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Food geographies 'in,' 'of' and 'for' the Anthropocene: Introducing the issue and main themes
journal contributionposted on 21.09.2022, 14:18 authored by Damian Maye, Ben Coles, David Evans
The Anthropocene provides a useful way to think through all manner of human–environment processes and challenges. This is especially pronounced in relation to food and farming, which are heavily implicated in changes to the Earth's biophysical and chemical processes. Yet, despite burgeoning interest in the Anthropocene as a concept, it is comparatively absent from recent developments in food geography. This is surprising given the profound impacts of food and agriculture on biogeochemical flows and geographical strata, and given future predictions regarding ‘Anthropogenic climate change.’ The objective of this Theme Issue therefore, and the five papers that comprise it, is to redress this by directly connecting and drawing together social science scholarship that examines food geographies ‘in,’ ‘of’ and ‘for’ the Anthropocene. The Theme Issue papers engage with different aspects of the Anthropocene as spatial phenomena and here we integrate relevant arguments from each, alongside wider agri-food geographical scholarship, to explain what we mean by food geographies ‘in,’ ‘of’ and ‘for’ the Anthropocene. In doing so, we respond to Tsing and colleagues' (2019, Current Anthropology 60, S186–97) call for a spatial as well as temporal treatment of the Anthropocene. These spatial expressions are also key to the proliferation of terms that have accompanied developments in Anthropocene scholarship. We conclude by offering up some brief reflections on a future research agenda. An important first step is to conceptualise food geographies ‘in,’ ‘of’ and ‘for’ the Anthropocene, including accounts that ground and potentially unsettle food and the Anthropocene as Capitalocene (Moore, 2016, Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, history, and the crisis of capitalism) and food and the Anthropocene as more-than-human (Haraway, 2016, Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucen). A second step is to address key contemporary Anthropogenic agri-food relations, especially those that are already in flux or transition. A final priority for future research is to deepen and extend the ethics of care and moral food geographies of the Anthropocene imperative.