Assistant Professor, Department of Global Development
Jenny's work is driven by interests in environmental conservation and development in the tropics; intersections of data infrastructure and land governance; human health impacts of ecological change; global food and agriculture systems; the financialization of land; and the role of scientific knowledge in climate change politics.
Jenny is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University, an Atkinson center for a Sustainable Future Faculty Fellow, and a core faculty member of Cornell's Southeast Asian Studies Program. She is also an Executive Board member of the American Institute of Indonesian Studies. From 2016-17 she was an Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future postdoctoral associate at Cornell, based in the Science & Technology Studies department. She is interested in environmental conservation and development in the tropics; intersections of data infrastructure and environmental governance; human health impacts of ecological change; global food and agriculture systems; the financialization of land; and the role of scientific knowledge in climate change politics.
A native of New York, Jenny has conducted fieldwork in Indonesia, Myanmar, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Japan, and California. Prior to graduate school, she worked at Frog’s Leap Winery in Napa Valley, Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant in New York, and on farms in France and Italy.
Awards & Honors
- 2021-22: Cornell Center for Social Sciences Faculty Fellow
- 2018-19: Cornell Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Academic Venture Fund ($127,000), Assessing Mercury Use in Indonesian Gold Mining: Socio-Political Interventions and Impacts on Ecosystems and Human Health. PI: Jenny Goldstein, co-PIs: Matt Reid, Tom Pepinsky
- Is a Response to Transnational Development to Become More National? The Politics of Indonesian Gold Mining and the Domestic Turn (with Tom Pepinsky). From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development conference, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, September 9-11, 2019
- Fixing broken land or accumulation as usual? Indonesia’s peatland restoration and the contradictions of sustainable development. Association of Asian Studies in Asia annual meeting, Bangkok, Thailand, July 1-3, 2019
- Turning farmers into arsonists: Rumor as strategic ignorance and the limits of knowing fire causality in Indonesia. Association of American Geographers annual meeting, Washington, DC, April 3-7, 2019
Recent Courses Taught
- DSOC 3020 Political Ecologies of Health (spring 2018, spring 2019, spring 2020)
- DSOC 3150 Climate Change & Global Development: Living in the Anthropocene (fall 2019, fall 2020)
- DSOC 4060/6020 Digital Capitalism (fall 2020)
- DSOC 6150 Qualitative Methods (spring 2020)
- 2017-present: Core Faculty Member, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University
- 2016-17: Postdoctoral Associate, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University, Department of Science and Technology Studies
- PhD, Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, 2016
- M.A. Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009
- B.A. History & Theory of Architecture, Barnard College, Columbia University, 2005
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
- Goldstein, J.E., Faxon, H.O. (2020). New data infrastructures for environmental monitoring in Myanmar: Is digital transparency good for governance? Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.
- 2020 J.E. Goldstein. The Volumetic Political Forest: Territory, Satellite Fire Mapping, and Indonesia’s Peatland Burning. Antipode 52(4): 1060-1082
- 2020 J.E. Goldstein, L. Graham, S. Ansori, Y. Vetrita, A. Thomas, G. Applegate, A.P. Vayda, B.H. Saharjo, M.A. Cochrane. Beyond slash-and-burn: The roles of human activities, altered hydrology and fuels in peat fires in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 41(2): 190-208
- 2019 J.E. Goldstein, K. Paprocki, T. Osborne. A Manifesto for a Progressive Land-Grant Mission in an Authoritarian Populist Era. The Annals of the American Association of Geographers 109(2): 673-684
- 2019 Knuth, S.E., S. Potts, J.E. Goldstein. In Value’s Shadows: Devaluation as Accumulation Frontier. Environment and Planning A 51(2): 461-466
- 2017 Goldstein, J.E., J.S. Yates. Rendering Land Investable: Introduction to Special Theme Issue. Geoforum 82, 208-210
- 2016 Goldstein, J.E. Knowing the Subterranean: Producing Oil Palm, Carbon Emissions, and Divergent Expertise in Indonesia’s Peat Soil. Environment and Planning A 48 (4): 754-770
- 2014 Goldstein, J.E. The Afterlives of Degraded Tropical Forests: New Value for Conservation and Development. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 5: 124-140
- 2011 Goldstein, J.E. The “Coffee Doctors”: The Language of Taste and the Rise of Rwanda’s Specialty Bean Value. Food and Foodways 19 (1-2): 135-159
Other Peer Reviewed Publications
- 2020 Goldstein, J.E. Lots of Smoke, But Where’s the Fire? Contested Causality and Shifting Blame in Southeast Asia’s Smoke-Haze Crisis. Book chapter in Disastrous Times: Beyond Environmental Crisis in Asia (T. Vaughn, E. Elinoff, K. Fortun, eds), Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
- 2017 Goldstein, J.E. (with 106 co-authors). Letter to the Editor: Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences. Global Change Biology 23, 977-982
- 2016 Carbon Bomb: Indonesia’s Failed Mega Rice Project. Environment and Society Portal, Arcadia Spring 2016, no. 6.
DSOC 3020 Political Ecologies of Health (spring 2018, spring 2019, spring 2020)
This course investigates the relationships between political economy, the environment, and health to understand how disease and the desire for health transform social and ecological systems and how these systems impact human health. Using contemporary case studies from the United States and the Global South, we will critically analyze how class, race, and gender affect specific populations’ health differently from others. We will move across scales from ecosystems and global development institutions to farms and cities to homes, offices, and bodies. We will also explore the roles capitalism, economic inequality, and environmental and social justice play in creating diverse health outcomes. Topics include infectious diseases; food policy and obesity; pollution and race; the US opioid crisis; epigenetics; and environmental toxins including nuclear and chemical contamination.
DSOC 3150 Climate Change & Global Development: Living in the Anthropocene (fall 2019, fall 2020)
This course investigates social, political, and economic life in the age of the “Anthropocene”: the current geological era in which humans have irrevocably altered the earth’s biophysical systems. We analyze what political-economic dynamics have led to this, how climate change is known and predicted scientifically, and the impacts it has on politics, economies, environments, and societies across scales. Drawing on case studies from around the world, we investigate topics including climate change impacts on land, oceans, animals, and forests; climate migrants and political instability; (un)natural disasters such as fires, floods, and hurricanes; and sea level rise and cities. We also investigate at existing and potential political and economic responses to climate change ranging from international governance agreements and green markets to local climate justice movements.
DSOC 4060/6020 Digital Capitalism (fall 2020)
How are information technology and digital infrastructure reshaping global development? Conversely, how are distinctive conceptions of development shaping the construction of information infrastructure? This course critically analyzes the relationships between social and economic inequality, the environment, and information technology such as big data, smartphones, internet connectivity, remote sensing, and computing algorithms. Questions include: how is information technology used to structure labor forces? How does the production, maintenance, and use of these technologies reflect global political economy and power structures? In what ways does digital infrastructure shape understanding of and interventions into urban and rural environments, political institutions, and social movements? This seminar course takes an interdisciplinary approach to answering these questions, drawing on recent scholarship from critical development studies, science and technology studies, geography, and anthropology.
DSOC 6150 Qualitative Methods (spring 2020)
Graduate seminar on qualitative research in the social sciences, with an emphasis on how we study global development methodologically. In particular, we investigate how material-discursive processes such as capitalism, inequality, globalization, colonialism, power, and hegemony can be approached through grounded empirical research. The course is “studio” based: you will experiment with elements of research design based on creative insights from readings, conversation, and critical reflection about your project. We cover alternative methodological directions in the qualitative social sciences (infrastructure, the digital) as well as the staples of fieldwork: interviews, participant observation, ethics, positionality, and data analysis. We think about theory and method together, as decisions about method cannot be divorced from broader theoretical and conceptual issues.
251B Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
goldstein [at] cornell.edu
Jenny in the news
- Department of Global Development
- Global Development