the lead issue through the mobilization of new environmental paradigms and bureaucratic frameworks.

Future research interests include a multi-sited analysis of the strategic positioning of South America’s Southern Cone region as a key world site of pulp paper production. He will focus on the local and transnational conflicts, environmental movements, and public debates surrounding the construction of several multinational corporation-financed pulp mills along the Uruguay-Argentina border and across Uruguay. Dr. Renfrew also plans to research environmental and health-related themes in the Appalachian region of the United States.

Selected Publications

Jacob Matz and Daniel Renfrew, “Selling ‘Fracking’: Energy in Depth and the Marcellus Shale,” Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture. DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2014.929157

“We are not Marginals: The Cultural Politics of Lead Poisoning in Montevideo, Uruguay” Latin American Perspectives Issue 189, Vol. 40 (2): 202-217.

“New Hazards and Old Disease: Lead Contamination and the Uruguayan Battery Industry.” In Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard Across a Globalizing World. Edited by Christopher Sellers and Joseph Melling. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pages 99-111.

Courses Taught

SOCA 254 Cultural Anthropology

SOCA 350 Latin American Cultures

SOCA 457 Social Movements

SOCA 458 Environmental Anthropology

SOCA 459 Anthropological Thought

SOCA 693 Environmental Anthropology

SOCA 693K Advanced Social Movement

SOCA 693R Advanced Environmental Anthropology