Culture & Agriculture

a section of the American Anthropological Association

Month: December 2016

Call For Papers/Workshops – Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies

International Colloquium: The future of food and challenges for agriculture in the 21st century


When: 24-26, 2017
Where: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country
Who: La Via Campesina, Transnational Institute, International Institute for Social Studies, EHNE Bizkaia (Basque farmers union), Etxalde (Basque food sovereignty movement)

Find more information here
Submissions to [email protected]

Thematic Axes

1 Capitalism, class, agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
2 Climate Change and convergences.
3 Models of development in the context of flows of capital, goods and people.
4 Access and control over the means of production.
5 Consumption, health, nutrition and the Right to Food.
6 Movements for Food Sovereignty.


Weekly Gleaning 12/16


Two recent pieces of interest from Savage Minds: (1) Kristina Lyons explores the productive frictions that emerge when STS and multi-species ethnography (including her own work on soil practices in Colombia) interface with decolonial approaches, and (2) Sally Applin reflects on supermarket sociality in light of Amazon’s new grocery stores.

In the world of plant breeding, open source principles inspired by Jack Kloppenberg and the Open Source Seed Initiative are also finding traction in Europe. A working group associated with Agrecol and GFAR has recently published an open source license in a working paper that can be downloaded here. Also, support is building for a moratorium on gene drives at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity this week in Cancun, Mexico.

The USDA has announced new Farmer Fair Practices Rules. Check out some analysis from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, who seem hopeful that the new rules will bring changes to the much maligned ‘tournament’ system.

From the Kid’s Safe and Healthful Foods Project comes a quite comprehensive report on the implementation and impact of 2010’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Download the report here.

Three post-election reverberations: (1) CUNY’s Urban Food Policy Institute has assembled a set of priorities for New York City food justice advocates in the ‘Trump Age’, (2) Kay McDonald at Big Picture Agriculture takes on ‘fake news’ blaming cattle for increases in methane emissions, and (3) US-China relations take a bizarre turn as plans go forth to construct a Sino American Friendship Model Farm in China, modeled on a farm in Musctatine, Iowa that President Xi Jinping visited in 2012. Chinese officials are also considering to ‘recreate a Midwestern community’ as a tourist area.

New CAFE Issue! – Entanglements of Reciprocal Relations


We’re happy to announce the latest issue of our journal Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment. Inspired by the recent scholarship of Anna Tsing and others, we’re approaching agriculture as a bundle of relationships, exploring how these entanglements have developed through history and continue to shape current practices of food production.

Volume 38, Issue 2: Entanglements of Reciprocal Relations

Entanglements of Reciprocal Relations
// Stephanie Paladino and Brandi Janssen

From “Genetic Resources” to “Ecosystems Services”: A Century of Science and Global Policies for Crop Diversity Conservation
//Marianna Fenzi and Christophe Bonneuil

How Religion, Race, and the Weedy Agency of Plants Shape Amazonian Home Gardens
// Nicholas C. Kawa

A Semi-Autonomous Mexican Peasant Community and Globalization: The Role of the Cacique (Broker) in Maintaining Traditional Agroecology
// Jean Gilruth-Rivera

Borders Out of Register: Edge Effects in the U.S.–Mexico Foodshed
// Laurel Bellante and Gary Paul Nabhan

Shrimp Aquaculture, Social Capital, and Food Security in Rural Vietnam
// Jessie K. Fly

Research Report
Bringing Farmer Knowledge and Learning into Agricultural Research: How Agricultural Anthropologists Transformed Strategic Research at the International Rice Research Institute
// Lisa Leimar Price and Florencia G. Palis

Book Review
The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing)
// Reviewed by James P. Verinis

Weekly Gleaning 12/8: Agrarian Questions

Our weekly gleanings present the latest happenings, research and writing in the tangled realms of culture and agriculture. This week: multi-species corporate-microbial collaborations, Marxist food theory and more.


Monsanto and Novozyme’s BioAg Alliance

What forms of alienation, instrumentalization and symbiosis are implied in Monsanto’s upcoming commercialization of beneficial microbes?

Will Nestle’s mysterious new sugar be accompanied by mysterious new relationships of power?

Why are Europe, North America and Australia absent from a new heat-map of smallholders?


Samberg, L., Gerber, J., Ramankutty, N., Herrero, M., & West, P. (2016)

Have Marx’s contributions as a food and farming theorist been understated?

Does scientists listening to the sound of corn growing qualify as sensuous scholarship?

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