RGS-IBG AC17: Food and power: Decolonising food systems and food research

Convened by: Charlie Spring, University of Salford

Sponsored by: Food Geographies Working Group

2016’s conference saw a pair of sessions discussing reflexivity, political engagement and related issues in the doing of food research, aimed primarily at postgraduate and early career researchers. This year we’d like to extend this discussion to a session exploring the 2017 conference theme. It aims to draw out some of the dynamics of power, oppression and coloniality that many of us encounter in our research into food and the systems of its production, consumption and wastage. Specifically, we invite reflection into the research ‘gaze’ and the researcher’s role, and its potential to reproduce the very oppressions and omissions it may seek to reveal and even counter.This session will provide a safe and gentle space for such reflection.

The first session invites proposals for 5-8 min contributions (especially from PG/early career), to stimulate questioning of the methodologies we use to generate (and challenge) power/knowledge; these could include insights from fieldwork, approaches to analysis and writing, experiences of collaboration, participatory research, ethics and so on. A second session will offer a workshop-style engagement with the issues raised in the first session.

Topics might explore:
-‘alternative’ food systems/movements: how far do these succeed in redressing food system injustices (class, race, gender, nation, generation…);
– challenging binaries in representations of food systems/culture e.g North/South, un/developed, producer/consumer
– historical geographies of colonialism in relation to food production, markets, diets…
– the concept of ‘dis/connection’ with food and land;
-‘Scholar-activism’: how far is this possible given the colonial implications of disciplines and institutions?

Please send queries, or an outline of your proposed contribution to Charlotte Spring (c.spring [at] edu.salford.ac.uk) by 13th February

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