The questions of how and what we eat has become a key topic for public debate. The issue of food manifests itself in different forms that are often vehicles for new understandings of the self, the nation, the environment and/or the planet – just take the rise of consumer and farmer movements that oppose modern industrialised food production and worry about the future of agricultural sustainability or the growing focus on food and cuisine in the media and other cultural industries, for example.
Drawing on a number of disciplines, this course places food production, distribution and consumption at the centre of scrutiny. Like many other areas of life, it takes the world of food to be a world of politics and power—a world in which policymakers, economists, environmentalists, agribusinesses, scientists, consumers and social justice groups, all holding vastly different views, seek to influence the food system and related policies. Hence, the world of food (and the way our food systems work and worked) offers important insights into the interplay between power, politics and identity—including relations between developing and developed countries, between genders as well as people and the natural world.
It is through the lense of food that this course will hence explore some of the major global challenges of our time, including: Food, the self and identity; food and cultural heritage; food and migration; food and the nation; food, the media and popular culture; the political economy of human-environment relations; food and the consumer society; food poverty and the politics of food waste; state policy and the healthy body politic; food and the 'moral economy'; the future of food production and consumption.
This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.