Should we aspire to a society that is food secure, or a society of food-sovereign consumers?

Wednesday 18 May 2016
1.00 - 2.00pm

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Madsen Rm 449, Madsen Building, Eastern Ave, The University of Sydney


Explore current innovations in geographical research and cutting edge trends in socio- spatial theory throughout this seminar series.

Geographers and the Environment with Prof. Bill Pritchard (Geosciences)

In much recent social science literature, and especially human geography, the concept of food sovereignty has been advanced as a rights-based successor to the concept of food security. This presentation contends that much of the new discourse advocating the concept of food sovereignty dismisses the notion of food security too hastily. There is a tendency for food sovereignty advocates to equate ‘food security’ as being rooted in ‘big agriculture’ solutions, which are presented in opposition to a hipsterish allure of the local within food sovereignty. However, food security (and especially, in its more recent retitling as ‘food and nutrition security’) has a much richer theoretical foundation than sometimes afforded in shorthand sketches within the food sovereignty literature. Indeed, this article makes the point that the concept of food and nutrition fits more readily into broader conceptions of human security than its purported successor. The presentation concludes with the observation that discourses of food sovereignty provide an effective means to alert researchers to control of the food system by large corporations, and the possibilities of alternative food system arrangements, but are nevertheless encumbered by an aspirational politics of food that diverts attention from the wider situational politics of peoples’ lives.

Bill Pritchard is a Professor in Human Geography specialising in agriculture, food and rural places. His is interested in the ways that global and local processes are transforming places, industries and people’s lives. He remains a skeptical internationalist – believing in the promise of a better world but frustrated by the obstacles that beset this objective.

Upcoming in the Series
Wednesday May 25th | 1 – 2.00pm
Kirsten Jenkins (University of St Andrews) | What is energy justice? Lessons from the nuclear fuel cycle in Canada, the UK and Australia

Wednesday June 1st  | 1 – 2.00pm
Leonardo Valenzuela (Geosciences post-grad) | Moralscapes of the Anthropocene
Billy Haworth (Geosciences post-grad) | Assessing the potential, application, & implications of volunteered geographic information in disaster risk reduction

Wednesday June 8th | 1 – 2.00pm
Alistair Sisson (Geosciences post-grad) | Night-Time Economy stigmatisation: a case study of Northbridge, Western Australia

Wednesday June 15 | 1 – 2.00pm