Caleb Scoville

Caleb Scoville's picture
Research Interests: 
environmental politics (especially water issues and endangered species recovery), "nature" as a cultural category, STS, economic sociology, political sociology, culture, theory
Cafe Milano (2522 Bancroft Way)
I am a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where I study environmental politics. I will be a Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Society for the 2017-18 academic year.
I am interested in how "nature" is configured and deployed as a cultural, moral, and political category. My primary empirical focus is the politics and science of water management and endangered species conservation in California. I have three active research projects on this topic: one historical project on the relationship between biological taxonomic knowledge and shifting human-nonhuman relations; one on how environmental scientists manage the division of intellectual labor between instrumental and substantive rationality; and another on political rationalities of groundwater management (with Razvan Amironesei).
Other research topics (past and present) include "ecological citizenship" as a political theoretical concept (2016 in Citizenship Studies); the concept of nature in the history of philosophy (with Razvan Amironesei, Ike Sharpless, Jacob Hellman, and Olivier Clain); an analysis of extant applications of field theory (with Neil Fligstein); and sovereign credit ratings and moral classifications (with Marion Fourcade).
I earned my M.A. in sociology at UC Berkeley in 2016, and expect to complete my Ph.D. in 2020. Before enrolling at Berkeley, I was a graduate student in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego where I earned an M.A., passing exams in political theory, 20th and 21st century political and social thought, and comparative politics with distinction. I earned my B.A. summa cum laude in political science and economics from Portland State University.
My article, "Hydraulic Society and a 'Stupid Little Fish': Toward a Historical Ontology of the Nonhuman" was awarded the 2017 American Sociological Association Animals and Society Section’s Jane Goodall Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Scholarship and the 2017 Herbert Blumer Prize for the best paper written by a UC Berkeley sociology graduate student.


Published And Forthcoming Work:

Scoville, Caleb and Neil Fligstein. “The Promise of Field Theory for the Study of Political Institutions,” Prepared for the Volume, The New Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Parties, Movements, Citizenship and Globalization edited by Thomas Janoski, Cedric DeLeon, Joy Misra, and Isaac Martin, Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming 2018).

Scoville, Caleb. “‘We Need Social Scientists!’ The Allure and Assumptions of Economistic Optimization in Applied Environmental Science.” Science as Culture 26.4 (Forthcoming 2017).

Scoville, Caleb. “George Orwell and Ecological Citizenship: Moral Agency and Modern Estrangement.” Citizenship Studies 20 (2016): 830-845. [read online]

Scoville, Caleb. “Reclaiming Water Politics: California’s Drought and the Eclipse of the Public.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 59 (2015): 35-43. [read online] [republished by The Hampton Institute]