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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Geographies of Food (GEGR10115)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe study of food in all its dimensions offers insights into a wide range of pressing questions in human geography. Food occupies everyone to some extent, connecting people to plantation economies and histories, national and transnational resources, regulations and markets, commodity cultures and alternative economies, and collective understandings of risk, scarcity and abundance. The course provides students with a political, economic, and social understanding of food production, marketing/distribution and consumption, power-laden processes revealed as connected in time and space. Students will gain a holistic understanding of food systems in the global North and South, including current trends that restructure the North/South divide, complementing other courses with an international development focus. Students will become proficient in the use of qualitative methods to understand, compare and evaluate food-related projects enacted at different scales.
Course description The course will enable students to provide a chronological account of food systems that have emerged over the past two centuries as a result of global capitalism and relate them to present political economic relations within and between the global North and South. Students will be able to explain the political economic and social workings of the dominant food system at various scales and demonstrate a knowledge of alternative trends, including a field trip to a local community garden. They will relate experiences and practices of food production and/or consumption to the food policies of Scotland, the United Kingdom, Europe and/or the World Trade Organisation. Students will provide considered and relevant responses to issues introduced in class and online, using theories and examples from the readings and lectures, and work collaboratively with other students in developing, systematising and presenting a small research project. The course will enhance specialist knowledge and understanding of geographies of agri-food systems, including a range of established techniques and research methodologies. By the end of the course, students will be able to interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of data about agri-food systems in the past and present.

Towards the end of the course (day/time TBC) we will be heading to Granton Community Farm on a field trip that captures how alternative food networks work (or do not) in practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Human Geography (GEGR08007) OR Development and Decolonization in Latin America (GEGR10114)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Fieldwork Hours 16, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 140 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 60%, Course Work: 40 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Written Exam: 60%, Course Work: 40 %, Practical Exam: 0%.
60% exam; 40% essay (2,000-word).
In addition to the above components of assessment, students must complete three formative assignments (TBC).

Formative assignments will be due in class in weeks 3, 6 and 11. The degree assignment (2,000 word essay) will be due on Thursday of week 8 at 12pm.
Feedback Students will be provided formative feedback from the course organiser and tutor in both written and verbal form. Verbal feedback will be given on summative assessments including presentations and during lecture discussions, individual meetings held during office hours (optional), course reading seminars and at the examination feedback session following the release of course results. Written and oral feedback will be given on summative written assignments and the essay assignment that comprises 40% of the student┐s mark. Examples of feedback can be found here:
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. be able to outline a chronological survey of food regimes and relate then to present political economic relations witihn and between the global North and South
  2. be able to explain the political economic and social workings of the dominant food systems at various scales and demonstrate a knowledge of alternative trends
  3. be able to interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of data about food systems in the past and present
Reading List
1. Bell, D. and Valentine, G. 1997. Consuming geographies: we are where we eat. London and New York: Routledge.

2. Counihan, Carole and Penny van Esterik. 2007. Food and culture: a reader (second edition). London and New York: Routledge.

3. Friedberg, Susan. 2004. French beans and food scares. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

4. Friedmann, Harriet. From colonialism to green capitalism: social movements and the emergence of food regimes. In Fredrick H. Buttel and Philip McMichael (eds) New directions in the sociology of global development (research in rural sociology and development, vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.227-264.

5. Fuller, Duncan, Andrew E. G. Jonas and Roger Lee. 2010. Interrogating alterity: alternative economic and political spaces. Surrey: Ashgate, chs. 6 and 10.

6. Millstone, Eric and Timothy Lang. 2009. The atlas of food: Who eats what, where and why. Berkeley: University of California Press.

7. Sen, Amartya. Food and Freedom. Available at:

8. Wilson, Marisa. 2014. Everyday moral economies: food, politics and scale in Cuba. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell (chapter 6).

Additional readings in the course handbook.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Upon completing the course, students will be able to:
1. critically evaluate evidence and develop reasoned arguments orally, visually and in writing
2. work in a group to plan and conduct qualitative fieldwork, presenting outcomes in a clear and engaging manner
3. prepare maps and other visual material to demonstrate specific problems, concepts or trends
4. produce written work to a high standard, leaving enough time for thorough revision(s)
5. actively engage in learning by locating and reading appropriate source material, utilising resources and support offered by the university and scheduling appointments with the course organiser during office hours or when necessary
Special Arrangements None
KeywordsFood networks,commodity cultures,food regimes,alternative (or moral) economies,scale,qualitativ
Course organiserDr Marisa Wilson
Tel: (131 6)51 4634
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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