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"Challenging the Scarcity Slot: Building Alternate Archives of Food Security in West Africa"
Amanda Logan, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
"Challenging the Scarcity Slot: Building Alternate Archives of Food Security in West Africa" by Amanda Logan, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
African foodways are often portrayed as unchanging traditions plagued by chronic food insecurity and forever subject to the vagaries of environmental change. These assumptions are based mostly on the present day and obscure our ability to determine why and under what conditions these problems arose. Using archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data, I trace continuity and change in foodways and the late emergence of food insecurity in Banda, Ghana. Through building these alternate archives we can critically evaluate some truisms about African food and agriculture, and begin to understand food change in non-literate societies, who are arguably the most affected by food insecurity today.