Anna Willow

Associate Professor

Dr. Willow’s main research interests include environmental anthropology, environmental justice, landscape, ethnohistory, Native North American studies, Anishinaabe/Ojibwe language and culture, and environmental education and behavior.  She has investigated and written extensively about the cultural and political dimensions of Anishinaabe anti-clearcutting activism in northwestern Ontario, Canada.  In addition, Dr. Willow has worked with Anishinaabe communities in northern Wisconsin to document the historical and contemporary importance of wild rice and other culturally significant natural resources.  More recently, she analyzed indigenous individuals’ and tribes’ responses to an invasive beetle called the emerald ash borer (EAB), which has the potential to devastate populations of black ash (an important basketry material throughout northeastern North America).  Dr. Willow recently received a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to explore the cultural and political dimensions of indigenous participation in boreal forest conservation initiatives.  She is also developing a local ethnographic project that will consider the sociocultural contexts and consequences of unconventional natural gas development (also known as hydraulic fracturing or simply “fracking”) in Ohio.

Some of Dr. Willow’s recent publications include:


Willow, Anna J.  2012.  Strong Hearts, Native Lands: The Cultural and Political Landscape of Anishinaabe Anti-Clearcutting Activism.  Albany: State University of New York Press (Published concurrently in Canada by the University of Manitoba Press as Strong Hearts, Native Lands: Anti-Clearcutting Activism at Grassy Narrows First Nation).

Journal Articles

Willow, Anna J.  2014.  The New Politics of Environmental Degradation: Un/Expected Landscapes of Disempowerment and Vulnerability.  Journal of Political Ecology 21: 237-257.

Willow, Anna J., Danielle Vilaplana*, David Sheeley*, and Rebecca Zak.*  2014.  The Contested Landscape of Unconventional Energy Development: A Report from Ohio’s Shale Gas Country.  Journal of Environmental Sciences and Studies 4(1): 56-64.  DOI: 10.1007/s13412-013-0159-3.  (*Undergraduate student at the Ohio State University).

Willow, Anna J.  2013.  Doing Sovereignty in Native North America: Anishinaabe Counter-Mapping and the Struggle for Land-Based Self-Determination.  Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal 41(6): 871-884.  DOI 10.1007/s10745-013-9593-9.

Willow, Anna J.  2012.  Re(con)figuring Alliances: Place Membership, Environmental Justice, and the Remaking of Indigenous-Environmentalist Relationships in Canada’s Boreal Forest.  Human Organization 71(4): 371-382. 

Willow, Anna J.  2011.  Conceiving Kakipitatapitmok: The Political Landscape of Anishinaabe Anti-Clearcutting Activism.  American Anthropologist 13(2): 262-276.  

Willow, Anna J.  2009.  Clear-cutting and Colonialism: The Ethnopolitical Dynamics of Indigenous Environmental Activism in Northwestern Ontario.  Ethnohistory 56(1): 35-67.

For a full list of Dr. Willow’s publications and research activities, please see her CV:

PDF icon Dr. Willow's cv.pdf


Current Graduate Students

Mark Arceno


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