Culture & Agriculture

a section of the American Anthropological Association

Month: February 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

Black Farming, Self Determination and Resilience: An Interview with activist and researcher Monica White, PhD

Black Farming, Self Determination and Resilience: An Interview with activist and researcher Monica White, PhD

By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, and Sustainability

Editor’s Note:

As an activist working on food justice, I have a very personal experience with systemic poverty, disenfranchisement, violence and Black land loss. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents owned land in the south, grew food, and experienced relative material success; then had their land either stolen or burned down by the state and racist vigilantes. Unfortunately, narratives like this are far too common among Black communities in America leaving many of us with memories of sharecropping, wage theft, violence, and lynchings. As I work to reconnect people of color with food production, I have come to realize how important it is to also remember the resistance and agency of Black farmers historically and present day.

Dr. Monica White  through her work on Black farmers and liberation movements taught me (or reminded me, because it was in my ancestral memory) that there is a very powerful relationship between African Americans and the land that must be remembered. The land is, was, and has always been our healing space and our means of liberation and resistance. Dr. White reminds us that many organizations such as the Federation of Southern Cooperatives have fought and continue to fight to protect that memory and legacy of self- determination.

As millions of low-income communities and communities of color struggle to access quality food, organizations like the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) are working to build food security while simultaneously reclaiming a sense of agency and self-determination in the food system among African descendants. Continue reading ?<>

Whole Earth Summit online event March 11-13, 2014

By Janell Kapoor

EVENT ALERT [Free & Online]: 42 extraordinary visionaries<>, including Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, Charles Eisenstein, Joel Salatin, the founders of the Small Planet Fund, Living Building Challenge, Transition Town, Pachamama Alliance, Bioneers, Appropedia, Kid’s Right to Know, Wise Women Tradition, and many others are joining together to share valuable insights around food, water, the commons, ecological activism, regenerative design, social transformation, collective vision and practical models for making a difference.

The Whole Earth Summit airs March 11-13. Free registration is now available online<>.

Participants will have access to conversations with all 42 presenters–some of the world’s leading changemakers who will be sharing their stories, strategies and visions for a whole earth.

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ExtrACTION Topical Interest Group

The ExtrACTION Topical Interest Group

Message from: Liz Olson

We are continually seeking contributions from Culture & Agriculture
Members. Please send your ideas and inquiries to myself or co-editor Greg de St Maurice ([email protected]).

The ExtrAction TIG will meet at SfAA on Friday, March 21 from 1:30-2:30 in
the Presidential Suite.

AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Deadline Extended to March 1

The American Anthropological Association invites minority doctoral candidates in anthropology to apply for a dissertation writing fellowship of $10,000. The annual AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship is intended to encourage members of U.S. racialized minorities to complete doctoral degrees in anthropology, thereby increasing diversity in the discipline and/or promoting research on issues of concern among minority populations. Dissertation topics in all areas of the discipline are welcome. Doctoral students who require financial assistance to complete the write-up phase of the dissertation are urged to apply.

Botanical Ontologies: A Cross-Disciplinary Forum On Human-Plant Relationships

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Radcliffe Humanities Building, Oxford

May 16-17, 2014

The inaugural ‘Botanical Ontologies’ conference seeks to bring together
postgraduate students from across the humanities, social sciences, and
biological sciences to critically address, challenge, and rethink the
seemingly simple question: How do we know what we know about plants? The construction of plant knowledge systems is increasingly a matter of interest across a broad range of disciplines, from the ethnosciences to philosophy. By ‘plant knowledge systems’ we refer to the biological, medicinal, social, and cultural information about plants observed, stored, transmitted, and used by humans. Recent questions concerning ‘ontology’ in socio-ecological systems have enlivened these debates. ‘Botanical ontologies’–as we speculatively term them–vary widely, stretching from Linnaean taxonomies to indigenous origin myths, yet regardless of origin they structure the relationships between plants and humans. In this conference we will consider these plant-people interrelationships by bringing into dialogue perspectives and case studies from Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Geography & the Environment, History, and Plant Sciences. Far from an academic exercise, this conference contends that discussion about these plant-human relationships go beyond the ephemeral: they are necessary for the preservation (and protection) of local vegetation diversity and the knowledge systems that go with them.

Conference website:

*Deadline for abstracts has been extended to 10 March 2014.*

G8 New Alliance condemned as new wave of colonialism in Africa


This Guardian article by Claire Provost, Liz Ford and Mark Tran presents critiques of G8 New Alliance Food Security and Nutrition Initiative in Africa.


Focusing on Rural Women in a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Framework

Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations

Focusing on Rural Women in a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Framework

until 26 February 2014

How to participate:

Send your contribution to
[email protected]
or post it on the FSN Forum website<>

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2nd International Conference on Migrant Labour and Social Sustainability of Global Agri-Food Chains


During the last decades the globalization process of the agro-food system has stimulated the spread of new enclaves of intensive agricultural production all over the world. These spaces of production have turned into the scene of an intense process of workforce and capital mobilization due to their orientation to exportation markets, their highly technological and productive modernization and their intense use of workforce. These territories are characterised by a ‘just in time’ production, the existence of a sexually and ethnically segmented labour market, and highly flexible and precarious labour and living conditions. Therefore, the internationalization of agro-food sector has caused serious problems of social sustainability and social and political regulation in these territories, which face important difficulties to control their own social and labour contradictions.

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C&A’s CfP for AAAs

A message from : D. Seth Murray, Ph.D.

What? Culture & Agriculture – Call for Papers

Where? American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

When? December 3-7, 2014

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Producing Anthropology,” an entirely apt frame of reference for anthropologists conducting research on and engaged with agricultural issues. The 2014 conference organizers ask us to “examine the truths we encounter, produce and communicate through anthropological theories and methods,” in light of our commitments to a varied array ofpartners. Many anthropologists  focused on agricultural issues writ large are concerned with issues that cut across sub-disciplinary and institutional boundaries, and thus we are well situated to critically reflect on our own active roles in producing anthropological knowledge and information destined for diverse audiences that include food producers, policy-makers, academics, and corporate or non-government entities.

Culture and Agriculture invites proposals for Invited Sessions, Volunteered Papers, Posters and Sessions, Roundtables or Installations. *All submissions must be completed by April 15th at 5 pm (EST).*

Guidelines for the various conference formats are as follows:

Session organizers for *Invited or Volunteered Submissions** of Panels and Posters* are responsible for submitting the session abstract (of no more than 500 words), keywords, length of session, anticipated attendance, presenter names and roles. Invited sessions are typically directly related to the meeting theme and cross sub-disciplines cutting-edge. Please note there are no double-sessions this year. Presenters are responsible for submitting their own individual abstracts (of no more than 250 words), paper title and keywords. Session organizers are NOT able to upload individual abstracts on behalf of presenters on the panel. Discussants and Chairs must also be registered by the April 15, 2014 deadline.

* Roundtable* organizers are responsible for submitting the session
abstract (of no more than 500 words), keywords, length of
session, anticipated attendance, and presenter names. Roundtables are a venue for discussing the most pressing, current issues in anthropology. Roundtable presenters do NOT submit individual abstracts, but all roundtable presenters, and chairs must have a current membership or membership exemption (available only to anthropologists living outside the US/Canada or non-anthropologists) and must pay the registration fee by the final deadline of April 15, 2014.

Presenters of *Individual Paper or Poster Submissions* are responsible for uploading their individual paper or poster submission online. The submission must include the presentation title, abstract (of no more than 250 words), keywords, and co-authors (if applicable). Presenters must be current members unless eligible for a membership exemption (anthropologists living outside of the US/Canada or  non-anthropologists) and have paid registration for the 2014 Annual Meeting by  5:00pm EDT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

*Retrospective* sessions highlight and review the contributions that an established scholars has made over the course of her career (for example, on the occasion of their retirement or significant anniversary). A session abstract of up to 500 words is required. Participants must submit final abstracts by April 15, 2014.

I encourage you to read the recent piece in *Anthropology News* by Mary Gray and Rachel Watkins, this year’s AAA Program co-chairs: <>. They are genuinely interested in pushing the boundaries of how we traditionally share our information at the annual conference, so I encourage you to be creative with you proposals.

You must be active AAA member and pay your 2014 conference registration fee in order to submit your abstract. (Membership exemption is in place for anthropologists living outside of the US/Canada or non-anthropologists.) Please note that AAA members can now propose chairing or organizing as many sessions as they’d like to submit without knocking them out of the running for a seat on a panel or discussant participation.

You may contact me with questions or ideas for complete panel sessions, individual papers or posters, roundtable discussions, or installations: [email protected]. I look forward to another fascinating and an invigorating set of proposals for this year’s AAA meeting!

U.S. Farm Bill update

(Click on title of article to link to article website)

Agricultural Act of 2014

Farm Bill text


In Signing Farm Bill, Obama Extols Rural Growth

By Michael D. Shear 


Farm bill signed; USDA on the clock

By Phil Tomson


What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill?

By Elizabeth Kucinich,  Policy Director, Center for Food Safety

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