Tag Archives: News

“The Largest Protest in Human History”: Understanding the Plight of Indian Farmers

The Melbourne South Asia Studies Group is presenting a webinar titled “The Largest Protest in Human History”: Understanding the Plight of Indian Farmers by Mandakini Gahlot, Dr. Ritu Singh and Dr. Jagjit Plahe on 11 March 2021 at 4pm AEDT (UTC+11).

The ongoing farmers protest — since November 2020 and involving approx. 1.2 million farmers — has been described as “the single largest protest in human history.” Tens of thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting against three new agricultural liberalisation laws introduced by the Central Government in September 2020. Since November, farmers have braved freezing conditions in the outskirts of the capital New Delhi vowing not to leave until the new laws are repealed. Negotiations with the Central Government have repeatedly broken down. In response to the protests, the Government has shut down the internet in some areas and security forces have cracked down on protesters and blocked demonstrations. Those supporting the protest are being labelled as “anti-nationalist.”

Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy employing over 50 percent of the working population. Farmers from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have arrived in the capital in tractors, in trucks and on foot. These farmers have established makeshift camps on the outskirts of the city and have vowed not to leave until the Acts are repealed.

In this special webinar, two analysts who are reporting on the farmer protests, Mandakini Gahlot and Dr Ritu Singh in India together with Dr. Jagjit Plahe (Monash) working on agri-food systems will discuss

(a) Why are farmers protesting in the capital New Delhi?

(b) How has the Government reacted to these protests?

(c) What are some of the (un)intended consequences of these protests?

Mandakini Gahlot is a journalist based in New Delhi. She reports across platforms in print and television. She is the India Correspondent for France 24. Mandakini covers news and features from across India and neighbouring South Asian countries, particularly on issues related to health, development, gender and politics.

Dr. Ritu Singh, is presently working on Livelihood Insecurities with Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan. She completed her Masters in Economics from Ajmer University and her doctorate from Vardhamaan Mahaveer Open University. Previously Ritu worked for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi for three years (2011-2014) on research projects related to green growth and sustainable development.

Dr. Jagjit Plahe is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management (Monash Business School). Her main research focus is on the management and organisation of agri-food systems, international trade policy and food security, global agri-food production networks and the management and organisation of equitable and sustainable food systems particularly in India. More recently, she has focussed on postcolonial analysis of small farmers’ movements in the Asia Pacific.

This webinar will be moderated by Dr Surjeet Dhanji.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:
Password: 900987

Or join by phone:
Dial (Australia): +61 3 7018 2005 or +61 2 8015 6011
Dial (US): +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923
Dial (Hong Kong, China): +852 5808 6088 or +852 5803 3730
Dial (UK): +44 203 481 5240 or +44 131 460 1196
Meeting ID: 875 8030 5382
International numbers available: https://unimelb.zoom.us/u/keEbwvx0DX

Or join from a H.323/SIP room system:
Dial: 87580305382@zoom.aarnet.edu.au
or SIP:87580305382@zmau.us
Meeting ID: 87580305382
Password: 900987

AFRN 2021 Symposium: Registration Open

‘New World, New Food?‘ AFRN 2021 Symposium
Tuesday, 9 February 2021, 10am – 12.30pm (AEDT)
Wednesday, 10 February 2021, 12.30pm – 4.00pm (AEDT)
Detailed program can be found on the registration page.

Online registration for the ‘New World, New Food?‘ AFRN 2021 Symposium is now open.

Please register through Eventbrite and spread the word! Registration is required as participants will be emailed the Zoom Meeting ID and password after registration closes on Monday 8 February. 

AFRN Symposium (9-10 Feb 2021) Call for Abstracts

Online Symposium Key Dates
Call for Abstracts Opens: 2 November 2020
Calls for Abstracts closes: 11 December 2020
Successful Abstract Announced: 18 December 2020

Registration Opens: 12 January 2021
Registration Closes: 8 February 2021

About the Symposium
The global coronavirus pandemic has prompted the inevitable deepening of interdisciplinary questions about the future trajectory of agri-food system transformations. Amidst the uncertainty, a central requirement for creating new possibilities remains – to nurture the work of Early Career Researchers (ERC’s) studying agri-food issues, the researchers and practitioners who will be driving this new food future. This online symposium reflects the longstanding goal of the AFRN to provide opportunities to deepen critical dialogue on a broad scope of agri-food issues across Australia and New Zealand, keeping us connected and (re)connected.

We invite submissions from RHD, postdoc and other ERC’s whose work broadly contributes to progressing the AFRN’s interest in multidisciplinary social, environmental and political-economic challenges affecting the future of food. This is an opportunity for ERC scholars to engage across the Tasman in discussion on their current research. Just one question guides the focus of the seminar:

What agri-food problem do you seek to solve, and in
doing so, how will agri-food futures be different?

Abstracts are to be 200-250 words in length, accompanied by the research title, researchers’ name and contact details. Researchers will be requested to identify the presentation format that they propose to use in the seminar, one of the following:

Traditional Presentation:
15 minute Zoom presentation followed by a 5 minute audience Q&A.

Podcast Dialogue:
Two ECR’s are matched based on research focus or findings. Both present their individual research (10 minutes), then engage in a trans-Tasman dialogue about each others work

A rapid-fire, visually heavy presentation with 20 slides for 20 seconds each plus 3 minutes of Q&A

Abstracts or questions are to be directed to Rob Arcidiacono

PhD opportunity, Lincoln University

If you’re considering embarking on a PhD next year, there’s a great research project available for a student who wants to be part of an intergenerational shift towards sustainable food production.

The school is called Food Transitions 2050 and draws on the expertise of Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury, AgResearch, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Plant & Food Research. Fifteen PhD research projects lie at the heart of the initiative.

This is a great opportunity to make a difference to future food sustainability and connect with industry at the same time.

About the project
Alternative land-uses and diverse landscapes may help address some of the environmental, social and economic pressures affecting the primary sector in New Zealand. Alongside these existing pressures, climate change is creating an uncertain future for how we use our land. This study will assess how future land use and management practices will fare in the face of climate change, using an economic approach to support decision-making under uncertainty (portfolio analysis).

The project is part of a new joint postgraduate school that draws on the expertise of scientists here at Lincoln, as well as the University of Canterbury, AgResearch, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Plant & Food Research. The primary supervisor is Associate Professor Anita Wreford, together with Dr. Edmar Teixeira at Plant and Food Research.

The ideal candidate will be highly motivated and interested in making a difference to the future of land-use in New Zealand. They will ideally have a background in either economics or finance, with an interest or experience in interdisciplinary research for the assessment of agroecosystem responses to climate. Candidates from other backgrounds with strong analytical skills will also be considered.

Fourteen other current PhD projects will be carried out in conjunction with the initiative.

Applying for a PhD project

If you would like to apply for the project, please email project supervisor Associate Professor Anita Wreford with a short CV and statement that includes:

Your reasons for pursuing this research project
Information about your academic achievements
Evidence of your previous experience in the field
Details on your career aspirations

Applications close on 12 December 2020 and you will need to be ready to start your research in March 2021.

If you are successful, you will receive an award of $28,000 and your course fees will also be covered.

New deadline for abstracts: Food Futures in the Anthropocene

Organisers of Food Futures in the Anthropocene hope that the Conference will be proceeding at the University of Tasmania, Launceston, from 8-10 November 2020. 

The Call for Papers remains open and the new deadline for Abstract submission is now extended from May 1 to July 15.

Organisers encourage abstract submissions and assure full understand if authors subsequently need to cancel due to further lockdowns, lack of funding, ongoing uncertainty or any other reason.

For regular updates, please visit the conference website.

Call for papers: Frontiers in Communication

Toby Miller is coediting a special edition of Frontiers in Communication with the theme FOOD, MEDIA AND THE ENVIRONMENT  – cultures, practices, policies.

The handling of different environmental risks has become an evermore present feature in contemporary society and challenges caused by climate change are among the most pressing issues. Climate change is caused by a number of factors, linked to political decisions as well as and human behaviour and choices we make in our everyday life. The food issue, and then especially the big negative impact of contemporary meat production and consumption, has frequently been pointed out as a major concern as well as a solution to the crisis. We are interested in the mediated communication of food and its implications. Addressing the issue of food and media also put a particular headlight towards the role of the citizens who in public discourse to an increasing degree is pointed out as the responsible party. This tendency can be seen in environmental discourse in general but is particularly clear in the field of food consumption. 

The issue of food is related to fundamental values and is an important part of several of the UN goals for a sustainable development: e.g. no hunger, good health and well-being, responsible production and consumption and climate action. We are interested in how food issues are communicated and framed in relation to sustainable development and then mainly climate change. We welcome contributions addressing different parts of the communication chain and studies on media production and content as well as studies of audiences/consumers and the way they engage (or not) with these issues. We also wish to address the relationship between, politics, media, science and the public.

The field of environmental communication has grown at about the same pace as the problem of climate change has been acknowledged globally as a major problem of our time and we now reach to science and environmental communication scholars to contribute with different perspectives on the issue of food and media.

Toby welcomes contributions in the wide range of problems concerning food discourses with a particular focus the on mediated environmental communication. 

Updates on conferences previously posted

G’day and we hope that everyone has been staying safe during these challenging and dynamic times.

Three conferences have previously been shared on our website and we have updates on some of them.

Eurosoil 2020 (Geneva, Switzerland, August 2020) – To be advised if proceeding

IRSA 2020 Congress (Carins, Australia, July 2020) – Postponed to July 2021 in the same location

Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial (Tasmania, Australia, November 2020) – Still proceeding but check for updates via their event page

This post will be pinned to the top of the blog roll and will be updated when new information is received.

Stay safe!

Call for panels, papers and workshops | Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial | 8-10 November 2020

Food Futures in the Anthropocene: Place-Based, Just, Convivial

8-10 November 2020

University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia


Abstract submission deadline: 31 April 2020

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Joshna Maharaj, Toronto (Chef, TEDx Speaker & Author of Take Back the Tray)
  • Prof. Sharon Friel, ANU, Canberra (Editor of Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems)
  • Dr. S. Margot Finn, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Author of Discriminating Taste)
  • Dr. Marvin Montefrio, Yale-NUS College, Singapore (Author of ‘Cosmopolitan translations of food and the case of alternative eating in the Philippines’)

Emerging discourses of the Anthropocene and its critics constitute attempts to grasp a new understanding of reality: the deep and reciprocal enmeshment of daily human practices with Earth’s vital life-support systems. For scholars of food studies and systems, the planetary impacts of high-input monocultures, land clearing, food miles, labour exploitation, retail monopolies, unethical advertising, obesogenic environments and food waste are only some of the issues to be overcome to resolve the profound economic, ecological, social and cultural crises in the twenty-first century and realise a flourishing co-existence for ourselves and the species with whom we live and eat. Employing inter- and transdisciplinary methodologies and building on ‘circular’, ‘just’, ‘slow’, ‘local’, ‘convivial’, ‘healthy’ and ‘sustainable’ food concepts, the emerging discipline of food system studies is uniquely positioned to answer questions about the nature and meanings of such enmeshments as well as offering imaginative yet feasible solutions. How do we make sense of the food futures to come? What new ways of eating well and convivially are there? How can lessons from the past help us navigate increasingly uncertain food futures? What food governance arrangements—politics, policies, regulations—will overcome unconscionable inequalities and deliver food justice? How is and should food be represented in the media? These are just a few of the questions this conference will grapple with.

Situated in Northern Tasmania’s iconic, Kanamaluka/Tamar Valley and the historic City of Launceston, Food Futures in the Anthropocene invites contributions that critically reflect on the nature of food systems that are socially, economically, politically, culturally and technically attuned to place, foster food security and justice, and serve to unite rather than divide communities through convivial food experiences.

We are especially interested in papers that address the following themes:

  • Histories of food and place
  • Food media/mediating food
  • Policy, politics and political economy of food
  • Food regulation and governance
  • Conventional and alternative food cultures
  • Healthy and sustainable food systems
  • Food security, justice and sovereignty
  • Food literacy and education
  • Indigenous food systems
  • Convivial food systems

Postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to participate.

Submit your abstract for papers, panels, workshops and other presentations via the conference website by 31 April 2020.

Notification of acceptance is expected by early June 2020.

All enquiries can be directed via email to: FoodFuturesAnthropocene@utas.edu.au

Food systems Research Fellow and Research Assistant positions at the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is advertising two part-time research positions – a Research Fellow (Food Systems) and a Research Assistant (Food Systems) to work on the research project ‘Building the climate resilience of Melbourne’s city region food system’.

Applications for both positions close at 11.55 pm on 2 December 2019 (AUS Eastern Daylight time).

For more information contact Dr Rachel Carey.