Skip to main content Skip to footer content



Ryan Chaney

Asst Professor

Behavioral Sciences


Ryan Chaney is an assistant professor at Kingsborough Community College in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. His field is cultural anthropology, with specializations in the representation of folk cultures and senses of place in the popular American imagination and the politics and poetics of creating and using urban and rural spaces in the contemporary U.S. He has been a member of the Kingsborough faculty since the fall of 2011, teaching introductory, four-field anthropology, writing-intensive anthropology, and urban sociology on-line. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in May of 2008. He is currently working on a book about folk musics and heritage tourism in Southern Appalachia and conducting ethnographic research on changing senses of place in New York City’s outer boroughs after Superstorm Sandy.


Anthropology 37, Introduction to Anthropology

Anthropology 37-W, Introduction to Anthropology (writing intensive)

Sociology 32-L, Urban Sociology (on-line)


Ph.D, Anthropology, Columbia University, 2008

B.A., Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College, 1997

College Teaching

CUNY Kingsborough, Introduction to Anthropology (2011-present)

CUNY Kingsborough, Introduction to Urban Sociology (2012-present)

Columbia University, Columbia College Core Curriculum, Introduction to  
Contemporary Civilization in the West (2006-2011)

Columbia University, Dept. of Anthropology, The Road: Anthropology of an American Trope (2009)

Selected Publications and/or Other Resources

Journal2013  Straightening the Crooked Road. Ethnography 14(4): 387- 411 (originally published ‘OnlineFirst’ Nov. 22, 2012)      

Works in Progress

2014  Tracing and Transcribing an Ethnographic Encounter: Talking Country, Playing Old Time, and Traversing Place with Jim Olin Cox.

n.d      ‘Nobody Wants This To Turn Into Dollywood’: Regional Politics of Cultural Preservation and Sustainable Development.

n.d.     Cultivating and Claiming Culture: Southern Mountain Music-Making and Heritage- Based Development. (Book-length manuscript)

Research Interests

United States folk cultures; the South; Appalachia; language and representation; Western philosophy and social thought; music performance, musical culture, and ethnomusicology; cultural tourism; the commodity form; senses of space and place; informal and extra-legal economies; roads and the phenomenology of landscape and movement.

Related Links