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What’s on Your Plate? The History and Politics of Food

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Sponsored by the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

How much do you know about the food you eat? Food production and the politics surrounding it have an enormous impact on our environment and economy. In recent years, scientists and activists have raised concerns about the sustainability and security of our food systems here in the US and around the world, but food has always been a driving force in international and domestic policy. Barnard faculty members Hilary Callahan, Kim F. Hall, Deborah Valenze, and Paige West will join us for an interdisciplinary conversation about the past and present social, geopolitical, rhetorical, and environmental factors that influence how food—including items as seemingly ordinary as sugar, coffee, milk, and corn—shapes culture and politics.

SNEAK PREVIEW: Faculty panelists offer insights from their research.

Hilary Callahan, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, teaches courses in Plant Evolution and Diversity, Applied Ecology and Evolution, Global Change Ecology, and Evolutionary Genetics and oversees the living collections of the Arthur Ross Greenhouse on the roof of Milbank Hall.

Kim F. Hall, Lucyle Hook Chair and Professor of English, is currently working on a book, tentatively entitled Sweet Taste of Empire, which examines women, labor, and race in the Anglo-Caribbean sugar trade during the seventeenth century.

Deborah Valenze, Professor of History, has received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, among other scholarships and awards. Her most recent book, Milk: A Local and Global History, has been published by Yale University Press.

Paige West, Associate Professor of Anthropology, researches and writes about the relationship between society and the environment. Her most recent books are From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea, Conservation is our Government Now: The Politics of Ecology in Papua New Guinea, and, co-edited with James G. Carrier, Virtualism, Governance, and Practice: Vision and Execution in Environmental Conservation.

2011-11-01 20:30