Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Becoming Food Crop: A Multispecies Ethnography of Three Food-Plants in a Changing California
by Sbrogna, Kristen Alina, Ph.D., Prescott College, 2018, 308; 13424517
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation details a doctoral research project studying three food-plants—and their potential for introduction into diet and agriculture in Northern California. Applying post-qualitative methods to multispecies ethnography, I followed three food-plants (millets, edible bulbs, and milkweeds) through their life cycles and production chains, considering their many interactions with other species and the biosphere, as well as with humans. Each food's story emerged while investigating the food-plant and its potential as an appropriate crop for Northern California's changing climate. I followed each food's lifecycle, both textually and in the field, uncovering intra-actions along a "soil to sustenance" framework. The study is presented as a narrative that examines each food within cultural and biological contexts. Expanding current crop introduction efforts within a biocultural diversity framework, I call for a diversification of our choices for crops based not only on historical and cultural relevance, but also on current and future relevance for an evolving place and time. In this way, we can look to adaptive crops and traditions from around the globe, representing both a decolonization and a diversification of agriculture and diet.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Parajuli, Pramod
Commitee: Anderson, Eugene N., Veteto, James R., Ward, Katherine B.
School: Prescott College
Department: Sustainability Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Climate Change, Agriculture, Sustainability
Keywords: Agrobiodiversity, Biocultural diversity, Crop introduction, Multispecies ethnography, Northern california food-plants
Publication Number: 13424517
ISBN: 978-0-438-84270-0
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