Matt Comi

Environmental Sociology + Rural Sociology + Science and Technology Studies

email + researchgate + twitter + google scholar


Matt Comi is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Kansas. His research uses qualitative methods to study social and environmental problems in rural and (sub)urban places. With funding from the National Science Foundation (Award #1946941), he is conducting dissertation research with hop farmers operating in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and across the Midwest. This project studies the practices of these unique farmers as a case example to better understand the generalizable relationships between agricultural innovation, technological change, and environmental outcomes. His next project will examine environmentally (un)just transitions in global, labor-intensive farming practices.


Education

  • Present- PhD Sociology. University of Kansas
    Dissertation: Do Farmers Know Better? Exploring on-farm innovation, environmental change, and rural livelihoods in the US hop-growing industry [In Progress]
    Committee: Drs. Paul Stock (Chair), Joane Nagel, Greg Cushman, Bob Antonio, Ebenezer Obadare
  • 2020- Graduate Certificate, Environmental Studies. University of Kansas
  • 2018- MA Sociology. University of Kansas
    Thesis: Selling seeds, selling communities
  • 2014- BA Studio Art, Writing. Whitworth University

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • 2021 Comi, Matt and Ruth Stamper. "Chicken Noodle Night: Conviviality, Resilience, and Food at the Vinland Fair." Food Culture and Society Special Issue ed. Bonnie Miller. [Forthcoming]

  • 2020 Comi, Matt "Other agricultures of scale: Social and environmental insights from Yakima Valley hop growers" Journal of Rural Studies DOI:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.10.041

  • 2020. Comi, Matt "The distributed farmer: Rethinking US Midwestern precision agriculture techniques." Environmental Sociology. DOI:10.1080/23251042.2020.1794426

  • 2019. Comi, Matt "'The right hybrid for every acre': Assembling the social worlds of corn and soy seed selling in conventional agricultural techniques." Sociologia Ruralis 59(1) pp 159-176. DOI: 10.1111/soru.12227
    *Recipient, ASA Robert Boguslaw Award

Book Chapters

  • --- Comi, Matt Seeds, Chemicals, and Stuff: The Agency of Things in (un)just agriculture regimes Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene Ed. Melinda Laituri, Stacia Ryder, Katharyn Powlen. Routledge. [Forthcoming]

Other

  • 2019. Comi, Matt Participatory Research in More than Human Worlds (Book Review) Agriculture and Human Values. Online first. DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.015
  • 2018. Comi, Matt Rethinking Control: Complexity in agri-environmental governance research JAFSCD 8(3) DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.015
  • 2017. Comi, Matt Vital seeds: An assemblage approach to seed production and ownershipEnvironmental Justice in the Anthropocene Symposium Conference Paper. HDL Handle:10217/183728

Grants and Awards

  • 2020. National Science Foudnation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. Award# 1946941. "Exploring on-farm innovation, environmental change, and rural livelihoods in the US hop-growing industry" Division of Social and Economic Sciences: Science, Technology, and Society Program.
  • 2020. University of Kansas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Excellence Initative Grant Writing Initiative Award
  • 2019. American Sociology Association (ASA) Robert Boguslaw Award for Research on Technology and Humanism
  • 2019. Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR) Doctoral Fellow
  • 2019. Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) Alex McIntosh Paper Award
  • 2018. Carrol D. Clark Award
  • 2018. Sociology Departmental Scholarship
  • 2018. Graduate Studies Research Support Award
  • 2018. Morris C Pratt Award [for travel]
  • 2017. University Graduate Fellowship
  • 2017. Warriner Fellowship In Sociology

Conference Participation

Panels Organized

  • 2020. Comi, Matt; Florence Becot; Elly Engle. Intersocietal Dialogues on Anti-Racism and the Covid-19 Pandemic. Digital [Held in lieu of in person 2020 RSS SAFFRIG jointly with ISA RC40]
  • 2020. Campbell, Hugh; Matt Comi; James Hale; Katharine Legun; Paul Stock. Sessions on “Farmer and farm ontologies: Rethinking agriculture after the more-than-human turn” International Rural Sociology Association (IRSA) World Congress. Cairns, Australia. [Conference delayed until 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic]

Papers Presented

  • 2020. Comi, Matt "Forty Farmers in the Yakima Valley: Assembling contemporary US hop growers" International Rural Sociological Association. Cairns, Australia. [Delayed until 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic]
  • 2020. Comi, Matt "Ontologies of Innovation: On-farm agriculture technologies in Yakima Valley hop yards" International Rural Sociological Association. Cairns, Australia. [Delayed until 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic]
  • 2020. Comi, Matt "Other Agricultures of Scale: Social and environmental insights from Yakima Valley hop growers" American Sociology Association. San Francisco, CA. [Cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic]
  • 2019. Comi, Matt "The distributed farmer: Tracing US Midwestern precision agriculture techniques in the Anthropocene American Sociology Association. New York, NY.
  • 2019. Comi, Matt "‘Pure Yeast Culture:’ Assembling a Social History of Standard Lager” Midwestern Sociological Society. Chicago, IL.
  • 2019. Mahmoud, Kafayat and Matt Comi “Exploring Gender and Place: Professional Craft Brewing in the Heartland” Midwestern Sociological Society. Chicago, IL.
  • 2018. Comi, Matt Thinking With Seeds and Seed Dealers: Exploring the Techno-Political Relations of Big-Ag Seed Sales in Rural Kansas and Missouri International Sociological Association World Congress XIX. Toronto, Canada
  • 2018. Comi, Matt The Distributed Farmer: (Re)Thinking Ownership, Autonomy, and Decision-Making in Precision Agriculture Midwestern Sociological Society. Minneapolis, MN
  • 2017. Comi, Matt. Vital Seeds: An assemblage approach to seed production and ownership” Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene Symposium. Colorado State University. Fort Collins, CO

Research Experience

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Safeguarding and Enhancing the Experience of Public Internet Users (NSF Award Number: 1946180)—Institute for Policy and Social Research and the Department of Sociology, University of Kansas. Lawrence, KS
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Digital Inequalities in The Heartland (NSF Award Number: 1742815)—Institute for Policy and Social Research and the Department of Sociology, University of Kansas. Lawrence, KS

Teaching Experience

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Social Problems
  • Understanding Kansas Landscapes [Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Methods]

Courses Assisted

  • Varieties of the Human Experience [Intro to Cultural Anthropology]
  • Field Ecology
  • Environmental Studies Senior Capstone

Other Pedagogical Experience

  • Research Mentor. Haskell Environmnetal Research Studies [HERS] Program *
  • Graduate Writing Consultant. KU Writing Center

Professional Memberships

  • RC 40 (Agriculture and Food), International Sociological Associaion
  • Environmental Sociology Section, American Sociological Association
  • Coalition of Food and Agriculture Studies
  • Midwest Sociological Association





email + researchgate + twitter + google scholar