How to Make a Just Food Future: Hopeful collaborations transforming local food partnerships

Session Convenors
Megan Blake, University of Sheffield m.blake@SHEFFIELD.AC.UK
Agatha Herman, Cardiff University
Rebecca Sandover, University of Exeter

Two RGS-IBG 2019 sessions will follow up themes explored in FGWG’s University of Sheffield conference that reflect on a range of issues related to ‘How to Make a Just Food Future’.  The linked sessions will bring together academics, practitioners and policymakers to reflect on the issues facing food systems, explore the potential for change to emerge from local, regional and trans-local food policy initiatives, investigate the role of the researcher in supporting and analysing these processes and setting out the limitations of these approaches.  A more integrative approach to food policy thinking is being progressed, it is argued, by city, regional and trans-local initiatives that enable policymakers to work with civil society actors on common issues (Betsill & Bulkeley 2007, Morgan & Sonnino 2010, Moragues-Faus & Carroll 2018). Globalised and trans-local networks of civil society food actors, such as Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, who work for more just and sustainable policies, are emerging as coherent voices for a reconfigured food system (Sonnino et al. 2016, Moragues-Faus & Morgan 2015).

Continue reading “How to Make a Just Food Future: Hopeful collaborations transforming local food partnerships”

Food geographies ‘in’, ‘of’ and ‘for’ the Anthropocene

Prof Damian Maye (University of Gloucestershire);
Dr Ben Coles (University of Leicester);
Prof David Evans (University of Bristol)

The “Anthropocene” is an important and much-debated concept in physical and environmental geography that has also attracted considerable attention in human geography in recent years (Castree, 2017). At its core, it reflects not just how humans impact on the non-human world but also how human activities fold into earth-surface systems (ibid). Given this burgeoning disciplinary interest in the Anthropocene, there is a surprising lack of critical engagement with the concept in food and rural geography, despite some exceptions (e.g. Beacham, 2018; Sexton, 2018). This is surprising for a number of reasons, not least given the ways in which food and farming are currently implicated in changes to the earth’s biophysical and chemical processes – changes that will likely have significant impacts on not just the availability of food, but on how the relationships between agriculture, food practices and food can be understood. Conceptual risks of conflating the Anthropocene with climate change notwithstanding, agri-food production and consumption is a significant contributor to climate change.

Continue reading “Food geographies ‘in’, ‘of’ and ‘for’ the Anthropocene”

Unsettling “ethical food” through mobility and migration

Andrew Wilbur, Seoul National University.

For the last two decades, ethical approaches to production, distribution and consumption of food have commanded a significant amount of attention for scholars across several disciplines. Much of this academic labour consists of defining, critiquing and refining the notion of what constitutes the ‘ethical’. This session seeks to draw on that scholarship while exploring how ethical concepts are complicated by spatial factors, particularly mobility and migration. How, in other words, does physical relocation affect otherwise fixed or stable notions of the ethical? What aspects of food ethics become, mutable, redefined or invigorated via relocation? This would apply to the production, distribution and consumption of food, and could involve such topics as:

  • Shifting ethical standards between city and countryside
  • Culturally contingent ethical standards vs. a Eurocentric “universalism”
  • Immigrants’ experiences of negotiating ethical standards in foreign countries
  • Immigrant-based food projects that seek to establish ethical practices
  • Gentrification and the transience of food ethics
  • Forced migration and disrupted ethical practices
  • Mobile populations and changing food taboos
  • Research strategies for working with temporary and/or transient populations

Inquiries should be addressed to the session-organiser.
Deadline for submitting abstracts is Tuesday 12th February 2019.

CfP NGM 2018: Acting local, catalyzing global?

This session seeks to explore the rise, the governance and the role of place-based bottom-up initiatives as potential agents of change in the transition to a more sustainable and just food system. In recent decades, sustainability has been increasingly incorporated into political agendas at a variety of spatial scales (Gibbs andLintz, 2016). At the urban and regional level, these agendas have largely taken two forms: on the one hand, top-down, consensus-based policy-making, defined by attempts to ‘green’ economic growth and development ( Jonas and While, 2007;Rosol et al., 2017), which are increasingly criticized as post-political, elite driven and unimaginative (Swyngedouw, 2007; Kaika, 2017; Leitheiser andFollman, forthcoming). On the other hand, community groups and citizens have taken a more active role in sustainability-related projects often with a focus on local level change and impact (Boonstra, 2015; Meijer, 2018; Ulug and Trell, forthcoming).

Continue reading “CfP NGM 2018: Acting local, catalyzing global?”

Food Geographies session proposals for RGS-IBG AC 2019

The Food Geographies Working Group (FGWG) invites session proposals for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019 being held in London from Wednesday 28th August to Friday 30th August 2019. Professor Hester Parr will chair the conference with the theme of‘geographies of trouble / geographies of hope’.  The deadline for session proposals is Monday 7th January 2019. Proposals for, or  questions about, FGWG sponsored sessions should be sent to Dr Michael Hardman via m.hardman [at]

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Bagels and bytes: Geographies of food in our precarious present

American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting
Washington DC, April 10-14, 2019

Sponsored by the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, and Political Geography Specialty Group

The uproar over Cynthia Nixon’s bagel order in September 2018 reminds us of the contentious and politicized nature of eating, where ideas of food are increasingly mediated by digital and fragmented representations. This CFP delves into uneasiness over food in our precarious present. Bagels evoke clashes over culture, cuisine and place. Bagels are also symbolic of how we can never tell the whole story of food: something is always missing. We can only ‘follow the thing’ so far and in so many directions. As geographers, we face a unique challenge to choose the most interesting aspects of a commodity, to delve into the most significant aspects of everyday practice. What stories about food do we need to tell to understand our precarious present? And how should we promote more just relations through food? Continue reading “Bagels and bytes: Geographies of food in our precarious present”

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