Lauren Hayes

Lauren Hayes

Assistant Professor, Cultural Anthropology


FAB 3035




Lauren Hayes

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Topical: economic and business anthropology, linguistic anthropology, gender, globalization, work transformation, technology, rural identity, labor mobility, development, precarious work.

Geographical: Appalachia and the US South, US, Latin America


Dr. Hayes is a cultural and linguistic applied anthropologist with interests in the anthropology of work, gender, globalization, and rural identity. Her research examines how systems of flexible and gendered labor are reproduced and the ways that individuals adapt to precarious economic and work conditions, new technology, and labor transformations. Funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Appalachian Studies Association, her ongoing research in the Appalachian region of the United States centers on high tech manufacturing and other tech-based workforce development projects. Previous research projects have focused on livelihood strategies among microloan borrowers in Honduras and the gendered dimensions of manufacturing work in Appalachian Kentucky.

I am actively recruiting MA and PhD students who are interested in economic anthropology, the anthropology of work and business, gender and work/development, language and workplace issues, and industry transformation and technology use. Contact the department for more information about our graduate programs, or email me to discuss the possibility of coming to study with me at Wayne State.


  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, The University of Arizona, 2017
  • M.A. in Anthropology, The University of Arizona, 2009
  • B.A. in Anthropology, Wake Forest University, 2006

Awards and grants

Fraser Center Fellowship: Re-envisioning the Future of Work. Re-defining Reproductive Labor in an Ongoing Pandemic. Wayne State University (2022)

Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Post-Ph.D. Research Grant, Creating ‘Silicon Holler:’ High-Tech Labor Transformation in the Coalfields of Appalachia (2018-2019)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) Wilma Dykeman Faces of Appalachia Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Creating “Silicon Holler”: High-Tech Labor Transformation and Shifting Gender Dynamics in the Coalfields of Appalachia (2018)

Marshall Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, Louise Foucar Marshall Foundation and the University of Arizona Graduate College, (2016-2017)

Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship, Appalachian Women in the Modern Workplace (2014-2015)

Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, Shaping the Ideal Worker: Power, Gender, and Responsibility on the Production Line in Appalachian Kentucky (2013-2014)

Selected publications

Language and Culture in Workplace Ethnography (2021) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New York.

Managing Dirt: disciplines of cleanliness and contamination at a Kentucky auto parts factory (2020) Ethnos 85 (5) doi:10.1080/00141844.2019.1614642

High-Tech Futures in “Silicon Holler” (2019) Journal for the Anthropology of North America. 22(2) Fall: 96-99. doi: 10.1002/nad.12099,

Is High-tech Manufacturing Resocialing Work in Appalachian Kentucky? (2018) Anthropology of Work Review. 39 (1) June. doi: 10.1111/awr.12132.

Mobile and Temporary: Women and Workplace Precarity in Appalachian Kentucky (2018) Journal of Appalachian Studies. Vol. 24, No.1. doi:10.5406/jappastud.24.1.0026.

The Hidden Labor of Repayment: Women, credit, and strategies of  microenterprise in northern Honduras (2017) Economic Anthropology. Vol. 4, p. 22-36. doi: 10.1002/sea2.12070.

Notes from the Field: Navigating the Role of Researcher at a Factory Fieldsite in Appalachian Kentucky (2015) Arizona Anthropologist Vol. 24, p. 42-50.

Courses taught by Lauren Hayes

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022

Fall Term 2021