on sabbatical academic year 2022–23
Damian White is a sociologist and political theorist with current teaching and research interests in the sociology and political economy of post-carbon transitions, urban political ecology, environmental-labor studies, critical theory/critical geography and the sociology/political theory of design/architecture and planning. White has published four books to date: Bookchin-A Critical Appraisal (Pluto Press, UK/University of Michigan Press USA, 2008); Technonatures: Environments, Technologies, Spaces and Places in the Twenty-First Century (Wilfred Laurier Press, 2009); Autonomy, Solidarity, Possibility: The Colin Ward Reader (AK Press, 2011) with Chris Wilbert; and Environments, Nature and Social Theory: Hybrid Approaches (Palgrave Macmillian, 2015) with Alan Rudy and Brian Gareau. He is presently working on a book project entitled Imagining Just Transitions: Design Politics, Labor and Post Carbon Futures, which is under contract with Bloomsbury. He has been on the editorial board of Design Philosophy Papers and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism and has been a guest editor of Science as Culture and InTAR:Journal of Adaptive Reuse.
White completed postdoctoral research at University of East London, and after this held academic positions at Goldsmiths College, University of London and James Madison University in Virginia. At RISD, White was head of the History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences department (2012–16) and dean of Liberal Arts (2017–22). Prior to academia, White worked in the financial services industry in London for a number of years and taught “A level” political science and sociology to 16-to-18-year-old students. He was awarded the Edna Schaffer Humanist Award in 2008 and the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012.
Academic areas of interest
- The sociology/political economy/critical geography/political ecology of climate change and energy transition
- Critical urban studies, particularly related to labor, climate, ecology, green/ecological urbanism
- Critical social and political theory
- Environmental history
- The history/sociology/politics of green/sustainable/eco/radical/critical design
- Critical design studies, public space, work and democracy
- Theories of the state and modernization; ecological modernization and its critics
- Futures, futurology and futurism; urban utopianism; socialist, anarchist, antiracist, feminist/queer ecological utopias; science fiction and political theory