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4th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference

Food Insecurity in a Globalized World: The Politics and Culture of Food Systems 

Middlebury College, Vermont, USA
March 10 - 12, 2016 

This conference will explore the politics, economics, and culture of food insecurity from multiple disciplinary perspectives and geographical locations. Despite enormous technological and agricultural advances, hunger continues to afflict people in developing and industrialized countries. Neoliberal policies, alongside free-trade agreements, climate change, fluctuating energy prices, and rapid urbanization have reshaped food systems and transformed world food markets. These trends, along with land grabs, food price volatility, and changing consumer expectations in industrialized countries, have reconfigured relationships among food producers, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers. Working from an interdisciplinary perspective, participants critically examine the politics, economics, and culture of food insecurity, probe the underlying structural reasons for this predicament, and investigate innovative community responses to lack of access to healthy food.

Themes covered included:

  • Access to land
  • Socially constructed vulnerability and food insecurity
  • Access to food in times of war
  • The role of the state and international institutions
  • Culture
  • Food sovereignty (bioecology)


Tamar Mayer, Robert R. Churchill Professor of Geosciences, Director of the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, and Director of International and Global Studies,

Paula Schwartz, Lois B. Watson Professor of French,

Molly Anderson, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Food Studies,