Anthony Ryan Hatch, Ph.D., is a sociologist and Associate Professor and Chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University where is he is also affiliate faculty in the Department of African American Studies, the College of the Environment, and the Department of Sociology. He is the author of Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America (Minnesota, 2019) and Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (Minnesota, 2016). In 2020, he started Black Box Labs, an undergraduate research and training laboratory that offers students training in qualitative research methods aligned with science and technology studies and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on critical social research. He recently appeared in the PBS documentary Blood Sugar Rising and lectures widely on health systems, medical technology, and social inequalities.
After spending his youth in performing arts in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Hatch began his career in community-based public health research at Emory University, working on projects related to drug use, HIV/AIDS, and mental health. He has held training fellowships from the American Sociological Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation and was a faculty fellow in the Center for the Humanities in 2018 and the College of the Environment Think Tank in 2019-20. Dr. Hatch received the 2022 Robin W. Williams Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Eastern Sociological Society.
At Wesleyan, Dr. Hatch serves as the faculty coordinator for the Sustainability & Environmental Justice Pedagogical Initiative and Course Cluster and is involved with the Center for Prison Education and Creative Campus Initiative. He is the faculty advisor for the student-run Espwesso Cafe and proudly serves on the executive board of the Administrators and Faculty of Color Alliance.
I have fond and mournful memories of my time in the Sociology Department at UMD (2001-2009). My wife Rebekah and I, newly married, moved to the DC area in August 2001 where she matriculated into the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. My older sister Stephani and I overlapped at UMD during my first year, as she earned her PhD in 2002. Our first child, Ruth, was born in Baltimore in 2006. I made a few life long friends, found a good paying job that didn't wear on my body, and learned about sociology from some extraordinary people. But there's also 9/11, the DC snipers, Katrina, and Obama's rise, which also framed my time at UMD. The effect of these formative experiences on my life course and career trajectory has been profound and patterned. Inspired by this context and my training, the kind of sociology I wanted to do was urgent, rigorous, and focused on pressing social problems.
Rather than establish a hierarchy of favorites, let me simply thank my family, professors, peers, and all of the workers (including prisoners in the state of Maryland) whose labors made that education possible. I am grateful for the time and work that my professors and peers put into teaching me and helping me become a sociologist who can comfortably occupy space in medical humanities, science and technology studies, African American studies, environmental studies, and cultural studies. People like Laura Mamo, Meyer Kestnbaum, Leonard Pearlin, Melissa Milkie, George Ritzer, Mady and David Segal, Bill Falk, and Joan Kahn. I am especially grateful to Patricia Hill Collins whose painstaking work and patient, firm counsel helped guide me into a meaningful and successful career in the academy. Today, I regularly deploy pedagogical ideas and practices I learned at UMD, especially through Meyer Kestnbaum's Work-in-Progress Seminar and via my dissertation writing group with Emily Mann and Michelle Corbin.