University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Talking Over Food: Abundance and Scarcity in the 21st Century

Fall 2011
Instructors:  Valentine Cadieux (Geography) and Rachel Schurman (Sociology)
Schedule: Meets Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Composition: Faculty, graduate students, and P&As

Participation Information
Draft syllabus

Course Description:

This course is designed to generate a stimulating interdisciplinary discussion about alternative understandings and implications of food abundance and scarcity in an era when both are on the rise, albeit for different reasons and for different populations. This course will bring together academics and others from a variety of different disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives to facilitate a dialogue around food in/security – and particularly around ways in which food security and insecurity are produced and understood in different contexts and by different actors. We are interested in exploring how different perspectives, experiences, and disciplinary backgrounds not only shape how we think about food scarcity and abundance and what we are able to understand as we engage with others in dialogue, but also how we talk about these issues and create the vocabulary and discursive frames that govern what can be done, especially in the domains of law, policy, economics, and science. Additional goals of this seminar include developing an understanding of how power and control operate through dominant food and agriculture discourses to help shape our conceptions of abundance and scarcity. An important goal is to identify what kinds of academic practices we can use to help keep that power more visible, understandable, and subject to challenge.

Participation Information

If you are interested in participating in “Talking over Food,” please send a brief email to Valentine Cadieux (cadieux@umn) and Rachel Schurman ( telling them about your interest vis-a-vis the seminar by June 1.

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