By Tony VanWinkle, Sterling College § Dedicated to the memory of Jackie Dill. Shortly after the unexpected death of friend and mentor Jackie Dill, I read Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s poem, “The Change,” which narrates a first person, indigenous retrospective on shifts in the workaday world of tobacco field laborers. Central to this convulsive change was … More Weeds, Herbicides, and Bodies: Emerging Entanglements in Toxic Agricultural Landscapes
By Ateya Khorakiwala, Harvard University § This post underscores how the seemingly straightforward and yet iconic American silo evolved into a different kind of storage infrastructure when it encountered India’s histories and geographies of wheat. The American grain elevator – a specific kind of silo – holds a singular place in the history of architectural … More Silo as System: Infrastructural Interventions into the Political Economy of Wheat
By Kristina Lyons § On August 19, 2013, small farmers and miners, healthcare and transportation workers, educators and students, indigenous communities, afro-Colombians, and popular sectors at large mobilized across seventeen departments of Colombia in a National Agrarian and Popular Strike that was temporarily suspended in September. After failed negotiations with the State, the strike continues, and … More Engagement as Life Politics in the Colombian Amazon
By Peggy F. Barlett § Back in 2005, as Emory University embraced sustainability as part of a new strategic plan, it was the physicians on the visioning committee who insisted on including food as a priority. Recognizing that environmental, economic, health, and social justice concerns intertwined with food, the committee encouraged local sourcing of vegetables, … More Campus Food Projects: Engines for a More Sustainable System?
By Cailín E. Murray with contributions from her students Whitney Lingle and Britny Burton § Once a booming agricultural and factory town, Muncie, Indiana, is today a post-industrial rustbelt city grappling with questions about its economic and environmental futures. As heavy industries left town, Muncie’s economy has flagged, leaving some 24% of its residents at … More Sustainability and Food Production in the Hoosier Heartland: Learning through Local Engagement
by Thomas E. Sheridan § For the last fifteen years, I’ve worked as a volunteer – a citizen anthropologist – in the collaborative conservation movement sweeping across the American West. I co-founded the Arizona Common Ground Roundtable in 1997. For the next five years, we (the Roundtable) sponsored forums across the state to bring ranchers, … More In the Trenches: Collaborative Conservation in a Contested West
by Edwin Schmitt § The story of Wildgrass is one of organizational adaptation to the dynamism of present-day China’s politics and its rapidly changing social and environmental needs. After four years of working with the organization, I consider my role in Wildgrass as more of an “exchange” than an “engagement” because of our reciprocal relations. … More From Conservation to Eco-Toilets to Organic Markets: The Evolution of a Chinese Environmental NGO