Julian Agyeman and Sydney Giacalone

Oct 26, 2021

The Immigrant-Food Nexus

Borders, Labor, and Identity in North America

MIT Press 2020

The Immigrant-Food Nexus: Borders, Labor, and Identity in North America (MIT Press, 2020) considers the intersection of food and immigration at both the macroscale of national policy and the microscale of immigrant foodways—the intimate, daily performances of identity, culture, and community through food. Taken together, the chapters—which range from an account of the militarization of the agricultural borderlands of Yuma, Arizona, to a case study of Food Policy Council in Vancouver, Canada—demonstrate not only that we cannot talk about immigration without talking about food but also that we cannot talk about food without talking about immigration.

The book investigates these questions through the construct of the immigrant-food nexus, which encompasses the constantly shifting relationships of food systems, immigration policy, and immigrant foodways. The contributors, many of whom are members of the immigrant communities they study, write from a range of disciplines. Three guiding themes organize the chapters: borders—cultural, physical, and geopolitical; labor, connecting agribusiness and immigrant lived experience; and identity narratives and politics, from “local food” to “dietary acculturation.

Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and the Fletcher Professor of Rhetoric and Debate at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of "just sustainabilities", which explores the intersecting goals of social justice and environmental sustainability. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embodied relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. Julian's website is here. @julianagyeman

Sydney Giacalone is a doctoral student in Anthropology at Brown University. Her work bridges environmental anthropology, political ecology, critical food and labor studies, and critical race studies. Her current research focuses on rural farmers and ranchers in the US thinking about social and environmental topics including climate change, labor equity, immigration, environmental and community resilience, and racial justice. This research seeks to learn from and contribute to alliances between actors in the food system as they build new forms of political identity and mobilize the trope of the rural American farmer toward forms of socioenvironmental justice. Sydney grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, is an avid plant collector and cat mom, and resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

Amir Sayadabdi is a lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.

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Amir Sayadabdi

Amir Sayadabdi is a lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism.

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