Jennifer Meta Robinson

Jennifer Meta Robinson

Professor of Practice, Anthropology

Co-director, IU Graduate Certificate on College Pedagogy


  • Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington, 2001
  • M.A., Northeastern University
  • B.A., Western Kentucky University
  • General Studies, Oberlin College

About Jennifer Meta Robinson

Jennifer Meta Robinson is professor of practice in the Indiana University Anthropology Department. She maintains a research agenda that interweaves anthropologies of food and pedagogy. Her food research explores intersections pragmatics and epistemology through food, agriculture, and community. In "Selling Local: Why Local Food Movements Matter" (2017) and "The Farmers' Market Book: Growing Food, Cultivating Community" (2007) she unpacks how small-scale American farmers navigate the food industry while establishing identities and fostering connections within their communities. She continues to investigate local food movements both domestically and internationally.

Jennifer’s food research dovetails with her research on learning and teaching through several current projects. In a USDA-funded collaboration on the impact of multiple shocks to the Midwest food system, Jennifer leads a team that translates basic research for higher education students. At the Felege Hiywot Center, she and a graduate student team use anthropological methods to assess the social impact of an urban farming education initiative for low-income and minoritized high schoolers in Indianapolis, funded by the Lilly Foundation.

Jennifer’s research, teaching, and service on college pedagogy is dedicated to shaping an equitable future for higher education. Her latest book, Teaching as if Learning Matters: Pedagogies of Becoming by Next Generation Faculty (2022) develops narratives of how new college teachers learn to teach and become members of teaching communities and won an outstanding book award from the Society for Professors of Education. Jennifer was president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) and edits the Indiana University Press book series on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. At IU, she was a long-time Student Learning Analytics Fellow, a Mack Center Fellow, and an Association of American Universities grant recipient for research on teaching and learning. She teaches graduate courses on college pedagogy and co-directs IU’s Graduate Certificate on College Pedagogy. She won Distinguished Service Awards from ISSOTL and IU’s Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching as well as three teaching awards from Indiana University. Other grants and recognitions have come from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Teagle Foundation.

Jennifer is an affiliated faculty member with the Ostrom Workshop, Sustainable Food Systems Science, and the Integrated Program on the Environment at IU. Her research has been funded by grants from the US Department of Agriculture, the Lilly Foundation, Association of American Universities, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Teagle Foundation, Indiana Arts Commission, and Indiana University.

Honors and Awards

Outstanding book award from the Society for Professors of Education for Teaching as if Learning Matters: Pedagogies of Becoming by Next Generation Faculty (2022).

P.A. Mack Award for Distinguished Service to Teaching. Faculty Academy on Teaching Excellence. Indiana University. 2017.

Distinguished Service Award. International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 2016.

Student Learning Analytics Fellow. Indiana University. 2015-2018.

Trustees Teaching Award 2020, 2018, 2012.

President, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2008-2009

Nonfiction Finalist, Best Books of Indiana Award. Indiana Center for the Book. 2008.


  • Interpersonal Communication (A122)
  • Anthropology of Food (A221)
  • Food and Culture (E421/E621)
  • Food in Communication and Performance (E434/E600)
  • Introduction to Pedagogy (A521)
  • Advanced Pedagogy (A622)

Selected Publications


2022. Robinson, Jennifer Meta, Valerie Dean O’Loughlin, Katherine D. Kearns, and Laura Plummer, eds. Teaching as if Learning Matters: Pedagogies of Becoming by Next Generation Faculty. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Forthcoming June.

2017. Robinson, J. M. and J. F. Farmer. Selling Local: Why Local Food Movements Matter. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2012. Monaghan, L., J. Goodman, J. M. Robinson, eds. A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication: Essential Readings, Second Edition. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

2010. Reynolds, H., E. Brondizio, and J.M. Robinson, eds. Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across the Curriculum. Indiana University Press.

2007. Robinson, J. M., and J. A. Hartenfeld. The Farmers’ Market Book: Growing Food, Cultivating Community. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Articles, and Chapters

2021. Robinson, J. M., L. Mzali, D. Knudsen, J. Farmer, R. Spiewak, S. Suttles, M. Burris, A. Shattuck, J. D. Valliant, A. Babb. “Food after the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Case for Change Posed by Alternative Food: A Case Study of the American Midwest.” Global Sustainability 4(6).

2019. Robinson, J. M., V.D. O’Loughlin, K. D. Kearns, C. Sherwood-Laughlin. “The Graduate Course in College Pedagogy: Survey of Instructors of College Pedagogy in the United States and Canada.” College Teaching. 10.1080/87567555.2018.1558171.

2018. Jordan, R. C., Sorensen; Shwom, R. Robinson, J. M., Isenhour, Gray, Nucci, Ebert-May. “Using Authentic Science in Climate Change Education.” Applied Environmental Education & Communication 18(4): 350-381.

2018. Robinson, J. M. “The SoTL Conference: Learning while Professing.” In SoTL in Action: Illuminating Critical Moments of Practice. Ed. by Nancy L. Chick. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

2017. Shwom, R., C. Isenhour, R. C. Jordan, A. M. McCright, J. M. Robinson. “Integrating the Social Sciences to Enhance Climate Literacy.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. DOI: 10.1002/fee.1519.

2017. O’Loughlin, V. D, K. D. Kearns, C. Sherwood-Laughlin and J. M. Robinson. “How Do We Train Our Future Faculty to Teach? A Multidisciplinary Comparison of Graduate Pedagogy Courses Offered at a Large Midwestern University.” College Teaching. DOI: 10.1080/87567555.2017.1333081

2016. Robinson, J. M. “Making the Land Connection: Local Food Farms and Sustainability of Place.” In The Greening of Everyday Life: Challenging Practices, Imaging Possibilities. Edited by Jens Kersten and John M. Meyer. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 198-210.

2015. Sorensen, A., R. Shwom, R. Jordan, D. Ebert-May, C. Isenhour, A. McCright, J.M. Robinson. “Model-Based Reasoning to Foster Environmental and Socio-scientific Literacy in Higher Education.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. 1-8.

2014. Farmer, J.R., Chancellor, C., Robinson, J.M., West, S., and Weddell, M. “Agrileisure: Farmers’ Markets, CSAs, and the Privilege in Eating Local.” Journal of Leisure Research, special issue on Social and Environmental Justice 46: 313-328.

2012. Robinson, J.M. “Performing Authenticity: Questions of Identity Competence in a Virtual World Point to Real Life Constructions.” In Shaping Virtual Lives: Online Identities, Representations, and Conducts. Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska, Theo Meder, and Andy Ross, eds. Lodz, Poland: University of Lodz Press.

2009. Robinson, J.M. “Foreword.” R. Peden. Rural Free: A Farmwife’s Almanac of Country Living. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. vii-xiii.