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Assistant Professor, Sociology

Contact Information


  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of Michigan
  • Master of Science, Development Sociology, Cornell University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Courses Taught

  • Sociological Foundations 
  • Governments and Politics of the Middle East
  • Introduction to Global Cultural Studies
  • World Cultures


Marion W. Dixon, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Point Park University. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and studied abroad at Saint Petersburg State University in Russia and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Following her undergraduate education, she joined the Peace Corps in Morocco. Then, she completed both her Masters and Ph.D. in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Prior to joining Point Park, she taught in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC.

Dixon researches the historical relationship between agricultural industrialization and economic development. She is currently writing a book manuscript on the making of a corporate agri-food system in Egypt, based on field research in Egypt between 2008 and 2012. Dixon is also studying the socio-ecological history of chemical fertilizer, including phosphate rock mining around the world. Dixon uses a world-ecology perspective in her research and is involved in the world-ecology research network, combining world systems analysis with analyses seeking to break down the nature-society binary.

Curriculum Vitae 

Research Interests

  • Agriculture 
  • Food 
  • International Development
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • World-Ecology
  • Nature-Society Relations

Selected Publications

  • ‘Chemical fertilizer in transformations in world agriculture and the state system, 1870 to the interwar period’. Journal of Agrarian Change 18(4): 768-786, 2018.

  • ‘Riding on Waves of Crises: Finance, Food, and Political Tumult in Egypt’. In Financialisation, Food Systems and Rural Transformation, edited by H. Bjørkhaug, A. Magnan, and G. Lawrence, pp. 135-155. New York: Routledge, 2018.

  • ‘Plastics and Agriculture in the Desert Frontier’. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 37(1): 86-102. 2017.

  • ‘Biosecurity and the Multiplication of Crises in the Egyptian Agri-food Industry’. Geoforum 61: 90-100. 2015.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • ‘Food Crises and Revolt’, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, New York, N.Y. Aug. 10-13, 2019.
  • ‘Chemical Fertilizer in the Making of National Agricultures and National Industries, 1870 – WWII’, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, August 11-14, 2018.

  • The modern world economy: frontiers, ecology, commodities’, International Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, April 4-7, 2018.

  • ‘Land Reclamation and Expanded Commodity Production in the Longue Durée’, Third Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network, Binghamton University, July 21-22, 2017.

Point Park Features