Laura Sayre

Membership:  2014/2015

Member Bio

Laura Sayre is an independent writer and researcher whose work focuses on the culture of agriculture from a literary and historical perspective. She received her PhD in English from Princeton University in 2002, where her dissertation, Farming by the Book: British Georgic in Prose and Practice, 1697–1820, received the Agricultural History Society’s Gilbert C. Fite "best dissertation of the year" award. From 2003 to 2007 she worked as a writer and editor for, the online magazine of organic and sustainable agriculture published by the Rodale Institute; from 2008 to 2009 she was a fellow with the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University; and from 2009 to 2014 she was employed as a visiting researcher with the French National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA). She has also worked as an organic farmworker, organic inspector, and technical translator, and is a member of the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) 2014–2015 Organic Leadership group.


  • Fields of Learning: The Student Farm Movement in North America. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011. (co-edited with Sean Clark)
  • "The Politics of Organic Farming: Populists, Evangelicals and the Agriculture of the Middle." Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 11, 2 (2011): 38–47.
  • "La traçabilité, le terroir et la filière laitière: Le cas du Beacon Fell." In Alimentation sous contrôle: Tracer, auditer, conseiller, edited by Laure Bonnaud and Nathalie Joly. Dijon, France: Educagri/Éditions Quæ, 2012.
  • "Apocalyptic? No, Georgic! Literary Agroecology from Virgil to Silent Spring." In Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature, edited by Karen E. Waldron and Rob Friedman. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013.
  • "Organic/biodynamic farming" and "Organic production." In Encyclopedia of Food Issues, edited by Ken Albala. SAGE Publications, forthcoming.