Allegheny College Religious Studies Professor Selected for Sacred Writes Public Scholarship Training Cohort
Adrienne Krone’s research exploring contemporary religious food justice movements has taken her into the field — and actually into fields — as she visited more than 25 Jewish community farms in the United States and Canada.
As the Allegheny College religious studies professor spoke with and worked alongside farmers and activists, she heard powerful stories of a small yet growing movement. And Krone wanted to give a greater voice to what she had uncovered — including in venues beyond academic conferences and publications.
With that goal in mind, Krone applied for the 2021 Sacred Writes Public Scholarship Training Cohort. The program is designed to help academic scholars translate their expertise for a broader audience and develop relationships with media outlets. Krone was among the 24 U.S. and international scholars selected for this year’s cohort in the program, which is based at Northeastern University and supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.
“Public scholarship is important to me because I work on pressing contemporary issues like food justice, climate change, and environmental justice, and I would like more people to understand the ways that religious people are engaging in these issues and working toward justice,” Krone says.
Krone and other cohort members will participate in remote training sessions, covering topics such as pitching and writing op-eds, using social media to build community and amplify scholarship, collaborating with journalists, and preparing for live work. Each scholar commits to submitting two pieces of public scholarship for publication within a year of completing the training.
By doing more public-facing work, Krone hopes to illuminate the efforts of the hundreds of food justice activists that she has interviewed during the past decade. She is conducting an ethnographic and historical study of the Jewish community farming movement, and she is working on a book manuscript, “Free Range Religion: Religious Food Justice Movements in North America.”
Through the Sacred Writes training, Krone hopes to build on presentations she has done on her work with several community organizations and other audiences outside of higher education. In particular, she would like to amplify outreach about the role of American Jews in current social justice movements.
“I’d like to present a more holistic picture of what contemporary Judaism is and what modern Jews do. Amid controversial conversations about Jewish continuity, the Jewish community farming movement is attracting young Jewish adults even as synagogues, Jewish community centers, and campus Hillels are struggling to attract the same population,” says Krone, who holds a Ph.D. in American religion from Duke University.
Through courses, research experiences, and service trips, Krone has provided Allegheny students with a taste of her research on food justice. Each year, she teaches a course titled “Judaism, Justice, and Food.” In the summer of 2017 and 2018, Krone led student research teams on visits to Jewish community farms and other sites in the United States and Canada.
“They did everything I did, which often included farm work and conducting interviews,” Krone says. When back on campus, the student researchers helped to process the interviews and shared their work at Allegheny’s summer research seminar series. They also joined Krone in presenting at the Hazon Jewish Food Conference in Connecticut.
In addition, Krone and Allegheny garden manager Kerstin Ams co-led an Alternative Spring Break trip to Philadelphia in 2018. The leaders and students worked on Jewish and non-Jewish farms and visited other sites related to food justice.
Along with serving on the faculty, Krone is the College’s director of Jewish life. She advises the Hillel student organization, which is a member of the Jewish Initiative for Animals Jewish Leadership Circle and a past Hazon Seal of Sustainability Site. Beyond the Allegheny campus, Krone is program co-chair for the Society of Jewish Ethics and a member of the Animals and Religion Steering Committee for the American Academy of Religion.
Food justice isn’t just a professional pursuit for Krone. Not only is she a vegan and a member of a local community supported agriculture (CSA) program, but she also makes her own jam and pickles. Those are “the kinds of things that happen when you research food justice for 10 years,” she says.
Photo at top: Autumn Clark ’19, Professor Adrienne Krone, and Maura McCampbell ’20 conduct an interview in Houston, Texas, during a 2017 research trip. (Photo by Madeleine Zimmerman ’18)