· John T. Schlebecker, “The Many Names of Farmers” in Agricultural History (1981)
o Schlebeker’s work on understanding the history of words used to describe farmers, as well as the connotations of such words, was one of the most interesting pieces in this seminar. Although it was a bit dry at times, it successfully pointed out the historical prejudices and general notions around the farming profession over the years.
· Pierre Bourdieu, excerpts from Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1984)
o I used this work to further unpack the politics of taste and how they fit into the topics of farming, food, the farming profession, rural populations, and social status.
· Amy Trubek, The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir (2009)
o I spent a great deal of time with Trubek’s work on terroir because I used it for my critical review and in-class discussion. Although I did not necessarily find it applicable to many subjects within new food activism, terroir was certainly an interesting and relevant cultural topic to study in this context and especially to explain the meaning of place in opposition to space.
· The Garden. Dir. Scott Hamilton Kennedy. Perf. South Central LA Farmers. Oscilloscope Pictures, 2009. Film.
o This source was by far the most moving for me personally, and really emphasized the activism aspect of this course. It brought to the surface the realities some communities face every day, and how this subject matter can mean as much as general overall well being for certain folks. I truly believe everyone who watched this documentary left the seminar that day in a somber and/or angered mindset.
· Allison Truitt, “The Viet Village Urban Farm and the Politics of Neighborhood Viability in Post-Katrina New Orleans” in City and Society (2012).
o I used Truitt's work with urban farms in Post-Katrina New Orleans to address how race and ethnicity fits into new food activism, as well as how communities can create a very necessary sense of place after being transplanted from their homes (in this case, across the Pacific as well as after a devastating hurricane). Much like The Garden, it also evoked an intense sense of activism and passion about this topic.
· Anna Tsing, “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species”
o I re-read this quirky piece for this class and used it to delve into the realm of interspecies relationships, while supporting the argument that humans are not the only worthwhile or important beings on this earth.
· The Botany of Desire. Dir. Michael Pollan. Perf. Michael Pollan. Distributed by PBS Distribution, 2009. Film.
o Although this is more or less the same as Pollan’s written work, it was relevant to my blogging because I had seen they entire film and had a general understanding of how his messages were potentially being consumed by mainstream American audiences. Likewise, it was relevant to address the fact that I watched this film in an enormous Tufts history course on consumption that is mandatory for all International Relations majors.
· Michael Pollan, Introduction to The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2002)
o Similar to the film, Pollan’s introduction to his book dabbled in interspecies relations, while also showing the extent to which humans have truly manipulated the contemporary environment.
· Carol Adams, “For a Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory” from The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (1990/2010)
o I had always wondered why eating meat was so gendered, and why being a vegetarian was considered to be feminine by various cultures. This piece helped to address large-scale cultural gender norms, as well as why and how gender dynamics exist within the realm of new food activism.
· Angel Flinn and M. Butterflies Katz, “To be a Feminist is to be a Vegan” (5/29/12)
o I really enjoyed the extreme and overarching attitude behind this series of articles because it challenged me to further engage with the ways in which our diets and food politics are mapped onto gender. The authors certainly stirred controversy into both the vegan realm and the feminist realm by boldly attempting to tie the two together.
· Joanna Blythman, “Can vegans stomach the unpalpable truth about eating quinoa?” The Guardian (1/16/13) and PETA response “Eating quinoa may harm Bolivian farmers, but eating meat harms us all” (1/22/13)
o These two articles successfully illustrate an example of a heated debate around recent spiked consumption of a single crop. Additionally, they show how personal food choices become, as well as how much is at stake for people when they begin to question and defend their food choices.
· Liza Weisstuch, “Haymarket, Up Close and Personal,” Boston Phoenix, (11/28/12)
o This article was particularly useful when I was navigating the difference between space versus place in the context of the Boston market scene. It helped me understand this market we visited that was so important to many Bostonians, and how a sense of place here was still a living reality for many folks in Boston.
· Cora Roelofs and Emily Wyner, “Interview excerpts”
o This documented interview, supplemented with Emily Wyner’s articulate and lively discussion of her thesis work in class, helped to bring to the forefront an extremely current and relevant subject matter. Furthermore, I found it important to locate the food movement as it intersects with other current movements happening in the United States as well as the rest of the world.
· Minyoung Song, “New farmers’ market brings local food to Tufts community” in Tufts Daily (2010)
o Although this Tufts Daily article was brief, it was important to understand how new food activism is not merely a distant and “ivory tower based” topic that we cannot conceptualize. This short piece showed that it was a reality on our campus, and helped me to discuss forms of activism that happen in this specific context.