de la Torre III
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2017, Science & Technology Studies)

M.A., New School for Social Research (2012, Anthropology)

B.A., University of Texas-Austin (2005, Sociology)


I am an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), and an Adjunct Instructor in the Humanities Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. My research focuses on competing relations to place and history, as well as current and future land use, in contaminated spaces. I explore these issues ethnographically in my dissertation, “Unmaking Wastelands: Inheriting Waste, War, and Futures at the Hanford Site.” Located in Eastern Washington State, this former plutonium-production complex now hosts one of the largest, longest, and most complicated remediation efforts in the world on land to which three indigenous nations have reserved treaty rights. Among the key themes of this work were the limitations and omissions of the official discourses surrounding the remediation, and difficulty of contemporary policy frameworks to grapple with long-term consequences of nuclear weapons production. I recently completed a PhD program in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I also received an M.A. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Courses Taught

Current courses

  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANT 101)
  • Culture & Crime  (ANT 230)


Previous courses

  • Systems of Law (ANT 315)
  • Drug Use & Abuse in American Society (ANT 110)
  • Culture & Personality (ANT 310)
Scholarly Work

2016      Fortun, Kim, Scott Gabriel Knowles, Vivian Choi, Paul Jobin, Miwao Matsumoto, Pedro de la Torre, Max Liboiron, and Luis Felipe R. Murillo.  “Researching Disaster from an STS Perspective.” In The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, edited by Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark A. Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, Fourth edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

2014.     de la Torre, Pedro, and Roy Germano. “Out of the Shadows: DREAMer Identity in the Immigrant Youth Movement.” Latino Studies 12(3): 449–467.

Other Publications

2021      “Plutonium Legacies.” American Scientist.  March-April, 109(2).


2019       “Disrupting the Epistemologies of Slow Violence at the Hanford Site.” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

2018        “Dangerous Cultures: Affective Safety Culture and the Work of Remediation at the Hanford Site.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.