Food and Work (DeadlineOctober 1)

Susan Levine and Steve Striffler send a call for papers for a special issue of Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas entitled “Food and Work.”

Food studies has become an important field for research as well as for activist-oriented students and faculty. A spate of new literature looks at foodways and identity, agricultural policy and the industrialization of the food system, commodity chains and globalization. What is missing from this new work is a historical look at food and agriculture as sites of work. The classic labor histories of meat-packing, restaurant work, or food boycotts, for example, have yet to be up-dated in response to this new research.

We will be editing a special volume of Labor focusing on the history of food work broadly defined. Possible topics include:

  • Cooking as domestic labor (slaves, servants, maids)
  • Agricultural labor in the context of globalization
  • The impact of fair trade on local agricultural labor
  • Food workers as political actors – eg, the anti-GMO movement in Mexico; the role of food workers in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Restaurant/food-service worker organizing
  • Working class diets – nutrition, malnutrition, and obesity as class issues
  • The work and industrialization in food service corporations
  • Agricultural policy (eg, the Green Revolution) as labor policy
  • Military rations – keeping soldiers healthy
  • Food politics – boycotts, food-strikes
  • Home Economics – gender and professional work/the de-skilling of cooks

Prospective authors should send abstract (300 words) and short CV to [email protected] and [email protected] by October 1, 2013. The editors will determine whether the proposed work fits thematically in the special issue. Articles will be due June 1, 2014. The special issue will appear as the Spring 2015 volume of Labor.