Ben Marley

Ben  Marley
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD, Binghamton University 2018
  • 414A Berkey Hall
  • 509 E. Circle Drive
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • 517-353-1939


Ben Marley


Ben Marley, Ph.D., is a teaching-focused Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. He was the recipient of the 2020 Faculty Teaching Innovation Award. He received his Ph.D. (2018) in Sociology at Binghamton University where his dissertation, titled Agricultural Revolutions in America’s Heartland: The Corn Belt and the Making of American Capitalism, focused on the origins, development, and crisis of the Midwestern family farm in the world-system. Dr. Marley is in the process of turning his dissertation research into a full-length book. He has published work in Journal of Agrarian Change, Environmental Sociology, and Journal of World-Systems Research, earning several research awards.Previous research focused on the development and crisis of coal mining in Appalachia. His teaching interests include environmental sociology, climate change, and work. Dr. Marley regularly works with undergraduate students on independent studies to develop their individual research. Several of his students have recently joined him in conducting research in rural China. In 2018 he earned an excellence in teaching award.


His current research examines how different classes of peasants in China experience rural revitalization, particularly as it relates to social and ecological changes in a global context. 


  • Center for Gender in Global Context
  • Asian Studies Center


R&R Marley, Benjamin. “Agrarian Transition in the Heart of America’s Heartland,” Journal of Agrarian Change. (in preparation for resubmission)

2016 Marley, Benjamin. “From War on Poverty to War on Coal: Nature, Capital, and Work in Appalachia,” Environmental Sociology, 1 (2), 88-100.

2016 Marley, Benjamin. “The Coal Crisis in Appalachia: Commodity Frontiers, Crises, and the Geographies of Capital,” Journal of Agrarian Change, 16 (2), 225-254. (winner of the Terence K. Hopkins Award for best paper, Political Economy of the World-System section of the ASA). Reprinted for Virtual Special Issue: “Political Ecology of Agrarian Change,” Journal of Agrarian Change. 2016.


Google Scholar

American Sociological Association

Midwest Sociological Society