Centering Racial and Global Agrifood (In)Justice in Agrarian Practice

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Black Geographies Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Rampart, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Organizers: Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Brian Williams
Chairs: Brian Williams


This session emphasizes the ways in which agri-food activism focused on racial and global (in)justice has the capacity to inform and transform the alternative food movement. An outgrowth of recent work in geography has placed questions of racial justice at the center of agri-food system scholarship (See Alkon 2012, Alkon & Agyeman 2012, Guthman 2014, Heynen, et al 2012, Minkoff-Zern & Sloat 2016, Ramírez 2015, Slocum & Saldanha 2016, among many others). Other scholars have emphasized how global injustice, in terms of resource allocation, disproportionate toxicity, and market and food access, have created divides with regards to worldwide agri-food production (Patel 2010, Friedmann 2005, Graddy-Lovelace 2017). This session builds upon this work, focusing on varied geographic contexts to emphasize that agri-food justice is, first and foremost, mobilized in the context of movements for social and racial justice. Our discussion also aims to center mobilizations for agri-food justice which destabilize the boundaries of the alternative agri-food movement, in terms of race, class, and gender. We emphasize that scholarly understandings of agri-food systems often lag behind, rather than precede, the activist practices of racial and food justice. We hope to bring together work which reconsiders the work of agri-food justice in multiple ways:
• Scholarship which emphasizes the contemporary theoretical, political, and practical importance of historical movements for agri-food justice.
• Scholarship which understands the work of agri-food justice as a set of innovative practices with the capacity to inform work in other socio-spatial contexts. 
• Scholarship which focuses on agri-food justice practices which directly challenge or questions the boundaries of alternative food movements.  

Works Cited:

Alkon, A.H., 2012. Black, white, and green: Farmers markets, race, and the green economy (Vol. 13). University of Georgia Press.

Alkon, A.H. and Agyeman, J., 2011. Cultivating food justice: Race, class, and sustainability. MIT Press.

Friedmann, H. 2005. From Colonialism to Green Capitalism: Social Movements and Emergence of Food Regimes. In Research in Rural Sociology and Development (Vol. 11) Pp. 227–264. Bingley: Emerald.

Graddy-Lovelace, G. 2017. The Coloniality of US Agricultural Policy: Articulating Agrarian (In)justice. The Journal of Peasant Studies 44(1): 78–99.

Guthman, J., 2014. Doing justice to bodies? Reflections on food justice, race, and biology. Antipode, 46(5), pp.1153-1171.

Heynen, N., Kurtz, H.E. and Trauger, A., 2012. Food justice, hunger and the city. Geography Compass, 6(5), pp.304-311.

Minkoff-Zern, L.A. and Sloat, S., 2017. A new era of civil rights? Latino immigrant farmers and exclusion at the United States Department of Agriculture. Agriculture and Human Values, 34(3), pp.631-643.

Patel, R., 2012. Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food. Brooklyn, N.Y: Melville House.

Ramírez, M.M., 2015. The Elusive Inclusive: Black Food Geographies and Racialized Food Spaces. Antipode 47(3): 748–763.

Slocum, R. and Saldanha, A. eds., 2016. Geographies of race and food: Fields, bodies, markets. Routledge.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter David Meek*, , Food sovereignty, farmer suicides, and the transformation of space in Karnataka, India 20 4:40 PM
Presenter Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern*, Syracuse University, Department of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition, What Does an Alternative Farmer Look Like?: Growing Ecological and Social Diversity 20 5:00 PM
Presenter Michelle Tokunbo O. Oyewole*, University of California, Santa Barbara, The Liberatory Potential of School Gardens for Black and Brown Youth in Brooklyn, NY, USA 20 5:20 PM
Presenter Bradley Wilson*, West Virginia University, Can the Subaltern Certify?: Agri-food Justice, Rural Movements and Certification Enclosure in Nicaragua 20 5:40 PM
Discussant Priscilla McCutcheon University of Louisville 20 6:00 PM

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