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Progress in Human Geography

This third and final ‘Geographies of food’ review is based on an online blog conversation provoked by the first and second reviews in the series (Cook et al., 2006; 2008a). Authors of the work featured in these reviews – plus others whose work was not but should have been featured – were invited to respond to them, to talk about their own and other people’s work, and to enter into conversations about – and in the process review – other/new work within and beyond what could be called ‘food geographies’. These conversations were coded, edited, arranged, discussed and rearranged to produce a fragmentary, multi-authored text aiming to convey the rich and multi-stranded content, breadth and character of ongoing food studies research within and beyond geography.

Progress in Human Geography

Geographies of food: ‘Afters

2010 •

This chapter is about emerging cultural geographies of food. It is the result of a collaborative blog-to-paper process that led to an experimental, fragmented, dialogic text. Food is often researched precisely because it can help to vividly animate tensions between the small and intimate realms of embodiment, domesticity, and “ordinary affect” and the more sweeping terrain of global political economy, sustainability, and the vitality of “nature”. Food’s cultural geographies, like cultural geography more broadly, can be “best characterized by powerful senses of texture, creativity and public engagement”. The explosion of academic interest in food geographies is a mirror to the explosion of public interest in, and public discourse about, all kinds of food matters.

Abstract – This paper offers a brief overview of «the geography of food», a strand of research appeared in the last decade, merging into the so-called «critical food studies». It highlights how food is a topic which has been at the core of recent geographical debates in Italy and overseas. In the conclusion, the paper mentions Milan’s 2015 Expo and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme in order to emphasise that food is a crucial topic in contemporary politics, which demands geographers’ attention.

Cultural Geographies

Documentary film and ethical foodscapes : three takes on Caribbean sugar

This article demonstrates how certain stories, voices and values around agro-food networks can be made powerful by documentary film. Our central argument is that documentaries mobilize ethics by presenting a partial and affective account of their subject matter, which makes their audience feel differently about the social relations that underpin the production of food and acts as a focal point for media scrutiny and political interventions. We focus attention on three documentaries about Caribbean sugar to explore multiple and disparate ethical claims made about the farmers, workers and communities that embody Caribbean sugar industries. Through a comparison of the three documentaries, we chart how the production and distribution of these films have entailed quite different ethical narratives, encounters and interventions. A key finding is that the context in which films are received is just as important as the content they deliver. The paper concludes with a guarded endorsement for using documentary film to transform the unequal life conditions experienced in the global food system, stressing the need for empirically-grounded critique of the context of documentaries and suggesting the important role that geographers might play as interlocutors in their reception.

As ecologically and socially oriented food initiatives proliferate, the significance of these initiatives with respect to conventional food systems remains unclear. This paper addresses the transformative potential of alternative food networks (AFNs) by drawing on insights from recent research on food and embodiment, diverse food economies, and more-than-human food geographies. I identify several synergies between these literatures, including an emphasis on the pedagogic capacities of AFNs; the role of the researcher; and the analytical and political value of using assemblage and actor-network thinking to understand the far-reaching forces and power disparities confronting proponents of more ethical and sustainable food futures. Drake for their invaluable feedback. All shortcomings of the work however are my responsibility alone.

In times of austerity and global environmental change, recent crises related to food (in)securities and (un)sustainabilities urge us to reposition agri-food research. We argue that there is an opportunity to develop a more critical food scholarship by explicitly integrating political ecology approaches. For this purpose, the paper outlines major elements in the extensive political ecology scholarship to guide a critical review of some central trends in food research, as well as considering the contribution to date of food studies to political ecology perspectives. This exercise allows us to identify key avenues of convergence between food studies and political ecology frameworks that constitute three conceptual building blocks of a revised critical food scholarship: understanding place-based socio-natures; addressing the politics of scale and inequality; and co-producing knowledge and change. These coordinates are used to analyse two emergent potential spaces of possibility, embodied in the emergence of cities as food policy actors and the rise of the Food Sovereignty movement. We conclude by exploring how a critical food scholarship could inform an inclusive reframing to produce the grounds of possibility for a more socially and ecologically diverse food system.

Making material things remains central to human economies and subsistence, and to how earthly resources are transformed. Yet experiences and knowledges of those who make things – especially in the heart of the industrial complex – are notably absent in existing debates on shifting to a less resource-intensive future. We review research on materials and their making, presenting three research trajectories: making beyond binaries of craft and manufacturing; the social life of making; and acknowledging industrial cultures, workers and capacities amidst climate change. Success in transforming economy and society in anticipation of volatile futures depends on material acknowledgements and accomplishments.

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Progress in Human Geography

Drunk and disorderly: alcohol, urban life and public space

2006 •

Progress in Human Geography

Reckoning with ruins

2013 •

In: Corsi, A., Barbera, F., Dansero, E. and Peano, C. (Eds.) (2018) Alternative Food Networks: An Interdisciplinary Assessment, pp. 9–46. London: Palgrave.

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Alternative Food Networks

Agriculture and Human Values

On (not) knowing where your food comes from: Meat, mothering and ethical eating

Consumer risk reflections on organic and local food in Seattle, with reference to Newcastle upon Tyne

PhD THESIS (Scholten 2007) Consumer risk reflections on organic and local food in Seattle, with reference to Newcastle upon Tyne

2007 •

Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space

Who is left behind in global food systems? Local farmers failed by Colombia’s avocado boom

2019 •

2011 •

Journal of Consumer Culture

Feeding the Organic Child: Mothering through ethical consumption – Journal of Consumer Culture

Annals of The Association of American Geographers

Buying Local Food: Shopping Practices, Place, and Consumption Networks in Defining Food as “Local”

2010 •

Progress in Human Geography

Governing temptation: Changing behaviour in an age of libertarian paternalism

2011 •

Journal of Rural Studies

Putting place on the menu: The negotiation of locality in UK food tourism, from production to consumption

2010 •

Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space

Who is Left Behind in Local Food Systems? Local Farmers Failed by Colombia’s Avocado Boom

2019 •

The Sociological …

‘Doing food differently’: reconnecting biological and social relationships through care for food

2009 •

Geoforum

Mucky carrots and other proxies: Problematising the knowledge-fix for sustainable and ethical consumption

2008 •

Journal of Rural Studies

Understanding and (dis)trusting food assurance schemes: Consumer confidence and the ‘knowledge fix’

2008 •

Geoforum

Food porn, pro-anorexia and the viscerality of virtual affect: Exploring eating in cyberspace

2015 •

Journal of Rural Studies

Michael Carolan’s Embodied Food Politics

2014 •

Social & Cultural Geography

Cleaning up down South: supermarkets, ethical trade and African horticulture

2003 •

Wrapped and Stuffed: The Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2012

Wrapped and Stuffed: Provocative Misunderstandings of a Theme

2013 •

You are watching: ‘Following the Thing: Afters’, in Progress in Human Geography. London: Sage. (Collaborative paper with Ian Cook et al). Info created by GBee English Center selection and synthesis along with other related topics.