Department of Sociology & Anthropology

507 Chafee Building, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– 401.874.2587 (ph); 401.874.2588 (f)

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Rosaria A. Pisa

  • Instructor of Sociology and Director of Gender and Women's Studies
  • Roosevelt Hall, Rm 317
  • Phone: 401.874.2482
  • Email:


Rosaria Pisa emigrated from Naples, Italy, to the United States with her family as a child. In the U.S., Pisa has lived in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Massachusetts before settling in Rhode Island. As a child, she dreamed of seeing the world, connecting with people from different cultures, and communicating with them in their own language whenever possible.

Pisa is multilingual, has traveled extensively and has lived in Germany and Mexico for a time. It was on one of her sojourns abroad that she came to know and love Mexico. Her passion for Mexico ultimately shaped the direction of her graduate studies in political science (M.A. 1992) and sociology (Ph.D. 2001). Realizing her childhood dream of intimately connecting with other cultures, Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico since 1993. Her research has evolved from studying the impact of the privatization of communal land on community life to her current focus on the gender dynamics of local and organic farming.

Pisa regularly teaches SOC 100 General Sociology and courses in the area of social inequality such as SOC 240 Race and Ethnic Relations. She also teaches two interdisciplinary courses cross-listed with anthropology—SOC/APG 329 Contemporary Mexican Society and SOC/APG 416 Migration in the Americas.

Her research on the Mexican Agrarian reform and land privatization has been published in Urban Anthropology and Habitat International as well as several edited volumes here and in Mexico. She has presented her research at numerous international conferences, in Mexico, and the World Bank.


  • Social Inequality
  • Globalization and Development
  • Rural Development
  • Migration in the Americas
  • Mexican Society,
  • Indigenous Rights in Latin America
  • Qualitative Methods

Research Appointments

Clark University
The George Perkins Marsh Institute, Worcester, MA
Research Scholar, 2002 to 2003
Project: Environmental Impacts of the Mexican Agrarian Reform

Univeristy of Wales at Swansea
Department of Geography, Wales, United Kingdom
Senior Research Assistant, 9/1996 to 7/1998 (full-time)
Project: Deregulating Community Land in Mexico: Implications for Urban Space, Politics and Citizenship. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom. Principal Investigator: Gareth Jones.


B.A. in  Political Science, 1986, University of Texas at Dallas

M.A. in Political Science, 1991, Northeastern University

Ph.D. in Sociology, 2001, Northeastern University



Refereed Journals

  • “Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Land Development in Mexico: A Victory for Hope Versus Expectations.”(co-author Gareth A. Jones). Habitat International. 24 (1): 1-18. 2000.
  • “Popular Response to the Reform of Article 27: State Intervention and Resistance in Oaxaca.” Urban Anthropology, 23 (2-3): 267-306. 1994.

Edited Volumes

  • “La lucha por la territorialidad de la comunidades indígenas frente a la nueva reforma agraria.” Los Actores Sociales Frente al Desarrollo Rural, Tomo IV, Gabriela Kraemer Bayer and Sanchez, editors. Mexico: Libros Zacatecas, 2007.
  • “Public–Private Partnerships in Mexico.” (co-author Gareth A. Jones). In Making Common Ground Public/Private Partnership in Land for Housing. Edited by G. Payne. U.K.: Intermediate Technologies, 1999.
  • “Hegemonía fracturada: interpretaciones múltiples del zapatismo y de la política agraria en ejidos oaxaqueños.” (co-author Lynn Stephen) Las Disputas por el México Rural. Edited by Sergio Zendejas and Pieter de Vries. Zamora: El Colegio de Michoacán, 1998.

Policy Reports

  • “Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Land Development in Mexico,” (co-authored Gareth A. Jones). Report. Department of International Development (DFID), U.K. 1997.

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