Matt Comi

Environmental Sociology, Rural Sociology, Agri-Food Studies

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Matt Comi is a PhD student in sociology at the University of Kansas. His research uses qualitative methods to explore social relationships between agricultural practitioners and materials. His work has primarily focused on agri-environmental problems in rural spaces and obstacles to sustainable transitions in agricultural praxis both in the US Midwest and elsewhere. He is currently conducting data collection for a multi-sited, qualitative project with hop farmers in several sites both in the US and in other hop producing regions in the globe. For more information about his current, past, and potential projects, go to Matt's projects page on researchgate or send a query by email.


  • Present- PhD Sociology. University of Kansas
  • 2018- MA Sociology. University of Kansas
    Thesis: Selling seeds, selling communities
  • 2014- BA Studio Art, Writing. Whitworth University

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • 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

Peer Edited Publications

  • 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


  • 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 Presentations

  • 2019. Comi, Matt “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, 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

Professional Memberships

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

email + orcid + researchgate + google scholar