Brown University

Contested Illnesses Research Group
Brown University , Providence RI

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Stephen Zavestoski

Stephen Zavestoski received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington State University. He teaches environmental sociology courses for the Environmental Studies Program and Department of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Zavestoski's research areas include environmental sociology, social movements, and sociology of health and illness. His current research focuses on the history of the movement for justice for survivors of the 1984 Bhopal, India chemical disaster, and the place of this movement within the broader global anti-toxics movement. He is at work on a book, tentatively titled “Toxic Evolution in Bhopal: How a Social Movement Became Global,” that draws on fieldwork in India during Spring 2006 as a Fulbright Scholar and a return trip to Bhopal in 2007. Dr. Zavestoski plans to follow this work with a broader analysis of the global anti-toxics movement that also investigates the potential implications of toxic chemicals in a warming world. This work, which will emphasize how the global spread of pesticides and other chemicals over the 20th century have created global activist networks among otherwise disconnected communities and farmworkers, will draw on fieldwork in Penang, Malaysia in 2007, Dakar, Senegal in 2008, and El Salvador in 2010. The co-editor, with Phil Brown, of Social Movements in Health, published in 2005 by Blackwell, Dr. Zavestoski has co-authored with Dr. Brown and the Contested Illness Research Group at Brown University numerous articles and book chapters focusing on environmental health activism. Dr. Zavestoski’s previous research has also covered topics such as ecological identity, consumerism, and with David Schlosberg and Stuart Shulman, the effects of the Internet on public participation in environmental regulatory rulemaking processes.

For more details, see Stephen Zavestoski's website:

Stephen Zavestoski