CFP: Agrofood systems: from political ecology to political technology: RGS-IBG London 2016

Convenor: Imogen Bellwood-Howard

Sponsored by the Food Geographies working group and Rural Geography research group

Agrofood studies has evolved from a political economy to a networked perspective that addresses power in a relational fashion, allowing agency to emerge from constellations of social, economic, technological and natural components. Drawing on Actor Network Theory (ANT), this approach attempts to overcome separations between nature, culture and society. ANT emerged from Science and Technology Studies (STS), to which this session relates: it seeks to interrogate the role of technology in agrofood systems. Technologies are not merely material implements, but include interpretations of ways to use these and to perform agrofood systems without them. Issues of power and control are folded into physical objects such as seed, agrochemicals, vehicles and packaging. STS provides language that describes how such technologies are ‘re-scripted’ in diverse social contexts, performing multiple tasks for different actors. This vocabulary permits examination of the recursive co-construction of technology, society and nature. More generally, food systems comprise complex nexuses between humans, animals, plants and technology; rural-urban and development gradients, and production, processing, marketing and consumption.

The session invites papers that consider the technology-politics nexus in agrofood systems. Of particular interest are STS, ANT, technoscience, assemblage and Political Ecology perspectives, but submissions that consider these themes from any theoretical standpoint are welcome.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words to me, Imogen Bellwood-Howard, < ibellwoodh [at] gmail.com> by 10th February 2015.

I’ll inform presenters by 19th February 2016, when I’ll submit the session. With questions about the session, please contact me. More information about the RGS conference can be found at www.rgs.org.

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