Category Archives: News

Call for papers: 2019 ISA Congress special session

Conference: 2018 International Sociological Association Congress | 15 – 21 July 2018

Location: Toronto, Canada

Title: Techno-politics in Agriculture and Food Under (and After?) Capitalism

Organizers: Katharine Legun, University of Otago, Madeleine Fairbairn, UC Santa-Cruz, Zenia Kish, Stanford 
Abstract: In food and farming, technology is both a site of capitalist expansion, and an arena of possible change. We invite papers that consider how technology is participating in our food and farming politics by, for example, altering agricultural knowledge production and governance, changing relationships among producers and consumers, or solidifying or challenging existing power relations. Technologies here is used expansively, including everything from biotechnology to mechanisation to algorithms to social networking. Papers should consider these topics within capitalism—either its reproduction or possibilities for its transgression. We hope that through this session we can elaborate on contemporary challenges to developing a socially just and environmentally sound food system, while also considering how new material infrastructures might be altering relations of production in meaningful ways.

The Organisers welcome abstracts to be submitted by September 30th, 2017 through the conference website. Please send inquiries to Katharine Legun.


Call for Papers – Constructions, representations, productions: Exploring historical and contemporary imaginations of land

22 – 24 March 2018
Venue: Collaborative Research Centre 1199, University of Leipzig
Convenors: Michaela Böhme & Sarah Ruth Sippel

Recent transformations in the global food system have drawn renewed attention to questions of land control and land use. Precipitated by the convergent crises of food, fuel, and finance since 2007/08, land is today at the centre of conflicting visions about the future of food and farming. New imaginations of land are emerging, accompanied by, and resulting in, shifting notions of land use and value. Three dynamics in particular illustrate the new imaginations of land: the large-scale acquisitions of farmland (often referred to as the global “land rush”) by governments and corporations driven by concerns over scarce and finite natural resources; the construction of land as a new asset class by financial actors looking for new sources of profit; and the growing use of digital farming methods such as Internet data and satellite images to increase farmland productivity and output. The realization and putting into practice of these imaginations are highly consequential for the novel ways in which land is being reconstructed, appropriated, and used. At the same time, new visions of how to utilize and engage with land do not emerge from within a vacuum; they are embedded in historical contexts.

Throughout history, perceptions and conceptualizations of land have affected land relationships and land use regimes. These histories have tangible meanings and implications for contemporary land relations. By bringing together contemporary and historical perspectives on the multiple and shifting imaginations of land, this workshop seeks to investigate the ruptures and continuities in the ways people have conceived of and interacted with land.

Two perspectives will be of special importance for this purpose. First, environmental history offers important tools for analyzing environmental narratives and their material impacts on nature and society. Often situated within colonial contexts, these histories trace how specific views about land were constructed and mobilized to promote colonial interests in the name of improvement, civilization, and conservation while disenfranchising local peoples and their local understandings of the environment. Many of these narratives are carried over into the present and continue to inform agricultural practices and land regimes in these regions. Second, perspectives from political ecology, combined with insights from science and technology studies (STS), are useful to understand how (contemporary) knowledge about nature and land is produced, applied, and circulated. Emphasizing the social construction of nature, these perspectives help to detect how divergent knowledge claims about land are produced at the intersection of politics, science, and new technologies.

By combining historical, contemporary, and emerging perspectives on land, the workshop seeks to explore how land is and has been produced, represented, appropriated, and used across different regional and historical contexts. To this end, the workshop addresses three interlinked perspectives on land imaginations:

Continuity and rupture: As a product of social practices, imaginations of land are shaped by evolving political and economic prerogatives, emerging technological possibilities, and a changing repertoire of social rules and norms. To unpack and disentangle continuity and ruptures in land imaginations, the workshop asks several questions: How have different actors across diverse regional and temporal contexts shaped notions around land use and land control? Which materials and processes did they employ in constructing such notions? And do we see a continuous development towards enclosure, commodification, and financialization, or are there ruptures allowing for alternative visions of land relations to be realized?

Power and durability: Imaginations of land are multifaceted as well as act as drivers. While some imaginations become enduring, hegemonic, and highly significant for the organization of agriculture and food in society, others remain local and marginalized. To shed light on the power and durability of notions about land use and control the workshop asks the following questions: How do imaginations of land acquire force and durability across different scales from the local to the global? What role do environmental narratives and myths play in this context? And which processes are required to stabilize, formalize, and institutionalize imaginations of land?

Contestations and negotiations: Imaginations of land are contested and riddled with tensions. How are we to make sense of simultaneous processes of land assetization, digitalizing of agriculture, and notions of food and land sovereignty? How are these conflicting imaginations of land negotiated across global and local contexts? And how are they shaping the way land is struggled over?

The workshop aims at bringing together researchers from various disciplines with a keen interest in land and human-nature relations, including historians, critical geographers, anthropologists, political ecologists, and STS scholars. We look for innovative and empirically grounded as well as conceptual contributions. Funds will be available to support participants presenting invited talks. You are invited to submit an abstract of 300 words by 31 October 2017 to

The workshop is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB1199): “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” at the University of Leipzig. It will take place in Leipzig from 22 to 24 March 2018.

Call for papers: 11th NZ Symposium of Gastronomy

The 11th New Zealand Symposium of Gastronomy
Christchurch, November 25 & 26, 2017
ARA Institute of Canterbury
Symposium Theme: Everyday

Food and food-related activities are important, yet often taken-for-granted parts of our everyday lives. The biological imperative that makes eating a necessity usually makes us look at it as a mundane practice. Cooking, too, especially in its ‘domestic’ context, may seem insignificant and uninteresting. Shopping for food, chopping and washing ingredients, and cleaning up after a meal rarely seem poetic or even important. However, the very everydayness of these activities can evolve into meaningful cultural and social symbols, depicting individuals’ or societies’ relationship with different issues ranging from nutrition, health and hygiene to gender norms, national identity and memory. By looking at the everydayness of food-related activities, we come to understand how societies feed themselves, and therefore, we get a better understanding of their cultures, their past, present, and future. By observing and studying everyday food-related practices, habits, and values that are constantly being passed in ordinary kitchens from one generation to the next, we can open a window to also understanding non-everyday foodways such as those practiced in sacred rituals, mourning, and celebrations.

Organisers welcome scholars, cooks, armchair gastronomers and food enthusiasts to present their research, discuss their viewpoints, and be a part of the 11th New Zealand Symposium of Gastronomy with the main theme of ‘Everyday’, to be held in Christchurch (25 & 26 November, 2017).

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Everyday cooking/eating practices
• Food and identity (gendered, national, etc.) in everyday life
• Everyday food choices
• Historical, cultural and economic aspects of everyday food
• Fast food and slow food
• Routinization of everyday life
• Everyday food and ethics
• Everyday food and memory
• Everydayness and Non-everydayness
• The production, cultivation and distribution of everyday food
• Politics of everyday food

Please send your abstract (max 150 words) and a short biographical statement (max 100 words) before Monday, July 31, 2017 to either Sam or Amir (or both).

They will also be happy to answer any questions regarding the symposium.

Notification of acceptance will be sent out by Thursday, August 31st, 2017.

CALL FOR PAPERS – SPECIAL ISSUE: Eating in the anthropocene: Learning the practice and ethics of food politics (Journal of Policy Futures in Education)

In a food-era that is in critical need of change, there is transformative potential in the way we construct knowledge around, and perform food practices. The politics of these potentials are embedded in structural economic systems, which serve to part-regulate diverse food ethics and practices. This call for papers is interested in bringing class-based political economy accounts into conversation with approaches that focus on ethics, pedagogy and new forms of attunement. This special issue aims to dismantle oversimplified thinking that constructs alternative vs. conventional food, or, ethical vs. unethical food, amounting to false binaries of good/bad food and consequently good/bad producers or consumers of such foods. An interdisciplinary approach helps us to further interrogate the change potential of these relations in both lay and academic thought and practice. The link between ethical systems, education, and practice is underexplored in food scholarship, and pedagogy of food ethics is a potential location of new political imaginations to inform and re-energise our thinking and practice of food. Sites of change therefore could be where: food ethics is learned, taught and practiced differently; food practice is learned and taught with a different ethics; food pedagogy is practiced and ethicised differently, and the processes in between.

This special issue calls into question: How is learning about/of food relevant to transformative ethical practice? How might we approach multifaceted food issues and political projects (e.g., animal ethics and environmental ethics, to name a couple) through different ways of learning and knowing about food, and different food practices? How might we understand the world in ways that can engender transgression or difference as a counterpolitics to particular food behaviours in the production, distribution and consumption of food? Are there practices of teaching that catalyse a different ethics and/or practice of food? In what ways can new food knowledge transform societies, subjectivities, and ways of organizing?

The journal seeks articles that address the challenges, opportunities, and experiences of learning, teaching, and/or practicing ethics of food politics. Theorised, empirical studies that illustrate embodied, practice-based ethics are welcomed.

Examples of possible topics include:

  • Pedagogy (formal or informal) in food practice and ethics
  • Interrogations of the concept of ethical universals in food (including practice, teaching, learning)
  • Philosophical perspectives that tease out contradictory identity politics
  • Communicating food ethics
  • Situating knowledges of food ethics through practice
  • Ethical teaching of food politics
  • Co-learning/ peer-to-peer learning of food ethics and practice
  • Translation of food practice and ethics beyond self



Deadline for submission of abstracts: July 1st, 2017. 

Please email your abstracts to the Guest Editor, Emma Sharp 

Invitations to submit full paper made by: August 30th, 2017. 

Deadline for submission of full paper:  November 15th, 2017 following the guidelines at:

Full papers should be submitted online at:

Final inclusion of the paper is dependent upon double-blind peer review.


250 to 300 word abstracts. Paper length should be maximum 5,000 words (including references).


‘Policy Futures in Education’ is a peer-reviewed international journal that is futures-oriented and committed to promoting debate in education among university academics, practising policy analysts in government and local government, national and international policy advisors, politicians, members of policy think-tanks and world policy agencies such as the World Bank, OECD and the European Union.

Agrifood XXIV:Call for Abstracts

Agrifood XXIV is now calling for abstracts!

Organisers have collected 11 session themes that participants can choose from, but as with tradition, everyone is welcome to submit papers unrelated to the available themes.

Details of the sessions can be found here as a downloadable PDF file for offline reading.

Please submit your abstracts by June 15th, 2017. An online submission form can be found at the bottom of the call-for-abstract page. Organisers strongly recommend that everyone uses this form to submit their abstract for ease of data management.