Active mountaintop removal site at Kayford Mountain, West Virginia.

One of my major research streams focuses on the impact of extractive industries on environmental conditions, community, work, and health. Collecting original qualitative data, I have examined how the intersection of power, discourse, social control, and environmental risk collectively shape perceptions of coal in the region.

A second related stream of research focuses on environmental health movements and contested environmental illness. Currently, I am examining the contestation of black lung disease among coal miners in central Appalachia. In this multifaceted research project, I analyze the ways in which black lung victims and their supporters confront the illness and challenge various agencies and institutions for redress, as well as the ways in which elites contest illness claims. The project has broader implications for environmental degradation, workplace environmental exposures, healthcare, and the legal system.

Select Publications 

Journal Articles

Bodenhamer, Aysha. 2019. “The Resurgence of Black Lung in Central Appalachia: The Silencing of Coal Miners and Toxic Occupational Exposure.” A. McIvor and Yong-an Zhang (eds.), special issue of the Journal of the Social History of Medicine and Health on ‘Working Environments and the Body: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Coalfield health, Disease, and Disability.’ 4(1):137-163. June 2019 (Social Sciences Academic Press, CHINA). In Chinese.

Grether, Scott T. and Aysha Bodenhamer. 2019. “Analyzing Police Violence Against Men.” TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association (

Behnke, Andrew O., Aysha Bodenhamer, Taylor McDonald, and Mayra Robledo. 2019. “The Impact of the Juntos Program: A Qualitative Evaluation.” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 41(1):63-84.

Shriver, Thomas E. and Aysha Bodenhamer. 2018. “The Enduring Legacy of Black Lung: Environmental Health and Contested Illness in Appalachia.” Sociology of Health & Illness. 40(8), 1361-1375.

Bodenhamer, Aysha. 2016. “King Coal: A Study of Mountaintop Removal, Public Discourse, and Power in Appalachia.” Society & Natural Resources 29(10):1139-1153

Technical Reports

Bodenhamer, Aysha. 2016. RSS Graduate Student and Recent Graduate Survey Results, Rural Sociological Society.

Bodenhamer, Aysha. 2016. Juntos Annual Evaluation Report. Department of Youth, Family and Community Sciences, North Carolina State University.

 Mekolichick, J., Allen, K., Bodenhamer, A., Brackin, A., Williams, A. 2010. Campus Carbon Footprint Survey Report. Department of Sociology, Radford University. (