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Tuesday, October 08, 2013
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Food Sovereignty and US Food Movements

By Guest Author, Jena Clarke, Yale F&ES '15

Alison Alkon and Teresa Mares join us this week on our webinar series Frontiers in Food and Agriculture as we continue our conversation about linking theory and practice in food justice. Dr. Alkon will be joining us online from the University of the Pacific in California where she is an associate professor in and chair of the sociology department. Dr. Mares is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Vermont. Their talk this week will center on their shared interest in race, inequality and neoliberalism in the food justice movement.

Alison Alkon is a 2008 PhD recipient from UC Davis. Her dissertation, which in 2012 was expanded into the book Black, White and Green: A Study of Farmers' Markets, focused on two farmers' markets located in Bay Area neighborhoods that were racially and economically distinct. She examined the limitations of sustainable ideals within each and considered the way in which the dimensions of race and class in these spaces reinforced inequalities. She continues to be involved in research and participation in the sociopolitical issues of food systems. This has included papers on local organic food, food politics and nutrition, and sustainable agriculture in Latin America, just to name a few. She has also been actively engaged in community-based research in California's Central Valley.

Teresa Mares received her PhD from the University of Washington in 2010. Like Dr. Alkon, her work deals with inequality and food, focusing primarily on issues relating to the Latino/a migrant community. Her dissertation We Are Made of Our Food: Latino/a Immigration and the Practices and Politics of Eating, examined Latino/a food justice, security and access in Seattle. Her work incorporates the wider concepts of citizenship, transnationalism and identity and their relationship to food.

Together, Drs. Alkon and Mares have co-written two papers; Food Sovereignty in US Food Movements: Radical Visions and Neoliberal Constraints and Mapping the Food Movement: Inequality and Neoliberalism in Four Food Discourses, both published in 2012. We look forward to continuing this line of inquiry with both of them on Tuesday, October 8th at 3:30 pm EDT. To join the webinar, please register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/498446839

Jena Clarke is a first-year Master of Environmental Management candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She earned her B.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis in 2009.  She is interested in agricultural policy, especially relating to livestock production and rangeland management. Her background is in cattle ranching in the US and Australia, where she worked as a cowgirl and later as a business analyst for a corporate agricultural funds manager.

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