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Dr Katharine Legun

Researcher and Lecturer

Tel: (+64) 3 479 7666

Email: katharine.legun@otago.ac.nz

Katy-Anne Legun (2) (160)Katharine’s main focus is on the relationship between the economy, social organization, and the environment in the food production. She is particularly interested in how people manage the tensions between modern capitalist markets and the dynamic spontaneity of environmental life. Her work has largely been on apples, and the relationships between redness, pack-houses, and retail (or trees, growers, and markets). Her approach could be described as a post-human political economy.

Katharine joined the University of Otago after completing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013, and an MA from the University of British Columbia is 2008. She teaches environmental sociology and social theory, and supervises students on a range of topics related to food, markets, technologies, and the environment.

Research projects

  • ARGOS Dashboard  - The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard: This project is aimed at building sustainability assessment tools for primary production. Katharine is involved with developing the social dimensions of the tool, and considering the social aspects of sustainability auditing more generally.
  • Managed apple varieties and the economies of animate, non-human life: Katharine's research looks at the emergence of managed apple varieties, or “club apples”. These are patented apple varieties that have licenses conditioning their production and sale. They are also commonly owned by a grower cooperative. Katharine is interested in the economic and ecological world that the clubs are responding to, and what they are attempting to accomplish. She also considers how the animate features of the plants, or their alive-ness, influences the ways that markets are shaped around them.

Significant Publications

Legun, Katharine (2017) “Ever-Redder Apples: How Aesthetics Shape the Biology of Markets.” In Le Heron, Campbell, Lewis and Carolan, (eds.) Biological Economies: Enactive and post-human approaches to agriculture and food. London: Routledge
Legun, Katharine (2016) “Tiny Trees for Trendy Produce: Dwarfing Technologies as Assemblage Actors in Orchard Economies.” Geoforum
Legun, Katharine (2015) “Club apples: a biology of markets built on the social life of variety.” Economy and Society 44(2): 293-315. DOI:10.1080/03085147.2015.1013743
Legun, Katharine and Michael Meyerfield Bell (2014) “Environmental Sociology” in Javier Trevino (ed) Social Problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE
Legun, Katharine (2011) “Cultivating Institutions: Organic Agriculture and Integrative Economic Choice.” Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal, 24(5), 455-468. DOI: 10.1080/08941920903002560

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Publications

Legun, K., & Sautier, M. (2018). Sustainability programs and deliberative processes: Assembling sustainable winegrowing in New Zealand. Agriculture & Human Values. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10460-018-9879-z

Legun, K. (2017). Desires, sorted: Massive modern packing lines in an era of affective food markets. Journal of Rural Studies, 52, 110-117. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.02.016

Legun, K., & Bell, M. M. (2016). The second middle: Conducers and the agrifood economy. Journal of Rural Studies, 48, 104-114. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.10.004

Legun, K. (2015). Tiny trees for trendy produce: Dwarfing technologies as assemblage actors in orchard economies. Geoforum, 65, 314-322. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.03.009

Legun, K. A. (2015). Club apples: A biology of markets built on the social life of variety. Economy & Society, 44(2), 293-315. doi: 10.1080/03085147.2015.1013743

Other Research Output

Legun, K. (2017, June). Taste and post-commodity productions: A discussion of wild botany and political food. Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [Research Seminar].

Legun, K. (2017, June). Plants, power, and social change for sustainable food futures. Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. [Public Lecture].

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Chapter in Book - Research

Burch, K., Legun, K., & Campbell, H. (2018). Not defined by the numbers: Distinction, dissent and democratic possibilities in debating the data. In J. Forney, C. Rosin & H. Campbell (Eds.), Agri-environmental governance as an assemblage: Multiplicity, power, and transformation. (pp. 127-144). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Legun, K. (2018). Securing the future of apple production. In E. Pawson & the Biological Economies Team. (Eds.), The new biological economy: How New Zealanders are creating value from the land. (pp. 98-115). Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press.

Legun, K. (2016). Ever-redder apples: How aesthetics shape the biology of markets. In R. Le Heron, H. Campbell, N. Lewis & M. Carolan (Eds.), Biological economies: Experimentation and the politics of agri-food frontiers. (pp. 127-140). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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Chapter in Book - Other

Legun, K. A., & Bell, M. M. (2019). The environment. In A. Javier Treviño (Ed.), Investigating social problems. (2nd ed.) (pp. 340-367). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Bell, M. M., & Legun, K. A. (2014). The environment. In A. Javier Treviño (Ed.), Investigating social problems. (pp. 366-393). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

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Journal - Research Article

Hale, J., Legun, K., Campbell, H., & Carolan, M. (2019). Social sustainability indicators as performance. Geoforum. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.03.008

Legun, K., & Sautier, M. (2018). Sustainability programs and deliberative processes: Assembling sustainable winegrowing in New Zealand. Agriculture & Human Values. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10460-018-9879-z

Sautier, M., Legun, K. A., Rosin, C., & Campbell, H. (2018). Sustainability: A tool for governing wine production in New Zealand? Journal of Cleaner Production, 179, 347-356. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.194

Alrøe, H. F., Sautier, M., Legun, K., Whitehead, J., Noe, E., Moller, H., & Manhire, J. (2017). Performance versus values in sustainability transformation of food systems. Sustainability, 9(3), 332. doi: 10.3390/su9030332

de Olde, E. M., Moller, H., Marchand, F., McDowell, R. W., MacLeod, C. J., Sautier, M., … Legun, K. A., … Szymanski, E., … Manhire, J. (2017). When experts disagree: The need to rethink indicator selection for assessing sustainability of agriculture. Environment, Development & Sustainability, 19(4), 1327-1342. doi: 10.1007/s10668-016-9803-x

Rosin, C. J., Legun, K. A., Campbell, H., & Sautier, M. (2017). From compliance to co-production: Emergent forms of agency in sustainable wine production in New Zealand. Environment & Planning A, 49(12), 2780-2799. doi: 10.1177/0308518X17733747

Legun, K. (2017). Desires, sorted: Massive modern packing lines in an era of affective food markets. Journal of Rural Studies, 52, 110-117. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.02.016

Legun, K., & Bell, M. M. (2016). The second middle: Conducers and the agrifood economy. Journal of Rural Studies, 48, 104-114. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.10.004

Legun, K. A. (2015). Club apples: A biology of markets built on the social life of variety. Economy & Society, 44(2), 293-315. doi: 10.1080/03085147.2015.1013743

Legun, K. (2015). Tiny trees for trendy produce: Dwarfing technologies as assemblage actors in orchard economies. Geoforum, 65, 314-322. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.03.009

Legun, K. (2011). Cultivating institutions: Organic agriculture and integrative economic choice. Society & Natural Resources, 24(5), 455-468. doi: 10.1080/08941920903002560

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Journal - Research Other

Legun, K. A., & Henry, M. (2017). Introduction to the special issue on the post-human turn in agri-food studies: Thinking about things from the office to the page. Journal of Rural Studies, 52, 77-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.05.008

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hale, J., Legun, K., & Campbell, H. (2018). Negotiating the "social license to farm": Lessons in civic accountability and legitimacy process in New Zealand. Proceedings of the International Sociological Association (ISA) XIX World Congress of Sociology. (pp. 398). Madrid, Spain: International Sociological Association. [Abstract]

Legun, K., Campbell, H., & Hale, J. (2017). Hybrid institutions after (post?) neoliberalism. Proceedings of the Agrifood Research Network Conference (Agrifood XXIV). (pp. 35-36). Retrieved from https://afrn.co/agrifood-conference/

Burch, K., Legun, K., & Campbell, H. (2017). Not defined by the numbers: Distinction, dissent and democratic possibilities in debating the data. Proceedings of the Sociological Association of Aotearoa, New Zealand (SAANZ) Conference: Respect Existence or Expect Resistance. (pp. 15). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/saanz

Burch, K., Legun, K., & Campbell, H. (2017). Not defined by the numbers: Distinction, dissent and democratic possibilities in debating the data following Tokyo Electric Power Company's nuclear disaster. Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies, Asian Conference on Asian Studies, and International Conference on Japan & Japan Studies: Global Realities: Precarious Survival and Belonging. (pp. 54). Retrieved from https://accs.iafor.org/accs2017/#programme

Hale, J., Legun, K., & Campbell, H. (2017). Standards for social sustainability? Proceedings of the Agrifood Research Network Conference (Agrifood XXIV). (pp. 18). Retrieved from https://afrn.co/agrifood-conference/

Legun, K. A. (2015). Club apples and plant-power in future food economies. Proceedings of the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://meridian.aag.org/callforpapers/program/AbstractDetail.cfm?AbstractID=63387

Legun, K. A. (2015). Tiny trees for trendy produce: Technologies of customization and flexible specialization in modern apple orchards. Proceedings of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/asa/asa15/

Sautier, M., Legun, K., & Campbell, H. (2015). A retrospective analysis of the NZ transition towards sustainable winegrowing practices. Proceedings of the Agrifood Research Network Conference (Agrifood XXII). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/agrifood-2015/index.html

Legun, K. (2015). Vibrant vegetables in meta-modern foodscapes. Proceedings of the Agrifood Research Network Conference (Agrifood XXII). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/agrifood-2015/index.html

Rosin, C., Legun, K., Campbell, H., & Sautier, M. (2015). Metrological improvisations on sustainability transitions. Proceedings of the Agrifood Research Network Conference (Agrifood XXII). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/agrifood-2015/index.html

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Legun, K. (2017, June). Biologies/varieties/plant-power: The creative economic work of apples, tomatoes, and hops. Verbal presentation at the The Value of Life Conference: Measurement, Stakes, Implications, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Legun, K. (2015, November). Changing food systems: Auditing farms and shaping consumers. Verbal presentation at the Toxicology Symposium: Toxicology for the Modern Researcher, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Legun, K. (2014, November). Massive modern packing lines in an era of affected food markets. Verbal presentation at the 21st Australasian Agri-Food Research Network Conference: Food People Planet, Sydney, Australia.

Legun, K. (2012, December). From cultural materials to clubs in the US apple industry. Verbal presentation at the Agri-Food XIX: Australian and New Zealand Agri-Food Research Network Conference, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Legun, K. (2012, October). A Club Apple Society: The biosocial impacts of economic institutions and materiality of markets. Verbal presentation at the Joint Interim Conference of the International Sociological Association (ISA) RC02 "Economy and Society" and the European Sociological Association (ESA) Economic Sociology Research Network: Embeddedness and Beyond: Do Sociological Theories Meet Economic Realities? Moscow, Russia.

Legun, K. A. (2011, July). Why are Club apples emerging in the apple industry? A political economy of institutional responses to market uncertainty and instability. Verbal presentation at the 74th Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting in conjunction with the 43rd Community Development Society Annual Meeting: Reshaping Rural America in an Urban Society: Innovative Approaches for Community Change, Boise, Idaho.

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Other - Edited Journal

Henry, M., & Legun, K. (Eds.). (2017). Journal of Rural Studies, 52 [Special issue: The post-human turn in agri-food]. [Guest Editors].

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