University of Vermont

Food Systems Initiative

Gender, Class, and Food

Report Out from the August 2013 Workshop

On August 15-16, 2013, UVM researchers hosted a workshop on Gender, Class, and Food Work. This was the first-ever collaboration between the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program, the Food Sytems Initiative, and the Food Systems Graduate Program at the University of Vermont. The workshop was organized by UVM faculty members Amy Trubek, Felicia Kornbluh, and Teresa Mares. Our objective was to share existing faculty research, and to consider collaborative opportunities for researching, publishing and pursuing funding on themes related to gender, class, and food work. We set ourselves the goal of generating new collaborations between or among faculty and graduate students that would be genuinely “transdisciplinary,” allowing us to become more than the sum of our parts.

The workshop was a great success. On the first day, we heard nine empirical research papers, divided into three panels. Each received an engaged commentary from discussants who helped to draw out themes between the papers and the overarching workshop themes. On day two, we began to synthesize our findings, to locate points of convergence and collaboration, and share opportunities for publication. We shared our thoughts with community partners working on anti-hunger advocacy, organizing among restaurant workers, and sustaining the local food system of Vermont. We heard about their work and what they perceive as the most pressing research questions.

Future Work

Our next steps include developing panels and special plenaries for next summer’s joint meetings of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, and Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, scheduled for June 2014 in Burlington, Vermont. In addition, we will work to develop an edited volume or special volume based on our work, and will be reaching out to other scholars working on these issues outside of UVM.

During the 2013-14 academic year, the collaboration will utilize its remaining resources and potential new funds to support dialogue among researchers and community partners through coordinating policy workshops and reading groups to support the development of works-in-progress and to remain up to date on the latest relevant scholarship.


If you have questions about the collaboration or would like to participate, please contact Teresa Mares.

Last modified September 04 2013 12:05 PM