PhD Sociology, Yale University, 2009
MA Sociology, Yale University, 2004
MS Environmental Science, Yale School of the Environment, 2002
BA Biological Sciences (High Honors), Smith College, 1999
Social Ecology, Critical Race Theory, Postcolonial Studies, African Studies
Professor Hays examines the intersection of race and environment in an effort to apprehend the ways in which we 'see' race and racial difference through the landscape: how the natural world comes to be racialized. Her most recent research, published in Tourist Studies, Environmental Sociology, and Environmental Values, has focused on the racializing practice of safari in Tanzania during the colonial and postcolonial era. Her work has been supported by Fulbright-Hays, the National Science Foundation, Foreign Language and Area Studies, the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia, the Kansas African Studies Center at the University of Kansas, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU Munich (postponed), and internal grants from Yale University and Gettysburg College.
Professor Hays is currently conducting preliminary research for a project on race and monuments at Gettysburg, focusing on performances and constructions of whiteness among visitors to the battlefield. A parallel book project, tentatively entitled Violent Natures: From Coercive Conservation to Climate Change in Africa, will investigate the perceived relationship between race and nature by expanding the spatial and temporal lens to focus on the more violent aspects of conservation and climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has presented her research at a number of professional conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association, the International Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, the American Anthropological Association, and the African Studies Association. She has given invited lectures at Smith College, the University of Kansas, Lafayette College, and the University of Virginia.
At Gettysburg College, Professor Hays teaches courses on race (SOC 209) and environment (SOC 247), as well as the senior capstone for the major (SOC 400). Both SOC 209 and SOC 247 count towards the Peace & Justice Studies minor, on whose council she serves. Her teaching has been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning at Gettysburg, and the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Virginia. Before coming to Gettysburg, she taught undergraduate courses in sociology and African studies at the University of Virginia, Mount Holyoke College, and Yale University.