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Patricia Richards

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Meigs Professor

Dr. Patricia Richards, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, has been at the University of Georgia since 2002. She currently serves as the director of the Institute for Women's Studies. She also serves (with Sharmila Rudrappa of the University of Texas at Austin) as co-editor of Gender & Society

Dr. Richards is an affiliated faculty member with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute and the Institute of Native American Studies. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2002. Her specialty areas include the sociology of gender; indigenous politics in Latin America; development; social movements, and qualitative methodology.

Dr. Richards's first book, Pobladoras, Indígenas and the State: Conflicts Over Women's Rights in Chile, was published in 2004 by Rutgers University Press. In the book, she examines how state policy shapes the promotion of women's interests but at the same time contribute to the marginalization of particular classes and racial-ethnic groups. The book contributes to understandings of how actors who differ by gender, class, and race/ethnicity are articulated into the nation under reestablished democracies.

Professor Richards's second book, Race and the Chilean Miracle: Neoliberalism, Democracy, and Indigenous Rights, was published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2013. The book examines inter-cultural relations in the context of struggles over natural resources, multicultural policies, and indigenous rights in Southern Chile, documenting the ways that identity and development ideologies are reproduced and reinterpreted at the local level, and how systemic racism is articulated in the process.

Her latest book, coauthored with Rebecca Hanson (University of Florida), is called Harassed: Gender, Bodies, and Ethnographic Fieldwork.  The book focuses on women ethnographers' experiences of sexual harassment while conducting field research, and examines what these experiences can tell us about the construction of ethnographic knowledge and our discipline more broadly. It was published in 2019 with the University of California Press.

  • Ph.D., Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • M.A., Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1998
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994
Selected Publications:
  • Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards, Co-edited Special Issue on Gender, Violence, and the Production of Knowledge, Journal of Men’s Studies, 30(3), 2022.
  • Ashleigh McKinzie and Patricia Richards, 2022, “Institutional, ideological, and interactional constraints: The case of sexual abuse in white evangelical settings,” Sociological Forum, 37(3): 744-765.
  • Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards, 2019, Harassed: Gender, Bodies, and Ethnographic Fieldwork, University of California Press.
  • Patricia Richards and América Millaray Painemal Morales, 2018, “The Life Histories of Mapuche Women Elders as Protest,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, 46(3-4):31-48.
  • Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards, 2017. “Sexual Harassment and the Construction of Ethnographic Knowledge,” Sociological Forum, 32(3): 587–609.
  • Jeffrey A. Gardner and Patricia Richards, 2017. “The Spatiality of Boundary Work: Political-Administrative Borders and Maya-Mam Collective Identification,” Social Problems 64(3): 439–455.
Of Note:
  • Project Lead/PI, “Building Southern Intersectional Futures,” Mellon Foundation Affirming Multivocal Humanities Initiative, 2023-2026, ($100,000)
  • Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, University of Georgia, 2018
  • Honorable Mention, Society for the Study of Social Problems Global Division Book Award, 2014 
  • Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of Georgia, 2008
  • Sandy Beaver Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Georgia, 2007
  • Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Research Fellowship, University of Georgia, 2004 & 2013
Events featuring Patricia Richards