“'Despairing is easy,' Leslie said to me, 'and it’s offensive. You have to believe that there is some sort of joyful future ahead. In queer culture, we have always celebrated sex and life amidst death. We can hold these things together. People are creative; as a Jew in the diaspora, I think about this all the time. Marginalized communities still carry the spirit and strategies of their chosen families and ancestors. Social connection and joy are part of building resilient communities.'”
- Environmental sociology & justice
- Food systems & justice
- Gender & sexuality
- Rural economic & community development
Isaac, or “Ike,” is an Extension Assistant Professor of Community Development at the University of Vermont. Ike researches and organizes with Vermont communities for social and environmental change. Ike is an environmental sociologist specializing in justice, sustainability, and economic viability in food systems. They also research and organize with LGBTQ+ farmers and rural residents.
Ike co-authored the sixth edition of An Invitation to Environmental Sociology and co-edited a special issue of Society & Natural Resources, which unpacks the roles of gender and sexuality in farming. Their work on the economic and community development of food systems is also published in Rural Sociology, Agriculture and Human Values, the Handbook of the Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations, and elsewhere.
Ike's research has been supported by Fulbright, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others. They earned a Ph.D. in Sociology/Community & Environmental Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; an M.A. in Sociology and M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire; and a B.A. in International Studies and Music from Vassar College.
They also own and operate Magnetic Fields Farm, an agroecological fruit and vegetable farm that attracts and sustains multiracial rural queer farm community through culturally vital food production, community land access, and affordable housing. You can learn more about Magnetic Fields Farm on Vermont Public Radio and the Cultivating Resilience podcast.
Bell, Michael Mayerfeld, Loka L. Ashwood, Isaac Sohn Leslie, and Laura Hanson Schlachter. 2021. An Invitation to Environmental Sociology. 6th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA, and London, UK: Sage.
Special Issue Editor
Leslie, Isaac Sohn, Jaclyn Wypler, and Michael Mayerfeld Bell. 2019. “Relational Agriculture: Gender, Sexuality, and Sustainability in U.S. Farming.” Society & Natural Resources 32(8):853-74.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Leslie, Isaac Sohn, Jessica Carson, and Analena Bruce. Online. “LGBTQ+ Food Insufficiency in New England.” Agriculture and Human Values.
Leslie, Isaac Sohn. 2019. “Queer Farmland: Land Access Strategies for Small-Scale Agriculture.” Society & Natural Resources 32(8):928-46.
Crowley, Morgan, Kara E. Shannon, Isaac Sohn Leslie, Andrea Jilling, Cameron D. McIntire, and Emily Kyker-Snowman. 2019. “Sustainable Beef Production in New England: Policy and Value Chain Challenges and Opportunities.” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 43(3):274-98.
Leslie, Isaac Sohn. 2017. “Improving Farmers Markets and Challenging Neoliberalism in Argentina.” Agriculture and Human Values 34(3):729-42.
Leslie, Isaac Sohn. 2017. “Queer Farmers: Sexuality and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture.” Rural Sociology 82(4):747-71.
Leslie, Isaac Sohn and Monica M. White. 2018. “Race and Food: Agricultural Resistance in U.S. History.” Pp. 347-64 in Handbook of the Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations, edited by Pinar Batur and Joe Feagin. New York: Springer.
Carson, Jess, Analena Bruce, and Isaac Sohn Leslie. 2021. “Half of New Hampshire Residents Buy Local Farm Food at Least a Few Times a Month, But Engagement Varies by County.” Carsey School of Public Policy, Regional Issue Brief #65: 1-4.
Isaac "Ike" Leslie, Ph.D. (they/them)