Dr Peter Sutoris

Dr Peter Sutoris


Imagination of alternative futures, the multiple meanings of the Anthropocene, and human creativity in the face of environmental destruction fascinate me. I am an anthropologist who studies how different societies imagine the future differently. I’ve written two books, Visions of Development (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Educating for the Anthropocene (The MIT Press, 2022), and am currently working on a new book project about how humanity might be able to imagine its path to survival through the unfolding environmental multi-crisis.

My work bridges anthropology with education, development studies and environmental studies. Through my research, I seek to challenge conventional disciplinary divides. I am committed to helping bring higher education more in sync with the challenges of the current historical moment. A university fit for the Anthropocene is socially engaged, takes decolonisation seriously, and achieves rigour by combining, not separating, disciplinary knowledge. This is the kind of university I am trying to help mould through my work as an educator, scholar, and public intellectual.

Through my writing, I seek to challenge mainstream conceptions of development and sustainability. My work exploring the cultural and political aspects of the environmental crisis, the limitations of technological solutions to environmental decay, and degrowth has appeared in newspapers and magazines in North America, Europe and Asia. I continue to advocate for a collective rethinking of humanity’s relationship with nature as an antidote to the harmful ideologies of infinite growth and extractivism.

I joined the School of Earth and Environment as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in January 2024, having been previously held the post of Assistant Professor in Social Justice and Education at the University of York; prior to that, I was affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London, and with the Faculty of Education and Society at University College London. I studied at Dartmouth College, USA and the University of Cambridge, where I completed my doctorate as a Gates Scholar in 2019. Aside from my academic career, I have consulted widely on international development projects in Asia and Africa and have an extensive background in policy research. Much of my work has focussed on India, Nepal and South Africa, and I’ve also worked in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Marshall Islands, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


  • Module Leader, Climate and Development

Research interests

  • Imagination of alternative environmental futures, particularly among grassroots social movements in the Global South
  • Environmental and sustainability education, particularly in non-formal settings
  • Visual and participative methodologies including photography and film
  • Critical ethnography
  • Futures studies
  • Degrowth and postgrowth
  • Critical development studies
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Cambridge
  • BA (Summa Cum Laude), Dartmouth College

Student education

I teach on multiple modules across the MSc. Climate Futures and MSc. Environment and Development programmes, in addition to masters and doctoral supervision. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>