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Monday, February 17, 2020 at 4:30pm
Goldwin Smith Hall, 64 Kaufman Auditorium
232 East Ave, Central Campus
Is the fix in on the Pork Fix in China'? That's what guest speaker, Mindi Schneider will explore in her talk, The Pork Fix: African Swine Fever and the Opportunity of Crisis in China’s Pork Industry. Professor Schneider is from Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. This event is co-sponsored by the Polson Institute for Global Development, Developmental Sociology, CALS and the Cornell East Asia Program.
Abstract: The year 2019 left no question about the importance of pork in Chinese politics and society, and in the operation of the global food system. In the wake of a sudden and deadly African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic that began in 2018, China, far and away the world’s leading hog producer, was suddenly short on pork. About a third of China’s national swine herd, nearly 300 million animals, perished in the span of a year. Consumer prices and inflation rose, and international pork exporters jumped at the chance fill the gaping pork holes left in the wake of the crisis.
This seminar situates the ASF epidemic in ongoing capitalist industrialization of pig farming in China. It traces the rise of pork since the early 1980s as a political economic project premised on both ‘global’ and ‘local’ forces and relations, with ‘global’ and ‘local’ implications. The seminar will examine how current and past pork crises have been turned into opportunities for power and profit, not just for international exporters, but also for Chinese domestic capital and the party-state.
Mindi Schneider is Assistant Professor of Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the social and ecological transformations that accompany the capitalization and industrialization of agro-food systems, with special attention to China. She collaborates on Feeding China: The Project on China’s Food Histories, Geographies, and Ecologies with Dr. Alexander Day at Occidental College, and is a leader of the Commodity Frontiers Initiative hosted by the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard.