Signs – Journal of Women in Culture and Society – Special Issue
As agriculture becomes increasingly globalized, feminist concerns about women and agriculture revolve around issues of food security, social justice, and sustainability. Women across the globe have always played major roles in agricultural production, contributing substantially to food production and food security, but they often work in difficult conditions with low pay and inadequate access to land and capital. Despite women’s considerable role in agricultural production, they are markedly absent at the policy level in multinational corporations, international institutions, and national and state governments that determine directions for agriculture. The intersections of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality are, and have been historically, central to the politics of agriculture, structuring who produces food, who benefits from the global food system, and who eats.Women agriculturalists in the Global South are particularly vulnerable to free trade agreements that advantage agribusiness in Western nations.
Women are nonetheless active in resisting the increasing globalization and corporatization of food. Scholarship on women farmers raises fascinating theoretical debates on women’s bodies, multiple identities, and technologies. Feminist science studies address issues of genetically engineered food and women’s agricultural knowledge and seed saving.
For this special issue we invite international, transnational, and comparative studies that engage theoretical and historical analyses of women and agriculture and analyses of racial, ethnic, and gendered dimensions of agriculture.We seek manuscripts on women and sustainable agriculture, on women in leadership and decision-making positions, and in feminist science studies pertaining to women’s knowledge and changing agricultural practices.
Carolyn Sachs, professor of rural sociology and women’s studies, Penn State University, United States, and Margaret Alston, professor of social work and human services and director of the Centre for Rural Social Research, Charles Sturt University, Australia, will serve as guest editors of the special issue on women and agriculture.
The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2008. The issue will appear in Autumn 2009. Guidelines for submission are available at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/Signs/instruct.html.