Accessibility statement

Dr Peter Sutoris



Imagination of alternative futures, the multiple meanings of the Anthropocene, and human creativity in the face of environmental destruction fascinate me. I am an anthropologist of education and the environment who studies how different societies imagine the future differently. I’ve written two books, Visions of Development (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Educating for the Anthropocene (The MIT Press, 2022), and am currently working on a new book project about how humanity might be able to imagine its path to survival through the unfolding environmental multi-crisis.

My work bridges anthropology with education, development studies and environmental studies. Through my research, I seek to challenge conventional disciplinary divides. I am committed to helping bring higher education more in sync with the challenges of the current historical moment. A university fit for the Anthropocene is socially engaged, takes decolonisation seriously, and achieves rigour by combining, not separating, disciplinary knowledge. This is the kind of university I am trying to help mould through my work as an educator, scholar, and public intellectual.

Through my writing, I seek to challenge mainstream conceptions of development and sustainability. My work exploring the cultural and political aspects of the environmental crisis, the limitations of technological solutions to environmental decay, and degrowth has appeared in newspapers and magazines in North America, Europe and Asia. I continue to advocate for a collective rethinking of humanity’s relationship with nature as an antidote to the harmful ideologies of infinite growth and extractivism.


I joined the Department of Education at the University of York as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in February 2022, having been previously affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London, and with the Faculty of Education and Society at University College London. I studied at Dartmouth College, USA and the University of Cambridge, where I completed my doctorate as a Gates Scholar in 2019. Aside from my academic career, I have consulted widely on international development projects in Asia and Africa and have an extensive background in policy research. Much of my work has focussed on India, Nepal and South Africa, and I’ve also worked in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Marshall Islands, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.



My current research focuses on the phenomenologies of imagination of alternative environmental futures, mechanisms of depoliticisation of environmental threats, and the culture of degrowth. I am also working on building conceptual bridges between the fields of visual anthropology and environmental and sustainability education, and exploring the interface between design, sustainability and education.

Research group(s)


I am open to applications from prospective doctoral students interested in environmental sustainability, alternative futures, degrowth, critical international development, post-development, the anthropology of education, international and comparative education, environmental and sustainability education, and environmental humanities. I am open to supporting projects that explore processes of learning and discovery both within formal education systems and outside the school walls, including research into social movements and activism, intergenerational dialogue, and Indigenous knowledge. Interdisciplinary projects are most welcome. I supervise students working worldwide, but can offer particular support for research in the regions I am most familiar with – South Asia and Southern Africa. I also supervise education projects that incorporate ethnographic research more broadly, and I’m particularly interested in research that works with visual methods, including participatory and observational filmmaking and photovoice.

External activities


  • Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)
  • American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • International Development Ethics Association (IDEA)
  • Comparative & International Education Society (CIES)
  • British Association for International & Comparative Education (BAICE)

Media coverage

The Guardian, POLITICO, Scientific American, Undark, Salon, Mother Jones, Times Higher Education, University World News, The Conversation, YES!, NY Daily News, The Wire (India), Scroll (India), Nepali Times (Nepal), Marshall Islands Journal (The Marshall Islands), Dennik N (Slovakia).

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD