This research capacity-building project seeks to develop critical knowledge about the contexts, cultural meanings and epistemological frameworks associated with producing, preparing and consuming food. The project focuses on knowledge creation across disciplinary and regional divides by: supporting the work of students; promoting conversations among scholars at different sites, and providing virtual and actual platforms for sharing and debating the work of scholar activists, academics and artists.
As argued by, for example, Rupert Alcock and Raj Patel hegemonic paradigms in neuroscience and development studies tend to reduce conversations about food to utilitarian models underpinned by neo-liberalism and global capitalism. This project counters this trajectory. Through postgraduate supervision, colloquia, workshops, seminars, publications and national and global partnerships, the project aims to build a vibrant research culture around interdisciplinary understandings of human experiences of food and eating in particular ways, at particular historical moments, and under certain social, environmental and cultural conditions.
Food Politics and Cultures is led by Professor Desiree Lewis in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of the Western Cape. The Project is funded by the Mellon Foundation and is housed in the Centre for Excellence on Food Security at the Western Cape.