Tom Wooten

Tom Wooten is a doctoral student in Sociology. He received his undergraduate degree in Social Studies from Harvard in 2008, and he spent the subsequent four years teaching and conducting research in New Orleans. Tom served as a Research Fellow for the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and as a 2009 Teach for America corps member. Wooten is the author of two critically acclaimed books about disasters and disaster recovery. His first, co-written with his college roommate Utpal Sandesara, is called No One Had a Tongue to Speak (Prometheus 2011). The book is a narrative history of the 1979 Machhu Dam Disaster in Gujarat State, India. Tom's second book, We Shall Not Be Moved: Rebuilding Home in the Wake of Katrina (Beacon 2012), follows five neighborhood-based recovery efforts in New Orleans. In the coming years, Tom plans to pursue his interests in disaster recovery and modern education reform. He is currently working on a book of Gulf Coast disaster recovery case studies with Henry Lee and Doug Ahlers. Tom also plans to undertake ethnographic work with New Orleans youth, qualitatively probing the role that school culture plays in shaping students' life outcomes. When he is not conducting research, Tom enjoys spending time in Quincy House, where he is a resident tutor.

Research Interests: Urban sociology; education; race; disasters.

Previous Degrees: A.B., Social Studies, Harvard University