As people, capital and cultural values flow across national and sub-national borders, so does food. Such movement is never seamless. It produces friction that has to be managed by municipalities around issues of zoning, licensing, health, and waste disposal, leading to political concerns of inhabitation, entrepreneurship, cultural consumption and tourism. “City Food: Lessons from People on the Move” brings together historians, sociologists, media analysts, curators, cultural theorists of globalization and geographers to generate cross-disciplinary knowledge, methodological innovations and public policy outcomes on migration and urban foodways. Our partnership builds on the scholarly recognition that 21st century cities are surpassing centralized national regimes as sites of innovation and democratic mobilization. Foodways - networks of food production, regulation, circulation, consumption and waste management - have changed with the historic and global transformation of cities. This initiative links the physical and cultural needs of urban residents – natives and immigrants -- to their economic dreams and the everyday practice of governance and planning. By examining the politics of food exchange in five global cities with intermingled histories and diasporas - New York, Toronto, Delhi, Singapore, and Sydney - our research initiative permits a global examination of food and practices of production, preparation, regulation, and consumption that has never been undertaken in Food Studies. This initiative therefore reshapes academic and public debates around urban foodways by putting into global dialogue questions of cultural representation, ethnic community-building, and civic policy.
To build bridges between scholars, knowledge mobilization groups, and community organizations. The intent of this partnership is to shape scholarly practice and regulation by engaging advocacy groups involved in the task of deepening city-level processes of political and cultural democratization for improved urban governance and livable cultural policies.
To engage urban stakeholders and broader publics through exhibits and public fora. We seek to improve opportunities for underrepresented stakeholders in the urban food system, and we consider display and representational practices to be crucial means to generating productive public discussions on food, migration, social advocacy and urban governance.
To extend the partnership between New York University and the University of Toronto (UTSC) with global collaborators in Asia and Australia and apply for a Partnership Grant through Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council in 2015.