Selected writings, crudely and briefly summarised (a more complete list is available on my CV here: (KlegunCV_2022_WithoutMSUnderReview)
Legun, K., Keller, J. C., Carolan, M., & Bell, M. M. (Eds.). (2020). The Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology: Volume 2. Cambridge University Press. Vol 1, Vol 2
Legun, K., Comi, M., & Vicol, M. (2022). New aesthetic regimes: The shifting global political ecology of aroma hops. Geoforum, 128, 148-157.
Aroma hops are really popular now in beer brewing, and are highly valuable. Historically, hops have been used for bittering. Bittering aspects of hops are measurable and can be commensurable across varieties, whereas aroma aspects of hops are largely qualitative and vary between varieties, and some even say between growing regions. As a result, the expansion of popularity and value in aroma hops has influenced the relative economic power of different hop production regions vis-a-vis their breeding programs, marketing organisations, and local ecologies.
Legun, K., & Burch, K. (2021). Robot-ready: How apple producers are assembling in anticipation of new AI robotics. Journal of Rural Studies, 82, 380-390.
There is a lot of hype about autonomous robotics in agriculture. How does this influence the practices of apple farmers? How do they anticipate these new technologies? Our research found that apple farmers anticipate new robotics in different ways that align to the material and social conditions of their orchards. Some want to be totally robot-ready, others don’t think their orchards are suited to new technologies and so exclude themselves from discussions about technologies, and others (many of those we interviewed) are experimenting with systems and practices on a block or section of their that could accommodate robotics.
Legun, Katharine (2017) “Desires, Sorted: Massive Modern Packing Lines in an Era of Affective Food Markets.” Journal of Rural Studies, 52: 110-117
Modern packing lines sort apples along precise aesthetic parameters, so that highly homogenous apples appear on supermarket shelves, but differences between supermarkets are increased. As a result, aesthetic politics are removed from the interior of the supermarkets, and instead captured by choice of supermarket.
Legun, Katharine (2016) “Ever-Redder Apples: How Aesthetics Shape the Biology of Markets.” In Le Heron, Campbell, Marsden and Carolan, (eds.) Biological Economies: Enactive and post-human approaches to agriculture and food. London: Routledge
Redness has had a profound influence on every aspect of the apple industry, from technology, to cultivation practices, to the competitive structure of the industry.
Legun, Katharine (2015). Tiny trees for trendy produce: Dwarfing technologies as assemblage actors in orchard economies. Geoforum, 65, 314-322.
Dwarfing technologies encourage both intensification and customization of the orchard, unexpectedly diverting their effects from a straightforward neoliberal trajectory towards to one that is also collaborative. This collaborative foundation can help us envision a post-neoliberal future.
Legun, Katharine (2015) “Club apples: a biology of markets built on the social life of variety.” Economy and Society 44(2): 293-315
The biology of apple trees has shaped the rules that govern the apple industry, enabling those biological behaviours to now be mobilised to redesign the industry.
Downloadable: Full dissertation (2013)
Downloadable: Project Report, Managed Apple Varieties (2016)
Link: Radio interview, Sustainable lens (2014)