Julie C. Keller

  • Associate Professor of Sociology & Director, Social Science Institute for Research, Education, and Policy (SSIREP)
  • Chafee Hall, Rm 516
  • Phone: 401.874.2309
  • Email: jckeller@uri.edu
  • Google Scholar


Julie C. Keller is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Rhode Island and Director of the Social Science Institute for Research, Education, and Policy. She earned her doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining the faculty at URI, Keller was a visiting assistant professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Keller’s research and teaching interests include agricultural labor, food systems, Latin American immigrants, rural studies, sustainable agriculture, and health inequalities. A major line of research examines the working conditions of dairy workers in the U.S. Her 2019 book, Milking in the Shadows: Migrants and Mobility in America’s Dairyland (Rutgers University Press) was reviewed in Contemporary Sociology. Listen to Dr. Keller discussing the book on Wisconsin Public Radio. Keller co-edited the 2020 Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology.

In collaboration with faculty in the College of Health Sciences and the College of Nursing, Keller is the lead investigator on a project investigating vaccine hesitancy and factors that build vaccine confidence among refugees in Rhode Island (2023-2024), funded by the SBE CCC at the University of Michigan. She is also co-investigator on an interdisciplinary USDA-funded 3-year project on Mapping Alternative Urban Food Provisioning Networks Across Three East Coast Cities (2023-2026).


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
  • M.S. in Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
  • B.A. in Environmental Sciences, University of California-Berkeley, 2003

Selected Publications