New Research in Food Studies
2013-2014 Chicago Area Food Studies Working Group
Fall 2013 programs
The UIC Institute for the Humanities is proud to host a special series, “New Research in Food Studies.” Food Studies is rapidly becoming an important field of research in the humanities. Inherently interdisciplinary, food studies addresses a range of issues including the history, culture, politics, of food as well as questions of environment, agriculture, globalization and social justice.
This fall the Institute for the Humanities will bring three young scholars to campus to highlight new and creative work being done in the field of food studies.
"Food, Farms, and Global Poverty: Rethinking the History of the Green Revolution"
Tore Olsson, Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee
"Food, Farms, and Global Poverty: Rethinking the History of the Green
by Tore Olsson
, Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee
Of the many campaigns associated with the project of "development," none have been more widely celebrated or bitterly criticized than the Green Revolution, America's Cold War-era exportation of agricultural technology to the Third World. Yet whether they see it as an altruistic program of assistance or an indefensible environmental crime, both proponents and detractors of the Green Revolution have agreed that its origin and process may be found solely in the Third World, with its birthplace in Mexico under the Rockefeller Foundation's Mexican Agricultural Program (1943-1963). In this lecture I argue instead that the agrarian development model employed in Mexico and beyond was tested in the United States before it was exported abroad, specifically within the plantation economy of the early twentieth-century American South. Before Rockefeller agronomists confronted the problems of Mexican campesinos in their fields of corn, they had sought to alleviate the suffering of southern tenant farmers in their fields of cotton, as agents of the Rockefeller philanthropies' General Education Board (1903-1914). The lessons of the American South - a sort of domestic laboratory for overcoming poverty - were therefore fundamental to shaping the early years of the Green Revolution, and indeed much of the U.S.-led "development" project of the Cold War era. Tore Olsson
University of Tennessee