4th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference

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

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

To view the conference schedule, click here.
To watch the livestream of the conference, click here.

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 of the 20th and 21st centuries, hunger continues to afflict people in both developing and industrialized countries. The most recent State of World Food Insecurity from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization reports that the number of under-nourished people has decreased globally by 216 million over the last 25 years, yet developing countries as a whole have not met reduction targets. Neoliberal policies and the accompanying political and economic restructuring, together with free-trade agreements, climate change, fluctuating energy prices, and rapid urbanization, have reshaped food systems and transformed world food markets. Such trends, along with land grabs, food price volatility, and changing consumer expectations in industrialized countries, have reconfigured relationships among producers, food manufacturers, distributors, and consumers. The increasing concentration of food industries and their close connections with powerful governments have also affected the health outcomes and resistance strategies of hungry people. As a result, communities are mobilizing to protest the lack of access to healthy food and engaging with other food system actors in innovative ways. 

Themes covered will include:

  • 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, Professor of Geography, Director of the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, mayer@middlebury.edu

Paula Schwartz, Professor of French Studies, schwartz@middlebury.edu

Molly Anderson, Professor of Food Studies, mollya@middlebury.edu