Sam Hege is a doctoral candidate researching the entangled histories of the environmental justice movement, the politics of water, and the rise of industrial agriculture in the American West. Within this shifting landscape, he focuses on the study of migration, labor, and grassroots movements for justice. His dissertation, "'The Winds of Money': Race, Work, and Water in the Texas Panhandle, 1900-1980," argues that the privatization of groundwater and the creation of precarious labor markets fundamentally interlinked the U.S. Sunbelt political economy and the American diet during the mid-20th century.
Outside of his dissertation, Sam has worked on multiple public and digital humanities projects. He has contributed to the Climates of Inequality exhibit, the Public History Project, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities’ Democracy Conversations Project. He is currently serving as project manager for Voices from the System of Essex County, an oral history project which foregrounds the perspective of those who have navigated the foster care system to deepen public understanding of the connections between this system and structures of urban inequality.