Ryan Hagen

Ryan Hagen


A Time of Thunder: Emergency Managers and Disaster Anticipation in New York City

Dissertation Review Committee


I am an organizational and comparative historical sociologist studying risk and social change. I am interested in how actors construct perceptions of the future, how those perceptions shape actions in the present, and how this work of anticipation influences macro-level social change. My current research draws on observations of disaster risk managers in New York City as they planned for hurricanes, cyber-attacks, disease pandemics and nuclear terrorism, among other future dangers. In earlier, historical work I investigated the conditions under which agents of the state alternately encouraged, accommodated, or intervened in lynch mob violence in the post-Reconstruction U.S. South. My primary methods are ethnography and archival research. My work contributes to the literatures on organizations and work, social movements, and science, knowledge and technology.


  • M.Phil Sociology, Columbia University, May 2014
  • MA Sociology, Columbia University, May 2011
  • BA English & American Literature/Political Science, New York University, May 2005


  • Masters Thesis Seminar
  • Mistake, Misconduct and Disaster
  • How Organizations Fail
  • The Social World
  • Media, Culture, and Society
  • Economy and Society