Jennifer Lawrence



Dual Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Modern Languages and Literature, Christopher Newport University; Master of Science in International Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science; Ph.D. in Social, Ethical, and Cultural Thought, Virginia Tech.


Jennifer Lawrence, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor in Urban and Environmental Planning. Lawrence’s research centers on the political economy of socio-environmental disasters and the contradictory practices and processes of accumulation by dispossession related to extraction. She is currently working on a book manuscript project that looks to the Gulf of Mexico to articulate these themes, while also exploring spaces of everyday resistance strategies against manufactured disasters. Her work has been published in numerous book chapters and articles. She also has co-edited two books, The Resilience Machine (2018) and Biopolitical Disaster (2017).

Prior to joining UVA, she was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Politics & Policy in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at Virginia Tech where she was also affiliated faculty at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT), and the Disaster Resilience and Risk Management. Prior to her academic career, Lawrence has worked in a number of political and non-governmental capacities on a range of international issues including: energy policy, human trafficking, and jubilee debt relief.

In 2021, Lawrence was named a +Policy Fellow by the Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment.  She was selected as one of three scholars funded to research how policy expertise can be applied to contemporary social problems.  Lawrence’s research explores ways to visualize chemical policies related to the fossil fuel industry using approaches from the environmental humanities such as deep mapping.  This project reflects a new direction in Lawrence’s methodological approach to unveiling the structures and infrastructures of environmental injustice through creative and artistic forms..

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