Jessica Smith

Stratton Hall 402



Jessica M. Smith joined the faculty of Mines in 2012 as the Hennebach Assistant Professor of Energy Policy in Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. She is an anthropologist with two major research areas: 1) the sociocultural dynamics of extractive and energy industries, with a focus on corporate social responsibility, social justice, labor, and gender and 2) engineering education, with a focus on socioeconomic class and social responsibility. She is the author of Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West (Rutgers University Press, 2014), which was funded by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2016 the National Academy of Engineering recognized her Corporate Social Responsibility course as a national exemplar in teaching engineering ethics. She co-organized the 2016 Energy Ethics: Fragile Lives and Imagined Futures conference at the University of St. Andrews. She is a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Science & Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado. Professor Smith holds a PhD in Anthropology and a certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan and bachelor's degrees in International Studies, Anthropology and Latin American Studies from Macalester College.

Curriculum VitaePDF versionText only version


Peer reviewed book






Rolston, Jessica Smith. 2014. Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. 

Read recent reviews:

American Anthropologist:

Gender & Society:

Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society:


Refereed journal articles (selected)

1. Smith, Jessica M. and Abraham Tidwell. Everyday Lives of Energy Transitions: Contested Sociotechnical Imaginaries in the American West. Social Studies of Science 46(3): 327-350.

2. Smith, Jessica M. and Juan Lucena. 2016. “Invisible Innovators: How Low Income, First Generation (LIFG) Students Use Their Funds of Knowledge to Belong in Engineering.” Engineering Studies 8 (1): 1-26.

3. Shaffer, Austin***, Skylar Zilliox* and Jessica M. Smith. 2016. Memorandums of Understanding and the Social License to Operate in Colorado’s Unconventional Energy Industry. Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law [Open Access].

4. Tidwell, Abraham* and Jessica M. Smith. 2015. Morals, Materials, and Technoscience: Reimagining Energy Security as a Sociotechnical Imaginary in the United States. Science, Technology & Human Values 40(5): 687-711.

5. Rolston, Jessica Smith. 2015. Turning Mine Protesters into Collaborators: The Opportunities and Challenges of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Mining Industry. Society and Natural Resources 28(2): 165-179.

6. Rolston, Jessica Smith. 2013. The Politics of Pits and the Materiality of Mine Labor: Making Natural Resources in the American West. American Anthropologist 115 (4): 582-594.

Courses Taught

Energy and Society (ENGY 490/LAIS 490/590)

Cultural Anthropology (LAIS 325)

Explorations in the Modern World (HNRS 315)

Corporate Social Responsibility (LAIS 430)


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Last Updated: 09/05/2018 08:40:19