Ethnographic Field School in Sustainable Food Systems, Albany GA

Directors: GSU Anthropology Senior Lecturer Dr. Faidra Papavasiliou and Dr. Carrie Furman, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Georgia Dept. Crop and Soil Sciences, Southeast Climate Consortium

goatsLaunched in summer 2015, this field school is part of a 3-year, multi-disciplinary project to investigate different food hubs as they are beginning to emerge in Georgia, understand their effects on farmers, their communities, and the food system at large, identify common problems, solutions and best practices for developing these businesses, and share this information with the public. Students participate in a live, applied social science project with tangible significance in the lives of people in Georgia. For the field component, they engage in three weeks of participant observation in farms and food hub centers in one of a number of locations across the state, to gain first-hand experience and understanding of how these operations work, the problems they may encounter, the relationships they build, and the solutions and innovations they create. In this course, students gain training and practice in ethnographic field methods, produce original research, and have opportunities for participating in publications.

– 1 week of intensive training in ethnographic methods
– 3 weeks of participant observation field work in sustainable farms and food hub centers
– 2 weeks of data analysis and writing
Course goals
1. Theory:
a. Small-scale agriculture and sustainability
b. Food systems
c. Capitalism, development, discontents, reactions
d. Race, class, ethnicity, gender
e. Social movements and collective action
2. Ethnography
a. Small-scale agriculture in Georgia
b. Food Hubs as novel forms of food distribution
3. Methods
a. Conception, design and implementation of an ethnographic project
b. Applied research
c. Fieldwork – participant observation, field notes, photography, interviews, ethics
d. Documentation and ethnographic writing/presentations
– Participation/work/conduct
– Paper
– Presentation
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