PhD Sociology, Yale University, 2009
MA Sociology, Yale University, 2004
MS School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, 2002
BA High Honors, Biological Sciences, 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 recent articles, in Tourist Studies and Environmental Sociology, focus on the practice of safari in Tanzania during the colonial and postcolonial era. Her article 'The "Park" as Racial Practice' was just published in Environmental Values, and a related article, '#Safari, Terroir & Wilderness 2.0,' is currently under review. Her research 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 Eastern Sociological Society, the American Anthropological Association, the African Studies Association, and the International Sociological 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 research methods (SOC 298), race (SOC 209), and environment (SOC 250), as well as an introductory course for the major (SOC 103). Both SOC 209 and SOC 250 count towards the Peace & Justice Studies minor. 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.