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Keynote Speakers

Julie Guthman

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Prof. Julie Guthman is a geographer and professor of social sciences at the University of California at Santa Cruz where she teaches courses primarily in global political economy and the politics of food and agriculture. She has published extensively on contemporary efforts to transform the way food is produced, distributed, and consumed, with a particular focus on voluntary food labels, community food security, farm-to-school programs, and the race and class politics of “alternative food”. Her publications include two multi-award winning books: Agrarian Dreams: the Paradox of Organic Farming in California and Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism. Her newest research is examining how new knowledge of the intergenerational effects of toxic pesticides is shaping grower adoption of and farmworker perspectives on alternatives to methyl bromide in California’s strawberry industry. She is also interested in the production and practice of nutritional science.

Melissa Caldwell

Melissa Caldwell

Melissa L. Caldwell is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the editor of Gastronomica. Her research, writing, and teaching focus on the role of food in political processes in Russia, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. She has written on food nationalism, culinary tourism, gardening and natural foods, and the social experience of hunger and food assistance. Her new research examines the shifting terrain of science and art in food, with particular attention to molecular gastronomy and food hacking. She is the author of Dacha Idylls: Living Organically in Russia’s Countryside (University of California Press 2011) and Not by Bread Alone: Social Support in the New Russia (University of California Press 2004), editor of Food & Everyday Life in the Postsocialist World (Indiana University Press 2009), and co-editor with James L. Watson of The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating (Blackwell 2004) and co-editor with Yuson Jung and Jakob Klein of Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World (University of California Press, In Press).

Mara Miele

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Dr. Mara Miele – Reader – Cardiff School of Planning and Geography

Mara Miele’s research addresses the geographies of ethical foods consumption and the role of animal welfare science and technology in challenging the role of farmed animals in current agricultural practices and policies. In recent years she has worked with a large interdisciplinary network of social and animal welfare scientists for developing innovative forms of critical public engagement with science that produced the EU animal welfare standard (Welfare Quality). In 2012 Mara Miele received the Ashby prize for the paper Miele, M. (2011) ‘The taste of happiness: free range chicken’, Environment and Planning A, 43 (9) 2070-2090. Other recent publications include. Between food and flesh: how animals are made to matter (and not to matter) within food consumption practices ’Environment and Planning D- Society and Space, 2012, 30(2), pp. 298-314, with Adrian Evans and ‘Civilizing the Market for Welfare Friendly Products? The Techno-Ethic of the Welfare Quality Assessment’, in press, Geoforum, with John Lever. Now she is taking forward this work with the new EU funded project EUWelNet for establishing a European research network of excellence and pilot European Animal Welfare Research Centre.

Editor in chief – International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Mike Goodman

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Mike Goodman is a senior lecturer in Geography at King’s College London broadly interested in the cultural politics of food, consumption and sustainability. He is a co-author on the recently published Alternative Food Networks (Routledge, 2012) and has the co-edited (with Colin Sage) the forthcoming volume Food Transgressions (Ashgate) exploring the multiple and contentious boundary-crossings of food. He also edits the Critical Food Studies book series with Ashgate and, with David Goodman, co-edits a second book series entitled Contemporary Food Politics with Berg. Current work is focused on the powerful mediations of food and eating by celebrity chefs and other forms of contemporary food media cultures; both will figure heavily in a forthcoming special issue of the journal Geoforum.

David Evans

David Evans

Dr David Evans is Lecturer in Sociology and Sustainable Consumption Institute Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on how consumption relates to the dynamics of everyday life and the ordering of social relations. More generally, he is interested in how ‘problematic’ trajectories of consumption emerge and the issues associated with governing them. He is currently working on a project that explores sustainable food consumption and another that explores how innovation processes interact with the contours of domestic life (with a specific focus on lighting and laundry). He has published widely on food waste and he edited (together with Hugh Campbell and Anne Murcott) the first collection of social science papers on the topic Waste Matters: New Perspectives on Food and Society (2013).

Valentin Thurn

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Valentin Thurn is a filmmaker who produced more than 40 documentaries for several German and international TV channels such as ARD, ZDF and Arte.

His new movie “Taste the waste” was one of the most successful documentaries in the German movie scene in 2011. The film participated at several national and international competitions and received more than 15 awards.
He also published two books on the topic “waste of food”: a recipe book and “Die Essensvernichter” (The Food Wreckers) .
Valentin Thurn was board member of the “International Federation of Environmental Journalists” in 1993 and he is currently chairman of the German Foodsharing association.


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