With Professor Bettina Bock, I am Guest Editing the Yearbook of Women’s History (2016). The theme is Gendered food practices from seed to waste
About the Yearbook
The Yearbook of Women’s History is a peer-reviewed academic annual covering all aspects of gender connected with historical research throughout the world. It has a respectable history in itself, reporting on issues concerning women and gender for 35 years. The Yearbook has addressed topics such as women and crime, women and war, and gender, ethnicity and (post)colonialism. Overtime the Yearbook has shifted focus from purely historical analysis to a broader historical and gender analysis, focused on women’s and men’s roles in society. By focusing on specific themes, the Yearbook aspires that each issue crosses cultures and historical time periods, while offering readers the opportunity to compare perspectives within each volume. There has been one previous issue related to food: Gender and Nurture (1999). The present volume is a follow-up and aims to testify to differences in scholarly approaches in this field since the 1990s.
About the 2016 Issue
In nearly all societies gender has been and continues to be central in defining roles and responsibilities around food production, manufacturing, provisioning, eating, and disposal. Food–related work and practices along with context and cultures serve to construct and reinforce identities and social structures. At the same time, the gendered practices around food are complex and often contradictory. Much of the literature on gender and food explores these complexities and contradictions but continues to make use of dichotomies (i.e., rural/urban; local/global; producer/consumer; large-scale/small-scale; man/woman; past/future) that are increasingly less suited to critical analyses of the fluidity of experiences and science and thus limit our ability to better understand relationships between food and gender.
This raises questions about what then takes place in the in-between spaces, i.e. where producers are also consumers; where gender roles and norms are challenged; where local custom challenges global standards? What concepts, categories, discoveries, and theories can help expand our understanding of gender when it comes to food, and of food when it comes to gender?
The 2016 Yearbook of Women’s History will explore these questions by following food-related practices across time and space from ‘seed to waste’. Papers will consider gendered practices across the food production cycle across the globe from various disciplinary perspective and intersection points (i.e., age, race, sexuality, class) so as to uncover new insights into the impacts, implications and shifting relations of gender across food system, including practices undertaken in and across:
- Food growing;
The deeply interdisciplinary special issue will bring together a diverse collection of innovative and accessible articles. In exploring the questions raised above, we encourage authors to interrogate traditional categories, dichotomies, and binaries and contribute to the advancement of understanding of the dynamics and relationships between gender and food. Above all, we are interested in papers that go beyond questions about women and food to explore changing understandings and boundaries at the intersection of food and gender across time and space.
Short Bios of Guest Editors
Bettina Bock is Associate Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). She is the editor in chief of Sociologia Ruralis. She holds a PhD in rural sociology based on a study of gender and rural development policy and practice defended in 2004. Her research projects include rural development and social innovation, rural gender relations, as well as sustainable food consumption and production.
Originally from Canada, Jessica Duncan is Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). She is an Associate Editor of the journal Food Security and co-chair of the Food Policy and Governance Research Network of the European Consortium for Political Research. She holds a PhD in Food Policy from City University London. Her research areas include: food policy; food security; global governance; social practices; gender; and participation.