Anthropology and Food Studies Event at SOAS

Just thought I would flag up a neat event I have been invited to participate in next week in London. If you are interesting in the methodological opportunities provide by anthropology, it will certainly be a lot of fun!

Annual 2013 SOAS Anthropology of Food Professionalization Event

Host: SOAS Food Studies Centre

Theme: If there is one discipline that is unafraid of complexity it is Anthropology.  In an ever changing and interconnected food system, our local and global food networks are intricately linked, all players in this system holding different perspectives.  The organizers, Jolien Benjamin and Kathleen Yung, received UnLtd Funding to devote a half day event to highlight the skills that anthropologists hold.  These skills uniquely positions them to tackle some of the major issues UK’s food and agriculture system is facing.  The event will explore and demonstrate anthropologists’ diverse roles at the research, non-profit, governmental, and business levels.

Who will be attending?  This event is to encourage more cross-sector organizational engagement that is working in or peripherally on food and agriculture related issues.  We hope to have people from the non-profit, private, and public sectors attend.

Speakers at event (Please also find the schedule of the day attached):

Laura Sayre (Opening speaker):  Laura is an American scholar and writer based in France, where she is a research fellow with the Département Sciences pour l’Action et le Développement within the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. Her core research interests relate to the production and transmission of agricultural knowledge, the nature and causes of agricultural change, and the role and representation of agriculture within wider social and cultural fields. To understand these themes, she uses the methods of history, ethnography and textual analysis.

Patrick Mulvany (Panel discussion): Patrick is the Chair of the UK Food Group. The UK Food Group (UKFG) is the leading UK network for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working on global food and agriculture issues. To this end the UKFG seeks to promote sustainable and equitable food security policies; to balance corporate power by providing a public interest perspective to issues affecting global food security; and to strengthen the capacity of civil society to contribute effectively to international consultations on food security.  He has also worked as the Senior Policy Adviser for Practical Action for many years and has extensive experience from issues related to food sovereignty to more ecological forms of food production.

Representative from Sustain (Panel discussion):  Sustain is a charity organization thatadvocates for food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.  Sustain represents around 100 national public interest organisations working at international, national, regional and local level.

Jessica Duncan (Panel discussion): is a PhD researcher at the Centre for Food Policy, City University London. Her research examines the reformed UN Committee on World Food Security and assesses its capacity to achieve the renewed mandate in the context of a shifting architecture of global food security governance. Alongside this research, she works as the Global Coordinator for Alliance Building for the Indian NGO MARAG. This work includes supporting a global network of women pastoralists and researching the changing relationship between pastoralists women in the Indian state of Gujarat to their livestock and the land, with a focus on land tenure, food security, sedentarization and food governance.  Jessica also works in the Department of Food Systems, Culture and Society at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), where she teaches courses on research methods, food governance, and contemporary issues in food studies, and supervises research projects.  She recently co- coordinated a panel at the Global Studies Association with Josh Brem-Wilson, Annette Desmarais and Hannah Wittman about researching with food social movements.

Date: March 14, 2013

Time: 1-7pm

Where: St. Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central St., EC1V 8AJ – in Loft Room (located at the Central Street Cookery School started by a SOAS Anthropology of Food alumni, Sofia Larriana Craxton)

Cost: Free!

Aim of the Event:  Jolien Benjamin and I (Kathleen Yung), co-organizers of this event, are both alumni of the MA Anthropology of Food programme at SOAS, through this event we would like to form strong linkages between current students and alumni, and people working in various food/agriculture related fields that may be of interest to our students/alumni.  The event is organized so people will have different ways of networking through a dynamic mix of speakers, small group discussions, panel discussions, Anthropology of Food Project showcase – Dragon’s Den style, and a ‘speed-dating’ portion between professionals and students/alumni.

UnLtd awarded the funding for this event and their main aim is to promote projects and entrepreneurs that work towards positive social change in the UK.  As the co-organizers, we strongly believe that through the practical application of anthropology, there can be great contributions made to the current food and agriculture sectors.  So come and find out how!

Please RSVP by Monday, March 4th by emailing Jolien at jolienbenjamin83 (a) gmail.com

We look forward to welcoming you to this event and please do contact us if you have any questions.

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