Christopher (Chris) Henke

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chenke

Christopher (Chris) Henke

Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies; Director, Environmental Studies Program

Department/Office Information

Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Studies
419 Alumni Hall
  • MW 11:00am - 12:30pm (419 Alumni Hall)

I began teaching sociology at Colgate in 2001 and specialize in courses on science and technology, work, the environment, and research methods. In addition to my work in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, I am also a member of Colgate's Environmental Studies Program, and I am excited to begin a term as the program director for ENST starting in Summer 2021. In 2020 I was elected a trustee for the Village of Hamilton, and I am dedicated to supporting Colgate, Hamilton, and the Upstate New York community through my research and teaching. 

Check out my YouTube channel, which features lecture content from my courses starting in the Fall 2020 term. 

My newest book project was published in October 2020, co-authored with my colleague Ben Sims: Repairing Infrastructures: The Maintenance of Materiality and Power (MIT Press). Repairing Infrastructures provides an accessible entry point into studies of maintenance and repair, and the growing field of infrastructure studies. Infrastructures—communication, food, transportation, energy, and information—are all around us, and their enduring function and influence depend on the constant work of repair. We include a wide range of case studies for readers to see how repair work maintains both the material and social dimensions of power that shape our lives and world. Repairing Infrastructures is available as an open access title, free for download from the MIT Press website at the link above. 

My first book Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power was published in 2008 by MIT Press. It focuses on the relationship between agricultural scientists and the farm industry in California's Salinas Valley.

Other recent publications include a chapter in the volume, Repair Work Ethnographies (2019), and an article on repair, sustainability, and higher education in the online journal Continent (2017). 

More information about my scholarship is available at my Academia.edu Profile. Students: please visit Calendly to make an appointment for my office hours. 

  • BA, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1992
  •  MA (1995), PhD (2000), University of California, San Diego
  • Director, Colgate San Francisco Study Group (2004); Australia Study Group (2019).
  • Visiting assistant professor at Cornell University (2000-2001).
  • Science and technology studies
  • Environmental studies
  • Food and agriculture
  • Work and occupations
  • Research methods
  • Repairing Infrastructures: The Maintenance of Materiality and Power. MIT Press. (with Benjamin Sims, 2020).
  • Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power: Science and Industrial Agriculture in California. MIT Press (2008).
  • Community-Based Climate Action Planning as An Act of Advocacy: A Case Study of Liberal Arts Education in A Rural Community.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 11. (with Andrew Pattison and John Pumilio, 2021), pages 183-193. 
  • “Negotiating Repair: The Infrastructural Contexts of Practice and Power,” in Repair Work Ethnographies: Revisiting Breakdown, Relocating Materiality, Ignaz Strebel, et al., editors. Palgrave Macmillan (2019), pages 255-282. 
  • The Sustainable University: Repair as Maintenance and TransformationContinent 6: 40-45 (2017).
  • “Agricultural Technologies and the Structure of the North American Agrifood System” (with Leland L. Glenna, 2014), in Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s, Conner Bailey, Leif Jensen, and Elizabeth Ransom, editors. West Virginia University Press. Pages 85-102.
  • “Repairing Credibility: Repositioning Nuclear Weapons Knowledge after the Cold War.” Social Studies of Science 42 (with Benjamin Sims; 2012), pages 324-347.
  • “Maintenance and Transformation in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex.” IEEE Technology and Society 27 (with Benjamin Sims; 2008), pages 32-38.
  • "Maintenance and Transformation in the U. S. Nuclear Weapons Complex." IEEE Technology and Society 27: 32-38 (with Benjamin Sims; 2008).
  • "Situation Normal? Repairing a Risky Environment." Social Studies of Science 37: 135-142 (2007).
  • "Sites of Scientific Practice: The Enduring Importance of Place," in New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. The MIT Press (with Thomas F. Gieryn; 2007).
  • "Making Change: Science and Environmental Politics in Agriculture," in The New Political Sociology of Science, Scott Frickel and Kelly Moore, editors. University of Wisconsin Press (2006), pages 215-243.
  • "The Mechanics of Workplace Order: Toward a Sociology of Repair." Berkeley Journal of Sociology 44: 55-81 (2000).
  • "Making a Place for Science: The Field Trial." Social Studies of Science 30: 483-512 (2000).
  • David Edge Prize, given annually by the Society for Social Studies of Science, for the best paper in the field of science and technology studies (November 2015). Awarded for, “Repairing Credibility: Repositioning Nuclear Weapons Knowledge after the Cold War,” published in Social Studies of Science (with co-author Benjamin Sims, 2012).
  • Star-Nelkin Paper Award, given annually by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology, for the best paper in the field of science and technology studies (August 2013). Awarded for, “Repairing Credibility: Repositioning Nuclear Weapons Knowledge after the Cold War,” published in Social Studies of Science (with co-author Benjamin Sims, 2012).
  • National Science Foundation, Scholar’s Award (2009). “Contested Fields: Place-Bound Conflicts over Transgenic Crops.”
  • Picker Fellowship, Research Council, Colgate University (2007).
  • Major Grant, Research Council, Colgate University (2004).
  • Sally Hacker Prize, given annually by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology, for the best graduate student paper in the field of science and technology studies (August 2000). Awarded for, “Making a Place for Science: The Field Trial,” published in Social Studies of Science (2000).