Conference Photos

Thank You for Helping Make the American Studies Foodshelf Drive a Success

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Emergency Foodshelf Network food drive that the American Studies Department hosted in conjunction with our recent American Studies Conference on “Alternatives in a Changing Food World.”

In addition to cash donations, Macalester contributed 278 pounds of food to the Emergency Foodshelf Network.

As the Twin Cities has seen growth in our immigrant population, food shelves have not been able to keep up with the rising demand for culturally specific food items. This network was selected as it provides culturally specific initiatives  to increase the amount of culturally appropriate food that is distributed to people in need. 

Fourteenth Annual American Studies Conference

Keynote Address Featuring

Psyche Williams-Forson

Psyche Williams-Forson
University of Maryland

Thursday, February 21

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Alexander G. Hill Ballroom, Kagin Commons

6-7:30 p.m.
Keynote Address
Alexander G. Hill Ballroom, Kagin Commons

Friday, February 22

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lunch and Panel Discussion
Weyerhaeuser Boardroom

6:30-8:30 p.m.
Screening of “Soul Food Junkies” and conversation with filmmaker Byron Hurt
Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, John B. Davis Lecture Hall

Alternatives in a Changing Food World

Fresh food

Psyche Williams-Forson is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in American Studies at the University of Maryland. Her research and teaching interests include cultural studies, material culture, food, women’s studies, and social and cultural history of the U.S. in the late 19th and 20th centuries. She is the co-editor of Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World (Routledge 2011). Her award-winning book, Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power, (University of North Carolina Press, 2006), examines the complexity of black women’s legacies using food as a form of cultural work. Dr. Williams-Forson is also the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants including a Senior Fellowship at the Smithsonian and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship.

Increasing attention has been paid to processes of food production, distribution, acquisition and consumption that tend to operate apart from, but within conventional food systems. Many advocates see the solution as tapping into alternative food networks (AFNs)—farmer’s markets, co-ops, and community sponsored agricultural sites—where not only can fresh food be obtained, but also a sense of connection with the people, places and processes involved with growing and supplying their food. In today’s economy where rapidly changing food options and movements are the order of the day, it’s important that we not limit our thinking of “alternatives” to choosing between organic and conventional options. At a time when food access and security is on the minds of food system researchers, it’s imperative that we consider many options, including the role of the value market store, as an immediate place of food acquisition. This talk encourages our consideration of value stores, bodegas and ethnic markets, as well as social and religious networks that challenge how we define terms like “alternative” and “sustainability.” This talk will provide food for thought.

Download the Conference Program