AAG 2012 CFP – Navigating the Geographies of Food: People, Place, Culture, and Power

Session Organizers: Gina Thornburg (Kansas State University) and Rachelle Beveridge (University of Victoria)

We seek papers using a diversity of perspectives on agrifood geographies that focus, in particular, on the people, places, cultures, and power relations in emerging hybrid networks of food production, processing, distribution, retailing, and consumption. The notion of hybridity has been used to help conceptualize the “blurring between conventional and alternative food supply systems” (Ilbery & Maye, 2005), since the “binary opposites” of so-called conventional and alternative food activities “are not as simple and clear-cut” as much discourse generated by actors in alternative agrifood movements might indicate. The interconnections arising from both alternative and conventional food activities between and within wild, rural, suburban, and urban areas have a wide range of effects across communities in developed and developing nations. Scholars increasingly turn their attention to examining, measuring, and understanding these effects.

The cultural and political ecology of human-environment relations comes to life through the subject of food. Critical questions concerning the burgeoning alternative (or hybrid) food economy may encompass the following: Who is included and who is excluded in new alternative or hybrid activities? What actors are attracted and involved in these activities? How durable are new approaches to food production, provisioning, and distribution? What cultures or traditions are being created, attenuated, revived, and/or strengthened through alternative or hybrid agrifood practices and activities? What is the role of the state and/or supranational regulatory bodies in these activities?

These sessions invite an array of methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of food and food systems at a variety of scales. Accordingly, they will examine interconnections between various actors, places, institutions, and networks related to food production, processing, distribution, preparation, retailing and marketing, and consumption, and their social, cultural, political, and environmental outcomes.

Topics might include alternative agrifood movements and institutions; shortened agrifood-supply chains; food security and sovereignty; local, regional, and global food systems; defensive localism; food availability and accessibility; food and inequality; food trade; food and public health; foodsheds; state policy; supranational and private regulatory bodies; food aid; globalization; food and development; subsistence; food identities and cultures; feminism and food; decommodification of food; alternative distribution systems; farm-to-institution; community-supported agriculture; marketing local foods; food safety and quality; traditional foods; the role of industry and retailers; farmers markets; school food; community gardens; squatters’ gardens; and more.

Instructions: If you are interested in participating in these sessions please register for the 2012 meeting and submit an abstract.  Send your abstract and your Program Identification Number (PIN) to either Gina Thornburg (gkt@ksu.edu) or Rachelle Beveridge (rachelle.beveridge@uvic.ca) by Sunday, September 18.

Thank you!


Gina K. Thornburg
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Geography
Kansas State University

Co-Student Director
Rural Geography Specialty Group, AAG
2008-2011

Copy Editor
Journal of Rural and Community Development
Rural Development Institute, Brandon University
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
2007-2010

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About ericcompas

Eric Compas, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Geography and Geology Department.
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