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Faculty

William V. TaylorWilliam V. Taylor

I was raised in Southwest Virginia.  By way of Honduras, Spain, Nashville, and a few other places I have made my way to the other side of the mountains. I live with my wonderful wife in East Tennessee where I am pursuing a PhD in sociology at the University of Tennessee. My educational background includes a BA in history with a focus on the classics from Hamden-Sydney College. At Hamden-Sydney I played varsity basketball and graduated summa cum laude. My current academic interests include political economic issues related to inequality and education. I am also interested in the sociology of religion, missions and missionaries, volunteerism, immigration, ethnography, and environmental sociology in Latin America and Appalachia. I have been employed as a construction worker, special education aide, and ESL teacher in Honduras in addition to several years experience in corporate marketing. These wide ranging experiences and my commitment to social justice motivate and inform my research.

I enjoy being involved with my local community, the Sociology Department, and the academic community at the University of Tennessee. I am lucky to live in the Appalachians where climbing, whitewater kayaking, and hiking opportunities abound. I enjoy bluegrass music, making art, reading fiction, and spending time with my family, friends, and neighbors.


  • Taylor, William V., Ben Feldmeyer, and Katie Morris. 2013. "Critical Engagement: Risk, Reward, and Methods in Teaching Social Justice."  Justice and the University: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Future of Democracy, edited by J. Shefner, H. Dahms, R. E. Jones, and A. Jalata. Palgrave.
  • Maples, James and William V. Taylor. 2013. "Writing Children's Books in Sociology Class: An Innovative Approach to Teaching Social Problems to Undergraduate Students." International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 25(3).
  • Presser, Lois and William V. Taylor. 2011. "An Autoethnography of Hunting." Crime, Law, and Social Change 55(5): 483-494.
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting. "Neoliberal Education Reforms, Inequality, and a School: Connecting Abstract Structural Change and Felt Experience." (San Francisco, CA: August 15-17, 2014)
  • Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, paper presented with James Maples: "Creating Children's Books about Social Problems: An Exercise in the Sociological Imagination for Non-Sociology Majors." (Charlotte, NC: April 3, 2014)
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting. "Poor Development: Building an Environment of Uneven Development in the Smoky Mountains." (New York, NY: August 10, 2013).
  • Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. "Responding to Poverty: Short-term Missions, Barriers to Understanding, and Challenges to Social Change." (Atlanta, GA: April 25, 2014).
  • Dimensions of Political Ecology: Conference on Nature/Society. "Poor Development: Uneven Development in the Smoky Mountains." (Lexington, KY: March 2, 2013)
  • Association of Christians Teaching Sociology Annual meeting. "Short-Term Missionaries and the Poor: Contradictions, Confusion, and Legitimating Poverty." (Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA: June 8, 2012)
  • Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, paper presented with James Maples: "Creative Classroom Assignments: Writing Children's Books about Social Problems." (New Orleans, LA March 22, 2012)
  • Social Justice and the University, paper presented with Ben Feldmeyer and Katie Morris: "Social Justice in the Classroom: Challenges, Techniques, and Goals in Teaching Social Justice." (Knoxville, TN: April 30, 2011)
  • Southern Sociological Annual Meeting.  "A New Chapter of Engagement? Alternatives for U.S. Foreign Policy in Honduras." (Atlanta, GA: April 21-24, 2010)
  • Justice Studies Association Annual Conference, paper presented with Lois Presser. "Why We Harm: An Auto-Ethnography of Hunting." (Knoxville, TN: June 2-5, 2010)
  • 2014 Sociology 110: "Social Justice and Social Change"
  • 2013 Sociology 344: "Political Sociology"
  • 2012 Sociology 344: "Power and Society"
  • 2010-2012 Sociology 110: "Social Justice and Social Change"
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • Southern Sociological Society
  • United Campus Workers

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