Call for sessions – RGS-IBG 2020 AC

The Food Geographies Working Group (FGWG) invites proposals for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2020 being held in London from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 September 2020

 Professor Uma Kothari  will chair the conference with the theme of

“Borders, borderlands and bordering”

Creating, marking, enforcing, transgressing, blurring and dismantling borders of all kinds are ceaseless, pervasive processes across time and space. A glance at a political map of the world reveals geography’s historical complicity in reinforcing a sense of a bordered world within which discrete cultures, ‘natural’ histories and landscapes are contained, and made symbolically manifest.

A critical exploration of borders and bordering practices is timely and salient. From the building of a new Mexico-US wall, the collection of bio-metric data in India, the establishment and dismantling of economic trade barriers and the creation of national parks that delimit human and non-human mobility, borders continue to order, classify and categorise ideas, identities, people, places, things, landscapes and the non-human. Borders are constituted in multiple ways: geological stratifications, different ecosystems, landscapes, climate change and epochs invoke physical and temporal demarcations. And, borders are multi-scalar, from the granular and the body to planetary boundaries.

You can find out more at

In keeping with this theme, the Food Geographies Working Group would particularly welcome sessions exploring:

  • Brexit and food, particularly focusing on the implications of new international barriers to trade and movement of labour
  • Strategies to promote healthy and sustainable food within specific boundaries – such as neighbourhoods, cities or regions.
  • New re-localised community food purchasing and food redistribution and waste reduction models
  • Food governance and policy at a local/regional/national level
  • Finding space for Urban Agriculture within Cities, particularly around upscaling practices
  • Grassroot practices promoting food knowledge and food security
  • Boundaries between conventional and organic agriculture
  • Methodologies addressing borders and boundaries in food geographies
  • Drawing borders to define grassroots food communities and mobilise them into action
  • Food Knowledge borders: Whose voice matters in working towards food policy and programme change?
  • Methodological borders:  Are there borders in the role of the academic in the food movement?
  • Borders of food classification – such as meat/plant boundaries.
  • Urban periphery – the interface between the city and the countryside
  • De-colonising food geographies
  • Sessions from ECRs or PhD students exploring areas within the food geographies field

We are also open to sessions that engage food geographies more broadly and the conference theme. A summary of the group’s interests can be found here:

Sessions may take the form of presented papers, panels, practitioner forums, discussions or workshops. Innovative sessions and formats are encouraged. Session organisers can take inspiration from this guidance developed by the conference organisers.

Proposals should include:

  • Title of session;
  • Name of Co-sponsoring groups, if applicable
  • Name and Contact Details for Session Convenors
  • Abstract, outlining scope of session  – 200 words max.
  • Number of session timeslots that are sought
  • Indication of preferred organisation of session, e.g. 4 x 20min presentation, plus 20min discussion or 5 x 15min presentation, with 5min question for each, we welcome creative formats. Sessions last 1 hour 40 mins.
  • Indication of any non-standard arrangements

Conference organisers are keen to significantly improve virtual and distance participation in the conference, as part of our wider commitment to making the conference as sustainable as possible. We’re keen to hear from you about what you’ve seen work well at other conferences as we explore potential options, so please contact us with suggestions. If you are planning a session and would like to include virtual or remote elements, please get in touch to discuss.

The deadline for proposals for FGWG sponsored sessions is Monday 6th January 2020.

Proposals for, or questions about, FGWG sponsored sessions should be sent to Mark Stein, Food Geographies Working Group Conference Officer

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The FGWG undergraduate dissertation prize goes to..

We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s FGWG dissertation prize is Maria Jaramillo Yanez from King’s College London with her excellent dissertation entitled “Agroecological engagement through markets and institutions: a smallholder perspective of an agri-food countermovement”.

Eliza Hallard from the University of Leeds was awarded second place with her dissertation on “The contributions and constraints of community food growing initiatives for realising food justice”.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for all the amazing submissions!

Feeding Regions: Turning Plans into Action

Manchester Metropolitan University and Oldham Council have been working together to help support the sustainable food agenda in Greater Manchester. We would like to invite you to our event ‘Feeding Regions: Turning plans into action’ to showcase what has already been achieved and to ask you for further input to help shape the next steps.

The event will take place at the People’s History Museum on Wednesday 23rd October and we will be joined by our international partners who will share their own approaches to improving regional policy and supporting more sustainable food systems.

The day will include presentations covering issues including Greater Manchester’s commitments through the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and recent developments in food policy at a national and EU level. We invite delegates to work with us to help turn plans into action through a series of parallel interactive workshops that will focus on key areas including:

  • Getting Food Growing: developing large scale projects to transform urban growing
  • Making the Business Case: supporting food businesses to adopt more sustainable practices
  • Working Together: collaborative strategies to make food better in our city-regions

We really value your input and the event is free to attend, supported by the Food Chains 4EU project and the Interreg Europe Programme.

Please register to attend the event here: 

Feel free to share among your networks.

Lessons for Working Collaboratively — How to make a just food future: alternative foodways for a changing world

Agatha Herman reflects on the closing workshop of the How to make a just food future: alternative foodways for a changing world conference sponsored by University of Sheffield Sustainable Food Futures, The RGS-IBG Food Geographies Working Group, and The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. 

In this final workshop of the How to Make a Just Food Future conference, participants (appropriately) worked collaboratively to identify common themes in their experiences of collaborative working. This started through paired discussions around past frustrations, successes, challenges and pleasures, which resulted in key statements around these being written on post-its. These were stuck to [click on link to read more]

Lessons for Working Collaboratively — HOW TO MAKE A JUST FOOD FUTURE: alternative foodways for a changing world

How to Make a Just Food Future: Alternative Foodways for a Changing World

University of Sheffield, UK, 8th-10th July 2019
Sponsored by the RGS-IBG Food Geographies Working Group (FGWG), the University of Sheffield and the University of Sheffield Research Institute for Sustainable Food Futures (SheFF).

Conference website:

Over 2.5 days, the conference will include practitioner- academic- artist -governance panels, paper sessions, field visits, creative responses and more. We are very pleased to announce Professor Julian Agyeman, from Tufts University as our keynote speaker, plus interventions from Gary Stott (Incredible Edible) and Barbara Benish, internationally recognised artist, environmental campaigner and farmer. ‘How to Make a Just Food Future’ draws on FGWG members’ Participatory and Action Research connections with food partnerships local to Sheffield and from across the UK, as well as with UK wide bodies addressing current food issues, from food surplus redistribution to post-Brexit UK food production and much more. Drawing on ideas of social justice, care, political ecologies, translocality, intersectionality and the role of non-humans to offer timely and innovative interventions, it will develop spaces for collaboration and conversation in which to imagine socially just food futures and map out the personal and collective journeys that are needed to reach them.

Continue reading “How to Make a Just Food Future: Alternative Foodways for a Changing World”

Local food systems and local economic democracy: a framework for delivering food security? (PhD studentship)

On your attention an opportunity to do a PhD with Dr Mags Adams, Prof Mark Dooris and Dr Ursula Pool based in the Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change, at UCLan in Preston, UK. We have a fully funded DTA studentship (, funded through the DTA3/COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowship programme ( The research will take place in Preston, UK and in Patna, India where Prof Pushpendra will support the fieldwork:   

Continue reading “Local food systems and local economic democracy: a framework for delivering food security? (PhD studentship)”

CFP—You Are What You Post: Food and Instagram

Call for papers — You Are What You Post: Food and Instagram

Emily Contois

In the beginning, critics pegged Instagram as the site for polaroid-shaped pictures of brunch and babies. Its presumedwhiteness, feminization, and superficial consumerism have been slow to draw sustained scholarly attention compared with Facebook and Twitter, despite the fact that by mid-2018, the image-based social media platform had topped one billion users worldwide. Now an extensive and heterogeneous visual ecosystem, Instagram’s unique relations between food and media—and the broader cultural significance of these dynamics—warrant critical scrutiny.

How does the “social photography” (Manovich 2014) of Instagram mediate ideas about food, eating, health, and nutrition? How does food intersect with diverse performances of identity, including celebrity, in the digital vernacular of posting photos with significant frequency? Considering more than 70% of American businesses are estimated to engage with the platform, how does the visual economy of Instagram participate in and reshape food and restaurant brand development and marketing? How does Instagram’s rapid…

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Workshop: Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition, UKRI GCRF Collective Programme

08 March 2019, Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Rd, Bloomsbury, London NW1 2BE  

This workshop is the first part of an interdisciplinary programme which will support the development of international research partnerships focussed on the intersection of culture, history, and society with all stages of the food systems chain, from production through to consumption and policy, in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

The Programme aims to contribute to the development of the GCRF Food Systems challenge portfolio as a part of the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme. It is designed to be a part of a challenge-led, internationally collaborative and interdisciplinary programme delivered by UK Research and Innovation and steered by the GCRF Challenge Leaders. Whilst the AHRC is leading on this programme, it is intended to support cross-disciplinary working and applicants from all relevant disciplines are encouraged to participate.

Continue reading “Workshop: Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition, UKRI GCRF Collective Programme”

From disruptive to emancipatory politics: transforming food governance

Session convenors:
Ana Moragues Faus, Cardiff University (
Terry Marsden, Cardiff University (

Current political events – from raise of nationalistic and populist movements to the growth of support for post-colonial, feminist and anti-austerity perspectives – present a rupture with managerial and the so-called post-democratic politics [1–3]. The food system embodies this highly politicised arena which, to date, still results in increasing levels of food poverty and health inequality, environmental degradation and increasing concentration of power [4–6]. For example in Europe, policy synergies between a private-interest governance regime and a corporatist EU state-based regulatory regime coexist with an ever-growing number of alternative food networks and food justice movements [7–9]. These fragmented governance landscapes require deeper examination to understand how current disruptive events – in the form of multiple crises, Brexit, social mobilisations or creative destruction events – can be harnessed into more emancipatory politics.

Continue reading “From disruptive to emancipatory politics: transforming food governance”

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