Failed Econ Courses, Now an Economics Professor at HWS

By Hrithik Biswas ’23

Operations Manager

Assistant Professor of Economics Anastasia Wilson received her PhD in Economics from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. With prior experience in teaching at larger research universities, she is originally from Western Massachusetts and moved to Geneva during the pandemic. “I actually failed a couple of my first econ courses; I had thought it wasn’t for me,” she told the Herald

Professor Wilson had an interesting shift in life––a fact some students might be unaware of. She was a persistent student during her undergrad, and after school she realized during the financial crisis how much economics meant to her. “I went back to school; I took econ courses again and gave it another chance,” Wilson said. According to Wilson, economics kept her mind active and continued to question her, it helped her “put things together, how it impacted the world.”  

Professor Wilson’s scholarly interest lies in the focus of critical political economics and abolitionist thought. She describes abolitionist thought as a “school of thought focused on moving our society from punishment, violence; an approach in radical economics that moves away from exploitation and domination.” In her course Economics and Gender, she embarks students to think radically and critically, and to question the traditional economic system.  

She described her teaching style to the Herald as, “trying to draw on what you all already know and connect the dots with the class readings.” Wilson teaches with the philosophy in mind to make economics “accessible to everyone, regardless of background or education.” Her heterodox economics approach roots from her experience growing up, seeing struggles in the community. Wilson explained that “Making ends meet was not quite there. Hospitals being unaffordable and inaccessible, homes being foreclosed, people being incarcerated: all of these issues cause long-term effects on people.”  

Professor Wilson enjoys teaching at HWS because of the “close knit community,” where “everyone knows each other compared to being in big schools.” Wilson told the Herald, “It has been delightful to see students around campus, in the halls, saying hi to each other––they are some of my best daily experiences.” Outside of the classroom, Professor Wilson can be found exploring the Finger Lakes and cycling around town. 

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