2021 GFASG Graduate Research Grant Competition – UPDATE

The AAG Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group (GFASG) invites proposals for the 2021 Graduate Research Grant Competition. The Master’s and Doctoral competitions are designed to support graduate students’ conducting initial research for their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. 

The master’s level competition is intended to support research-related expenses and travel in support of thesis research during the 2021 field season. Proposals should clearly demonstrate scholarly merit and the ability to be successfully completed during the time-frame of the master’s research.

The doctoral competition is intended to support pilot research, or provide startup funds to help launch dissertation research. This award is not intended to supplement dissertation research that is already underway or near completion. Proposals should clearly demonstrate a scholarly contribution to geographic research on food and agriculture, an ability to successfully complete the proposed work, and a readiness to begin research in 2021.

The awards are competitive; applications are judged on the basis of scholarly merit of the project, organization and clarity of the proposal, qualifications of the student to conduct the proposed work, and their experiences and engagement with diversity. The Awards Committee is committed to equity in this process and especially encourages submissions from students of underrepresented groups including women, people of color, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+ persons. As part of the application process, we therefore ask students to submit a diversity statement reflecting on their personal experiences with diversity and/or how their proposed research may engage with broader questions of diversity and equity as they pertain to food systems.

Each applicant must be a student member of the GFASG at the time of application, and the proposed project should be part of her/his thesis or dissertation research. Again, please note that applicants should not yet have completed research, as this is a seed grant. The amount of the research grant prize will be determined by membership and funds available to the GFASG at time of award. Past awards have been in the range of $400 – $600. Awards may not be given if no proposals are deemed suitable.

Entries undergo review by the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group’s Executive Committee. A complete application must be sent by email attachment (as a single PDF file with applicant’s name and graduate level [master’s or Ph.D.] in the title of the document). The submission and questions should be directed to Kristen Lowitt (kristen.lowitt@queenusu.ca). Application Deadline: February 15, 2021.

The application form is available here. The application consists of the application form and a one-page synopsis of the curriculum vitae. Submissions should be original, interdisciplinary, well-written and well-researched, and it should be obvious that the applicant is prepared to begin research AND has not already received full funding for the work.

The competition results will be announced at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers during the GFASG Business Meeting. 

Kristen Lowitt (Queen’s University)
Megan Baumann (Penn State University)
Russell Hedberg (Shippensburg University)

GFASG Statement of Solidarity with Black Colleagues and Activists

The Board of Directors of the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers expresses its support for, and solidarity with Black geography colleagues, organizers, activists, and protesters fighting against police violence, systemic racial oppression, and white supremacy in the US and around the world. We are inspired by and support the solidarity statements made by the Indigenous Peoples’ Specialty Group, the Queer and Trans Geographies Specialty Group, and additional AAG specialty groups. We call upon AAG leadership and other specialty groups to show continued solidarity with the Black Geographies Specialty Group, Black geographers, and Black activists building more just Black futures.

The Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group was founded as an intellectual home, networking space, and venue for sharing ideas and resources on geographical perspectives of food systems. It is committed to diversity and inclusion and many members actively work toward building more equitable, just, and sustainable food systems. The GFASG Board has committed to more proactively supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice within the specialty group and has a subcommittee working on strategies to this end.

Racial injustice permeates all aspects of life, including food systems. Ongoing systemic oppression – rooted in the legacy of colonization and slavery – disproportionately impacts Black people and Black communities. The extensive impact of the global pandemic, economic recession, and police brutality on Black people and Black communities brings to light the historic and systemic racism that underlies health, economic, and political inequities. These inequities are (re)produced in food systems through racist and colonial property regimes, capitalist processes, and systems of food apartheid that: deny communities of color access to fresh and healthful foods; disconnect people from each other and the land; and obstruct food sovereignty. Within this context, Black farmers, activists, and scholars, in geography and beyond, have long innovated and built agriculture and food practices that light paths toward resilience and liberation.

We call on other specialty groups and our members to study and educate, to research and deeply listen, to recognize and support the advancement of Black geography scholars, and to engage in the struggle for racial equity, justice, and freedom.

In Solidarity,

The Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group Board

2020 GFASG Newsletter

Click the link below to read the latest newsletter, which includes information of virtual sessions that will be running on April 6 and 7, and Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group (GFASG) business meeting that will take place on April 7!

GFASG Newsletter April 2020

The 2020 AAG conference may have been cancelled, but that isn’t stopping our members from holding several fascinating and inspiring virtual conference sessions on April 6th and 7th. Inside the newsletter, you will find all of the information you need to participate in these sessions. Also inside, you will find short articles by Erica Zurawski (UC Santa Cruz) and James Hale (Colorado State) relating to Colorado agri-food systems, member achievements from the past six months, and much more.

Newsletter Editor
Madeleine Fairbairn, University of California, Santa Cruz

Building Powerful Food Stories–A Radical Food Geographies Workshop (April 5, 2020) in Denver, Colorado


Building Powerful Food Stories: Legacies of Extraction, Dispossession, and Resistance

A Radical Food Geographies Workshop
April 5, 2020 in Denver, Colorado
Registration Page

You’re invited to participate in the “Building Powerful Food Stories: Legacies of Extraction, Dispossession, and Resistance ” workshop on Sunday, April 5, 2020 in Denver Colorado. This all-day workshop will provide a space to share stories about a range of ways communities are impacted by, and organize to counter inequitable food systems, while emphasizing the place-based specificities of their work. We come together with the shared understanding that food can be a tool for deepening conversations about environmental, economic, and social harms, including multiple forms of extraction and dispossession frontline communities face. However, food can also be an entry point for culturally specific forms of resistance and regeneration.

In this spirit, the aim of the workshop is to emphasize the critical role storytelling can play in the process of elevating diverse responses to these conditions, while facilitating space for skills-sharing, networking, and creative practice. The workshop will feature remarks by local community groups and academics, as well as break-out sessions on skills-based and imaginative storytelling strategies. We invite all participants interested in the following themes as they intersect with food systems: settler colonialism, agroecology, and  food sovereignty, social and environmental justice, labor and farmworker’s rights, anti-hunger movements, development and gentrification, resource extraction and conflicts, activism and policy making.

Building Powerful Food Stories
Is open to academics, as well as students and community members.
Will be supported by sliding-scale donations.
Honoraria will be given to community-based speakers, facilitators, and organizers.
Please register here.

Co-Sponsorship & Organizers: This event is co-sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Specialty Group (GFASG) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) and the Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) at Colorado State University.

GFASG (https://gfasg.wordpress.com/) is comprised of academics and practitioners invested in research, education, and practice to help build more just and equitable food systems. The mission of the GFASG is to be instrumental in creating networking opportunities for students and faculty who study food and agricultural geographies and those that connect to these themes. They also share ideas, relevant information, and help to stimulate partnerships across a range of communities.

The CEJ (http://environmentaljustice.colostate.edu/) fosters a space for engaged interdisciplinary scholarship, training and teaching, and community-building around issues of environmental justice. It works to build collaborations among educators, practitioners, and community members committed to challenging environmental inequalities wherever people live, work, and play and advancing socio-economic systems that serve and sustain our planet.

The workshop will precede the AAG’s Annual Meeting in Denver (April 6-10) this year, though AAG affiliation is not needed to attend this workshop. Community-partners who participate in this event are invited to contribute to the organization and facilitation of the day’s activities so that we can best support mission alignment and mutual collaboration.

Benefits of Attending:

  •  Networking with critical food academics and activists who share investments in advancing more just and equitable food systems.
  •  Elevating the important work you are doing in a public setting.
  •  Building capacity through sharing stories of the place-based and historically grounded particularities of your food systems work.
  •  Engaging in skills-based workshops to help facilitate meaningful storytelling through multiple mediums.
  •  Cultivating ways to build from, and mutually support, each other’s work.

After the workshop, GFASG will host an author roundtable celebrating new books in critical food studies:
A Recipe for Gentrification:Food, Power, and Resistance in the City, edited by Alison Hope Alkon, Yuki Kato, and Joshua Sbicca

Indigenous Food Sovereignties in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health, edited by Devon A. Mihesuah and Elizabeth Hoover, Foreword by Winoma LaDuke

The New American Farmer: Immigration, Race, and the Struggle for Sustainability, by Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern

Famine in the Remaking: Food System Change and Mass Starvation in Hawaii, Madagascar, and Cambodia, by Stian Rice