Cornell University

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Keynote Address: Hanna Garth

Friday, September 29, 2023 at 10:00am to 11:30am

Africana Studies and Research Center, ​​​​​​​ AFC 120 Multipurpose Rm
310 Triphammer Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Conference: Food/Justice/Healing

Organized by: Central New York Humanities Corridor Working group on “Health Humanities”

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Keynote Address by Hanna Garth

Serving the Other: “Healthy Food” as a Racial Project

One of the central goals of the food justice movement is to increase access to and consumption of healthy food in low-income urban areas known as “food deserts.” Activists understand residents in these areas as unable to access healthy food at relatively limited numbers of full-service grocery stores, instead turning to fast food, corner stores and liquor stores for food access. While the mobilization of food justice projects is centered on the concept of “healthy food,” neither “healthy” nor “food” are explicitly defined. Based on ethnographic research conducted in South Central Los Angeles from 2009 to 2020, this talk illuminates how the concept of “healthy food” is loaded with assumptions about the ways different racialized populations eat, and operates a racial signifier indexing whiteness and in opposition to Black and Latine ways of eating. Building on this data, the talk analyzes conflicting forms of knowledge and everyday practices regarding what is healthy and good for the body.

Bio:  Hanna Garth is a sociocultural and medical anthropologist who studies food access and the global food system. Her recent work is focused on the connections between distribution systems, structural inequalities, health, and wellbeing. Specifically, she studies the ways in which changes in the global food system, and shifts in local food distribution systems impact communities, families, and individuals.  She studies these questions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and among Black and Latinx communities in the United States. She is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. She published the book Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal and co-edited the volume Black Food Matters: Food Justice in the Wake of Racial Justice.


Co-sponsored by Department of Anthropology, Department of Global Development, Society of the Humanities, and the Africana Studies and Research Center. Thank you!

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Anthropology, Sustainability


cascal, anthro, cashum, gdev, africal

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Stacey Langwick


Hanna Garth

Speaker Affiliation

Princeton University

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Dept. Web Site

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