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

I maintain two research agendas--the study of local food movements and of college pedagogy. Those areas intersect through my teaching and also through my overarching interest in how people learn to be members of communities and, simultaneously, express themselves as individuals. I am affiliated with the Ostrom Workshop, Sustainable Food Systems Science, and the Integrated Program on the Environment at IU.

I have written two books on local food. Selling Local: Why Local Food Movements Matter (2017) and The Farmers’ Market Book: Growing Food, Cultivating Community (2007) explore how small-scale farmers position themselves relative to industrial, hegemonic food systems, creating both personal meaning webs and transferable innovations. I co-edited the book Teaching Environmental Literacy across the Curriculum and Across Campus (2010). My research on local food movements continues in the US and internationally. I teach related courses on food and culture.

My latest book develops notions of how new college teachers learn to teach and become members of teaching communities—Teaching as if Learning Matters: Pedagogies of Becoming by Next Generation Faculty (2022), which won an outstanding book award from the Society for Professors of Education.  I was president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) and co-edit the book series on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. At IU, I was a long-time Student Learning Analytics Fellow and also a Mack Fellow for research on teaching and learning. I teach graduate courses on college pedagogy and co-direct IU’s Graduate Certificate on College Pedagogy. I have won Distinguished Service Awards from ISSOTL and IU’s Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching as well as the Trustees Teaching Award from Indiana University in 2020, 2018, and 2012.

My 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.