Thursday, August 30, 2012

Call for Papers Regarding "Alternative Food Networks"

Making alternative food networks work: hitching the horse of critique to the wagon of improvement 
Annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG)
Los Angeles, California, 9-13 April 2013

Co-organizers: Ryan E. Galt (University of California, Davis), Liz Carlisle (University of California, Berkeley)

Possibility of multiple Paper Sessions, with possible Panel Session

In our experience, the "horse" of academic critique tends to get decoupled from the "wagon" of making the world a better place.  We're interested in scholarship that bridges this gap, deliberately hitching critical analysis to the difficult work of improving agriculture and food systems.  Potentially generative critical perspectives include, but are not limited to, political economy and political ecology, feminism, post-structuralism, new materialism, and critical GIS.  Specifically, we wish to include in our session(s) research that is of use to, and/or has been used by, groups of people who seek to create more just, sustainable social and ecological relations through alternative food networks (AFNs).

We define AFNs broadly as alternative provisioning systems that aim to avoid or combat the social and environmental abuses of the conventional food system.  Prominent examples include Fair Trade, values-based supply chains (VBSCs), community supported agriculture (CSA), subsistence agriculture, community gardens and farms, farmers' markets, farm-to-institution arrangements, farms run by food justice organizations, incubator farms, and food hubs, though this is not an exhaustive list.  The research can focus on any element of these AFNs, such as labor processes, organizational challenges, racism and anti-racism, market exchanges, etc., and can emphasize the ideal, the material, the discursive, or a combination of these.

We envision that work based on participatory action research, community-based participatory research, engaged scholarship, activist scholarship, and/or critically reflexive praxis would fit well into the session.  Yet, we also want to provide space for practitioners who are interested in academic theories and analysis, and in heretofore "armchair" scholars who want to move into more participatory roles.  The group of papers in our session(s), then, will hopefully span the continuum from practitioners to academics, with an emphasis on the middle ground rather than the separation.

Please send 250 word abstracts to Ryan Galt <> or Liz Carlisle <> by October 10, 2012.  Detailed abstract guidelines can be found here: <>.