WRDTC Seminar: Geographies of food and the ‘follow the thing’ approach

White Rose DTC Human Geography Pathway:
Inaugural Food Studies Seminar Event

Geographies of food and the ‘follow the thing’ approach

Thursday 26th February 2015  |  4:00pm – 6:00pm
Dr Ian Cook, University of Exeter
Professor Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield
Dr Megan Blake, University of Sheffield
Ron Johnston Research Room
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
Winter Street, Sheffield, S10 2TN

In 2015 we are establishing a series of events related to social scientific approaches to food studies. The events will be based within the Human Geography pathway of the White Rose DTC but are open to anyone who is interested in food studies and social science. Future speakers will be from other disciplines including sociology, anthropology and others.
This event is free of charge but if you wish to attend please notify Jonas House: <jhouse1@sheffield.ac.uk>


For the inaugural event, Dr Ian Cook, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Exeter, will be discussing his work using the ‘follow the thing’ approach to food studies and to the analysis of other commodities.The session will also feature a panel discussion facilitated by Dr Angela Meah, between Dr Cook, Professor Peter Jackson, and Dr Megan Blake. They will discuss the ‘state of the art’ in food studies research and their experience with a collaborative approach to authorship.

Dr Cook and Professor Jackson were among eleven co-authors on the recent chapter ‘Food’s cultural geographies: texture, creativity & publics’ (in Johnson et al. 2013, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography – see https://foodculturalgeographies.wordpress.com  for more details). The chapter outlined key issues in food studies research and was authored collaboratively.

Dr Blake contributed to Dr Cook’s article ‘Geographies of food: afters’, which also used an innovative collaborative approach to reviewing key topics in geographical food research.

Dr Meah, the panel’s facilitator, has research interests in domestic food practices and has had the experience of working collaboratively with Professor Peter Jackson amongst others.

Ian Cook‘s previous works include the three significant ‘Geographies of food’ review papers in Progress in Human Geography, and although his recent research has focused on the commodity-centred research process rather than food specifically he is well placed to offer an insight into how the area of food studies has developed. Dr Cook is also a longtime advocate of innovative collaborative research: in addition to his experience of creating work in an iterative process with large numbers of co-authors, he acknowledges his intellectual debt to others in his own writing by signing his name as ‘Ian Cook et al.

Peter Jackson is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield.  Recent projects include an interdisciplinary study of ‘Changing Families, Changing Food’ (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) and a study of consumer anxieties about food (funded by the European Research Council).  New work focuses on ‘convenience’ food with colleagues in Denmark, Germany and Sweden (funded by the ERA-Net sustainable food initiative).  Recent publications include Food Words (2013) and the Handbook of Food Research (2013).  His new book, Anxious Appetites: food and consumer culture, will be published later this year.  Besides his academic work, Peter currently chairs the Food Standards Agency’s Social Science Research Committee.

Megan Blake is the Director of the Food Security and Food Justice MA in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests focus on the ways that social institutions, practices and place differentially shape access to resources, with her recent research focusing on food availability and food justice. She has undertaken this work across a number of international contexts including the UK, Hong Kong and Hungary.  Methodologically, this research adopts collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches. As such, a second strand of her research considers the ways in which the public can be engaged within research that seeks to address issues of food justice, including ways in which partnerships between the public and the university can inform research questions, outputs, interventions and policy. More information is available on her blog: http://GeoFoodie.Org

More information here on the WRDTC website.