By Nhial Tiitmamer
The University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus has invited a number of experts to explore this year’s theme of food at a symposium on Thursday, January 29, 2009. Augustana’s annual theme is aimed at engaging the campus and the surrounding communities in a conversation centered on food related issues, ranging from local food, corporate power over food, environmental sustainability relating to food production to healthy eating, among others.
Speakers will share with audience their experience and expertise gained from many years of devotion to issues of food in their careers. The speakers include Dr. Nettie Wiebe, Rhona McAdam, Dr. Kim Raine, Dr. Ian MacLachlan, Dr. Janet Wesselius and Chris Turner.
Dr. Nettie Wiebe, who will deliver the morning address, will explore issues of food sovereignty. Wiebe has devoted her time over many years to farming and has championed issues related to sustainable agriculture. She will speak about what it will take to gain food sovereignty. Are we independent when it comes to food or do we depend on some outside powers in order to feed our families? If so, is it possible to regain food sovereignty?
An award winning journalist and a bestselling author, Mr. Chris Turner will be the afternoon keynote speaker, taking audiences through the reality of sustainable living based on his book, The Geography of Hope.
Dr. Kim Raine and Dr. Janet Wesselius will give their talks at the morning panel. Dr. Raine, a registered dietician and a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, will examine healthy eating, paying a particular focus on how to tackle obesity. Dr. Wesselius will explore what she calls “the unbearable weight of gender in flesh.” Wesselius’s research has focused on the philosophy of science and environmental theory and feminist epistemology.
Miss Rhona McAdam, a renowned poet with considerable experience as a food writer, will deliver part one of her Iambic Cafés in the morning and part two in late morning to noon.
Dr. Ian MacLachlan will give the afternoon address, exploring wheat and livestock food regime in North America. Dr. MacLahlan is a professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge and his research has focused on the livestock –meat commodity chain.
As a teach-in day, all classes are cancelled so that students can attend the sessions. Some professors also include the day’s discussions as projects for classes.
Chosen by a team composed of faculty, staff and students, Augustana annual themes reflect the interests of surrounding communities, society as a whole and interdisciplinary interest of students. With this theme, it is hope that a better understanding can be reached around the many issues related to food.
For more details about the theme Symposium, please visit the theme web page: http://www.augustana.ualberta.ca/news/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/theme