Alexander Stoner is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Northern Michigan University. His primary areas of research expertise are Environmental Sociology, Social Theory, and Political Economy. Dr. Stoner’s research examines the relationship between modern capitalist society and the natural environment, and the linkages between political-economic drivers of environmental problems and societal responses to these problems. The scope of his work ranges from the development of an environmental critical theory to the social-psychologically embodied consequences of the environment-society relationship for individuals and the moral and ethical implications involved. Dr. Stoner’s research has been published in journals such as Critical Sociology, Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Ecological Economics, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism and the Journal of World-Systems Research. His book (co-authored with Andony Melathopoulos), Freedom in the Anthropocene: Twentieth-Century Helplessness in the Face of Climate Change, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. His current research brings together the critique of political economy with insights from classical critical theory to address the crisis of climate change.


Dr. Stoner holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in addition to a Masters degree in Sociology (focus on Environmental Sociology), also from University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2013 Dr. Stoner received the American Sociological Association (ASA) Critical Sociology Graduate Student Research Paper Award. Prior to arriving at Northern Michigan University, Dr. Stoner worked as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, where he developed and taught introductory and upper level courses in Environmental Sociology, Food Studies, Political Sociology, Sociological Theory, Social Movements, and Sociology of Mental Health. As Assistant Professor at Salisbury University Dr. Stoner also founded the Multiple Dimensions of Inequality Annual Lecture Series, which featured talks by renowned scholars working in the field of Social Inequality.   

Freedom in the Anthropocene is a very sharply perceptive book. The authors' clear and well-constructed argument provides just what a contemporary critical theory should. Their fresh way of understanding the Anthropocene should be read by anyone interested in opposing the juggernaut of the Great Acceleration, and particularly those who think that 'environmentalism' is sufficient to that task.

Andrew Biro, Acadia University, Canada, author of Denaturalizing Ecological Politics (2005) and editor of Critical Ecologies: The Frankfurt School and Contemporary Environmental Crises (2011)



Stoner and Melathopoulos's book highlights the urgent need to situate climate change and related environmental issues and phenomena in the context of rigorous critical social theory. The challenge of ethically sound action geared towards 'saving the planet' (and, by implication, humanity) must be understood in light of – and in relation to – structural circumstances that thwart solutions to problems identified in the debate about the Anthropocene, on the basis of conscientious individual actions and decisions.

Harry F. Dahms, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, USA, author of The Vitality of Critical Theory (2011)