Elizabeth Ransom

Professor Elizabeth Ransom
Associate Professor of International Affairs
(814) 867-2792
253 Katz Building

Ph.D., Michigan State University
M.A., Michigan State University
B.A., Western Carolina University

Curriculum Vitae

Elizabeth Ransom is an associate professor of international affairs in the School of International Affairs and a senior research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Penn State, she served on the Sociology faculty at the University of Richmond since 2003 and as a research associate with the Institute for Theory and Practice of International Relations at the College of William and Mary from 2013-2017.

Ransom's research interests are in the areas of international development and globalization, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa; the political economy of agriculture and food systems; social studies of science and technology, with an emphasis on agriculture and food; and gender, social change and development.

She has two ongoing research programs. The first program focuses on the linkages between Southern African (Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa,) red meat industries and global food systems.  The second program analyzes international agricultural development assistance in developing countries, with an emphasis on the ways in which agricultural assistance targets women and focuses on gender empowerment. She has also published articles focused on the global red meat trade, gender and agricultural development assistance, agricultural biotechnologies, and the patterns and problems surrounding modern food consumption practices. A tertiary area of research involves studying structured inequalities in sports. 

Ransom has published articles in journals such as Gender & Society, Journal of Rural Studies, and Rural Sociology and she has coedited Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s (West Virginia University Press, 2014, with coeditors Conner Bailey and Leif Jensen) and Global Meat: Social and Environmental Consequences of the Expanding Meat Industry (MIT Press, forthcoming, with coeditor Bill Winders).


B. Winders and Elizabeth Ransom, eds., Global Meat: Social and Environmental Consequences of the Expanding Meat Industry (Cambridge: MIT Press), forthcoming.

Elizabeth Ransom, C. Baily and L. Jensen, eds., Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press), 2014.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

C. Bain, Elizabeth Ransom, and I. Halimatusa'diyah, "'Weak Winners’ of Women’s Empowerment: The Gendered Effects of Dairy Livestock Assets on Time Poverty in Uganda,” Journal of Rural Studies 61 (2018):100-109.

Elizabeth Ransom, C. Bain, H. Bal, and N. Shannon, “Cattle as Technological Interventions: The Gender Effects of Water Demand in Dairy Production in Uganda,” FACETS 2, no. 2 (2017): 715-732.

Elizabeth Ransom, C. Bain, and I. Halimatusa'diyah, “Livestock-Livelihood Linkages in Uganda: The Benefits for Women and Rural Households?” Journal of Rural Social Sciences 32, no. 2 (2017): 37-68.

Elizabeth Ransom and W. Wright, “Constructing Culinary Knowledge: Food and Agricultural Change in Community Cookbooks,” Food, Culture & Society 16, no. 4 (2013): 669-689.

C. Bain, Elizabeth Ransom, and V. Higgins, “Private Agri-food Standards: Contestation, Hybridity and the Politics of Standards,” International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food 20, no. 1 (2013): 1-10.

Elizabeth Ransom, “Botswana’s Beef Global Commodity Chain:  Explaining the Resistance to Change,” Journal of Rural Studies 27, no. 4 (2011): 431-439.

Elizabeth Ransom and C. Bain, “Gendering Agricultural Aid: An Analysis of Whether International Development Assistance Targets Women and Gender,” Gender and Society 25 no. 1 (2011): 48-74.