Chancellor's Initiative in the Humanities

Food Studies at UIC: Local and Global Issues

Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, UIC Institute for the Humanities Director Susan Levine, and Dean Astrida Tantillo of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are pleased to announce the Chancellor's Initiative in the Humanities - "Food Studies at UIC: Local and Global Issues."

The Chancellor's Initiative in the Humanities is intended to highlight the creative and cutting-edge scholarship in the humanities at UIC. This two-year initiative, 2012-14, has as its theme "Food Studies at UIC: Local and Global Issues." Housed at the Institute for the Humanities, the Chancellor's Initiative addresses students, faculty, and the public in three specific ways:

  • Sponsor the April 4-6 2013 International Conference, Food Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives," and keynote speaker, physicist and philosopher, Vandana Shiva.
  • Host (with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) a post-doctoral fellowship in the Humanities with a focus on Food Studies for 2013-14.
  • Sponsor the Chancellor's 2013-14 Lecture in the Humanities: Global Food Issues. Speaker (confirmed): Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme and UIC Alumna (date TBA)

Food studies points toward cutting-edge research and practice across disciplines within the Liberal Arts and across the colleges at UIC. Issues such as hunger, obesity, food deserts, and school lunches, for example, link public health and nutrition to the study of human history, culture and behavior. How to tackle hunger in urban neighborhoods involves (among other fields) social policy, race and ethnic studies, urban sociology, and gender studies. Food Studies also links the local with the global as researchers seek solutions to the problems of food security and food aid, development and agricultural systems, and health and nutrition around the world. In this way, the Chancellor's Initiative in the Humanities with a focus on Food Studies is uniquely positioned to bring together UIC's "East" and "West" campus researchers and highlight the role of the humanities in understanding cultures, shaping new knowledge, and informing public policy.