Professor of Sociology



Dr. Carolan is the Co-Director of the Food Systems Institute for Research, Engagement and Learning, Professor of Sociology, Food Systems Specialist for the Office of Engagement and Extension. Other appointments include: Distinguished Fulbright Research Chair, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada; Professor of Political Science (Status-Only), University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Visiting Professor, Ruralis Research Institute, Trondheim, Norway; and Research Affiliate, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. He has published over 300 peer review articles and chapters and is Co-Editor for the Journal of Rural Studies, Co-Editor for the British Food Journal, and Associate Editor for the journal Sustainability.  His areas of expertise include environmental and agricultural law and policy, environmental sociology, the sociology of food systems and agriculture, economic sociology, and the sociology of technology and scientific knowledge. He has published more than a dozen books.  His most recent title, A Decent Meal: Building Empathy in a Divided America (Stanford Press, 2021), won numerous national and international awards, including the “getAbstract 2022 International Book Award” in the business impact category.

Additionally, Dr. Carolan regularly writes pieces for public audiences, as he works to bridge the town-gown divide.  His pieces regularly appear in such outlets as The Conversation, Bloomberg, Market Watch, Mental Floss, Business Insider, Alternet, World Economic Forum, Houston Chronicle, Bangor Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post, Popular Science, The Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, The Independent, Market Watch,, and New Food Economy(some of these articles have registered over 150,000 reads!).  He also routinely makes radio and television appearances around the world, having been featured on the popular CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation) program Ideas, NPR, Radio New Zealand, and TVNZ-One (TV New Zealand).