Commentary: Toxic Bodies, Part II

By Kristina Lyons, University of California, Santa Cruz § The president of the communal action committee whom I call Doña Marta ushered me to a more secluded corner behind the schoolhouse. She spoke in a low tone about the worsening water quality of the river flowing behind us. Over the last four years, downstream communities in […]

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Weeds, Herbicides, and Bodies: Emerging Entanglements in Toxic Agricultural Landscapes

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 […]

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Silo as System: Infrastructural Interventions into the Political Economy of Wheat

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 […]

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Engagement as Life Politics in the Colombian Amazon

By Kristina Lyons, University of California at Santa Cruz § 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 […]

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Campus Food Projects: Engines for a More Sustainable System?

By Peggy F. Barlett, Emory University § 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 […]

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Sustainability and Food Production in the Hoosier Heartland: Learning through Local Engagement

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 […]

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In the Trenches: Collaborative Conservation in a Contested West

By Thomas E. Sheridan, University of Arizona § 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 […]

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