Wall Scholars Alumni Lunch with Harriet Friedmann

Mar 13, 2019
  • Capacity: 25
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Location:
    Peter Wall Institute Seminar Room
    6331 Crescent Road

Facing Challenges to Food Sovereignty: Can We Learn from History and Nature how to Navigate in Turbulent Waters?

This talk proposes a deep historical perspective on large changes informed by ecology and nuanced histories of technology. The food system, which necessarily connects humans to the earth and to each other, is the deepest transformation and the least studied by social and ecological disciplines. Food sovereignty is an aspiration, which helps to envision a destination that is fuzzy at a distance but comes into focus as we get closer through experimenting with new relationships, practices and ideas.

In contrast to the usual metaphors of railways or roads, routes that are already in place and no longer taking us where we can live well (or at all), the metaphor of sailing might help us find our way to the distant shore of a resilient and just food system. Harriet Friedmann will use this metaphor to introduce a social and an ecological model —  socio-technical transitions and panarchy — each of which illuminates how creative initiatives can sometimes inadvertently support locked-in ideas, institutions, and power, and sometimes also (or instead) contribute to deep transformations across scales of times, places and institutions.


Harriet Friedmann is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at University of Toronto and was a Visiting Professor of Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has served as Chair of the Political Economy of the World System Section of the American Sociological Association, and has published widely on topics related to the international political economy of food and agriculture.

Please register for this event by Wednesday, March 6, 2019.