Associate Professor


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  • Office Hours:

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  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Environmental Sociology
    • Race
    • Food and Agriculture
    • International Development
    • Cultural Sociology
    • Science and Technology Studies
    • Political Ecology
  • Department:

    • Sociology
  • Education:

    • Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Jessie Luna is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University. Her research investigates how cultural politics intersect with processes of capitalism to produce and naturalize social inequalities and environmental change. Her recent research investigates how racial projects of modernity intersect with agricultural change, uneven wealth accumulation, and rural dispossession in the context of cotton farming in Burkina Faso. She has also studied embodied status politics among white runners in Boulder, Colorado and representations of Africa at the zoo. She is currently launching new research on pesticides in Côte d'Ivoire. Across her projects, Dr. Luna uses ethnographic methods to examine how the inequalities of neoliberal capitalism are produced and justified, drawing on theories of embodiment, culture, knowledge, and status to tease out how people understand their own roles in (re)producing or contesting systems of inequality and/or environmental degradation.

Jessie has been recognized for her impactful teaching at CSU. In 2024 she was named the Provost's Teaching Scholar, and in 2023 she was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Liberal Arts.

In 2024, Jessie joined as an editor at the Journal of Agrarian Change, a leading journal of rural change and agrarian political economy.

Before joining CSU, Dr. Luna earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder and a Masters degree in “Global Ecology and Sustainable Development” from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. She lived in Europe for several years and worked as a bicycle tour guide in France. Before that, Dr. Luna served as an agriculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa, where she became passionate about the complex puzzles of sustainability, development, and global inequality. She speaks French and Bambara/Dioula.

Her research has appeared in journals such as World Development, Journal of Peasant Studies, Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of Agrarian Change, Qualitative Sociology, Environmental Sociology, Geoforum, and the Journal of Agriculture and Human Values.


Luna, Jessie K. 2023. “Why are there African huts at the zoo? The racialized spectacle of conservation.” Environmental Sociology 9(4): 427-444.

Luna, Jessie K. and Brian Dowd-Uribe. 2020. “Knowledge politics and the Bt cotton success narrative in Burkina Faso.” World Development 136(105127).

Luna, Jessie K. 2020. “Peasant essentialism in GMO debates: Bt cotton in Burkina Faso.” Journal of  Agrarian Change 20(4): 579-597.

Luna, Jessie K. 2020. “‘Pesticides are our children now’: Cultural change and the technological treadmill in the Burkina Faso cotton sector.” Agriculture and Human Values 37(2): 449-462.

Luna, Jessie K. 2019. “The ease of hard work: Embodied neoliberalism among Rocky Mountain fun runners.” Qualitative Sociology 42(2): 251–271.


  • SOC 205: Sociology of Race and Racism

  • SOC 668: Environmental Sociology Grad Seminar

  • SOC 220: Environment, Food, and Social Justice

  • SOC 380: Science, Technology, and Society