ENVI 320
Cultivating the Local: Place-based Productions of Food and Agriculture Spring 2014
Division II
Cross-listed ENVI 320 / ANTH 320
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This course explores the relation between ideas and practices relating to nature, food and agriculture, and specific formations of place, locality and region. Through this course we will lay conceptual and theoretical foundations for understanding the productions of place, nature, food and agriculture, and the interconnections among them. How do socially constructed ideas about nature, agrarian landscapes, and even particular environmental qualities such as soil and water, shape the formation of categories such as city, country, and region or even of specific food products? Through what processes do particular food products come to be distinctively place-based? How do we understand the seeming shift to place-based agriculture and food production, in the context of an industrialized and increasingly intricate global food system that has often homogenized and standardized food production? How is locality produced through food and agriculture, and how are food and agriculture produced through claims to locality and place? These interconnections, and the relations of power interlaced in them, are salient in contemporary praxis, and the course builds on grounded, conceptual understandings to explore contemporary phenomena such as the appellation d’origine contrôlée in France’s wine producing regions, the development of Geographic Indication within the World Trade Organization, the formation of “Organic Uttarakhand” that is the subject of my own research, and the affective economies generated through artisanal food production. Through an interdisciplinary approach that brings together scholarship in anthropology, social and cultural history, sociology, and cultural geography, this course aims to foster expansive, grounded and critical understandings about the connections among nature, food, agriculture and place-making.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3383
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: students are required to submit reading responses before each class, complete a take-home mid-term, and design and conduct an original research project which will provide the basis for a final research paper
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 320 Division II ANTH 320 Division II
Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives
ENVP SC-B Group Electives

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