Urbana, IL 61801 MC-442
Zsuzsa Gille is Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1999.
Her research focuses on qualitative methodology as it relates to globalization, on environmental politics, on the sociology of food, waste, materiality, and the rise of the New Right in Europe. She served as the Chair of the Global and Transnational Sociology section of the American Sociological Association (2017-18), and Board member of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) (2011-2013). She served on the editorial board of the journals Ethnography and Worldwide Waste and the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series (2015-2018). She was Director of the LAS Global Studies Program from 2017-2022.
She is the author of Paprika, Foie Gras, and Red Mud: The Politics of Materiality in the European Union (2016 Indiana University Press); From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary (Indiana University Press 2007—recipient of honorable mention of the AAASS Davis Prize);co-editor of Post-Communist Nostalgia with Maria Todorova (Berghahn Press 2010), co-editor of the The Socialist Good Life: Desire, Development, and Standards of Living in Eastern Europe (Indiana University Press 2020), and co-author of Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections and Imaginations in a Postmodern World (University of California Press, 2000). Her most recent publication is the co-edited (with Josh Lepawsky) Routledge Handbook of Waste Studies (2022).
She was the special guest editor of Slavic Review’s thematic cluster on Nature, Culture, Power (2009) and on the bebate cluster on the Eastern European response to the 2015 Migration Crisis (2017). Her articles include “The Hungarian Foie Gras Boycott: Struggles for Moral Sovereignty in Postsocialist Europe” Eastern European Politics and Societies(2011); “Reassembling the Macrosocial: Modes of Production, Actor Networks and Waste Regimes” published in Environment and Planning A (2010); “Is There a Global Postsocialist Condition?” published in Global Society (2010); and “The Socialocene: From Capitalocene to Transnational Waste Regimes” in Antipode (2022).
Environmental Sociology, Global and Transnational Sociology, Sociology of Food, Sociology of Consumption; Waste Studies, European Union, Postsocialist countries of Europe; the New Right; Political subjectivity, Methodological challenges of globalization; Ethnography.
My research lies at the intersection of transnational sociology (with a focus on the European Union and postsocialist countries), environmental sociology, and the sociology of consumption, with a focus on food. Rather than constituting myself as a narrowly focused specialist in these subdisciplines, I make them speak to each other in ways that open up new research directions. My empirical inquiries have been motivated by theoretical questions concerning the nature of local-global relations and the role of nature and the material object world in shaping history and society. I pursue these questions in qualitative and historical studies on the environment and agriculture in postsocialist Europe. Recently, I have researched more traditional political issues, such as the rise of the new right wing in Hungary and Europe.
The methodological approach I apply, which is informed by the extended case method, relational comparison and global ethnography, allows me to study individual cases in great depth while at the same time tying them to large-scale social transformations. The accumulation of my empirical findings empowers me to advance new theoretical approaches to understand the nature of the geopolitical power relations within the European Union as well as the multi-faceted connections between neoliberal globalization and European integration. I have developed a new version of Global Ethnography that studies the importance of materiality for political governance.
BA in Economics, Karl Marx University of Economics, Budapest, Hungary
Ph.D. in Sociology, University of California at Santa Cruz
Program Fellow. 2020–2021. Humanities Research Insitute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The Global and Its Worlds.”
Mellon Foundation. The Global Midwest Initiative of the Humanities Without Walls Consortium. “The Midwaste: Midwestern Wasteways and Global Futures.” ($50,000). Project Participant. 2015-2016.
Czech Science Foundation. “Frugality and Economy in Times of Crisis: Economic Behavior in Family and Public Discourses in Present Czech Society.” 3,566,000 CZK ($158,770) 2015-2017. Collaborating team member.
Mellon Foundation. 2011-2015. “Framing the Global.” University of Indiana, Bloomington. $15,000
UIUC. Research Board. Arnold O. Beckman Award. 2010. “The 2010 Red Mud Spill of Hungary.” ($10,000)
UIUC. Graduate College. Focal Point Program. 2009. “Global Patterns of Sustainable Consumption.” Collaborative research grant. $15,000.
UIUC. Center for Global Studies. 2009. Matching fund for Focal Point Grant (see above). $5,000.
SSRC-ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Collaborative Visiting Fellowship. 2009. To collaborate on the Waste of the World Project based at the University of Sheffield. “Food Waste Regimes in the U.S. and the U.K.: A New Perspective on The ‘Quality Turn’ In Food Production.”(£5,000).
UIUC. Campus Research Board. $3,275. Conflicting Legalities in Regulating Food Production and Trade in Hungary After EU Accession. (RA support). 2007.
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). 2003. Individual Research Grants ($23,000). Postponed for and used in 2004.
Faculty Exchange Program between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. 2003.
National Council of East European and Eurasian Research (NCEEER). 2003. Policy Research Grant ($20,000) (declined due to incompatibility with IREX grant)
Hewlett International Travel Grant. 2003. ($4,000).
UIUC. Campus Research Board. 2001. “The Formation of the 'EU Intelligentsia' In Hungary: Environmental Protection as a Bargaining Chip In the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union.” Research grant ($8,975)
American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council. Joint Committee on Eastern Europe. Dissertation Writing Grant, 1996-97.
International Research and Exchanges Board. Dissertation Research Grant, 1995-96.
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Dissertation Research Grant, 1995-96.
Fulbright (IIE). Dissertation Research Grant, 1995-96. (Declined)
Project on European Environmental History, Sociology and Policy. University of California, Santa Cruz. Dissertation Research Grant, 1995.
Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Predissertation Research Grant, 1993.
European Union. Commission. Jean Monnet Module Teaching Grant. "Eastern Europe and EU Integration.” Awarded to a collective of faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under my project leadership. 2013-2018.
UIUC. Environmental Council. 2003. Course Development Grant for SOC 396 The Sociology of Risk and Waste.
UIUC. Russian and East European Studies. 2002. Course development grant ($2,000) for developing Media in postsocialism (with Professor Carol Leff).
European Union Center, UIUC. 2002. Course development grant ($6,000) for The Politics of European Identity.
UIUC. Russian and East European Studies. 2001. Course development grant ($1,500) for developing Soc 482 Recent Developments in the Study of Postsocialism: Power, Identity, and Commodification in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
UIUC. Title VI. Centers. 2009. The Future of Waste. (Joint Area Studies Centers’ Conference, 2013).
UIUC. LAS Dean. State of the Art Conference Grant. New Postsocialist Ontologies and Politics. (March 2011).
UIUC. LAS Dean. State of the Art Conference Grant. 2002. EUtopia: Enlargement and the Politics of European Identity. April 10-12, 2003. Applied on behalf of the Russian and Eastern European Center and the European Union Center ($5,000).
Awards and Honors
Evaluated as excellent teacher in Spring 2000 and Fall 2000, Fall 2002, Spring 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2017, Fall 2018 (outstanding) (UIUC).
American Sociological Association Section on Environment and Technology’s Marvin E. Olsen Graduate Student Paper Award for the paper “Cognitive Cartography in a European Wasteland.” 1997.
2008. American Association for the Study of Slavic Societies (Predecessor of ASEEES). Davis Prize, honorable mention for From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary.
Charles University, Prague. Czech Republic. Visiting Professor of Sociology. 2013-2014.
Center for Advanced Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. Visiting Fellow. Summer 2013.
UIUC. Research Board. Humanities Time Release. 2011. One-semester course release to work on Pigs, Paprika, and Predestination: The European Union as Material Civilization.
Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies, University of Illinois. 2003. One semester course release.
LAS Dean’s Teaching Fellowship $1,500 for revising Soc 380 Field Methods and to attend Reflexive Teaching Seminar, 2001.
Harvard University. The Program for the Study of Germany and Europe. Fellowship to attend the “New Directions in the Study of East European State Socialism” Graduate Student Workshop, November 7-9, 1997.
University of California, Santa Cruz. Provost’s Teaching Fellow, 1997-1999.
Institute on Global Cooperation and Conflict. Fellowship to attend the teaching seminar “Transitions to Markets and Democracy.” University of California, Berkeley. December 1993.
- SOC 596 Nature and Technology from Transnational PerspectivesSOC 582 Global Ethnographies: A Graduate Study in Local-Global Relations
- SOC 501 Contemporary Theory: Power, Culture and Subjectivity
- SOC 522 Recent Developments in the Study of Postsocialism
- SOC 447 Environmental Sociology: Nature, Culture, Power
- SOC 480 Fieldwork Methods: Consuming Observations
- SOC 396 Globalization From Below
- SOC 366 Postsocialism: Economy, Culture and Power in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
- SOC 496ZG Identity, Culture, and Citizenship in the New European Union
- SOC 196ZG The Sociology of Food
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Affiliate, Geography and Geographic Information Science
Professor, Global Studies Programs and Courses
Professor, European Union Center
Honors & Awards
BOOK AWARD: 2008. American Association for the Study of Slavic Societies (Predecessor of ASEEES). Davis Prize, honorable mention for From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary.
Evaluated as excellent teacher in Spring 2000 and Fall 2000, Fall 2002, Spring 2005, Fall 2006, Fall 2010, Spring 2011 (UIUC).
Gille, Zsuzsa and Josh Lepawsky. (Eds.) 2022. Routledge Handbook of Waste Studies. Routledge.
Gille, Zsuzsa. 2016. Paprika, Foie Gras, and Red Mud: The Politics of Materiality in the European Union. Indiana University Press.
Gille, Zsuzsa. 2007. From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary. Indiana University Press.
Gille, Zsuzsa (co-author with Michael Burawoy (first author), Joseph A Blum, Sheba George, Teresa Gowan, Lynne Haney, Maren Klawiter, Steven H. Lopez, Sean O Riain and Millie Thayer). 2000. Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections and Imaginations in a Postmodern World. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Gille, Zsuzsa. 2010. “Reassembling the Macrosocial: Modes of Production, Actor Networks and Waste Regimes.” Environment and Planning A, 1049-1064.
Gille, Zsuzsa. 2010. “Is There a Global Postsocialist Condition?” Global Society, Volume 24 (1): 9-30.
Translated into Hungarian and reprinted as: “Létezik-e globális posztszocialista állapot?” Fordulat. Vol. 7, No. 21. (2014).
Gille, Zsuzsa and Josh Lepawsky. (Eds.) 2022. Routledge Handbook of Waste Studies. Routledge.
Gille, Zsuzsa. 2022. “The Socialocene: From Capitalocene to Transnational Waste Regimes” Antipode.
Hilary E. Kahn and Zsuzsa Gille. 2020. “Un-Framing and Re-Framing the Global: An Introduction.” New Global Studies. 14(3): 221–236. https://doi-org.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/10.1515/ngs-2020-0046