Join us for our February Center Fellows Speaker Series talk:

Kitchenspace: Participatory approaches to food and gendered spaces of everyday life in Mexico, Uganda, and Ethiopia

February 22, 2023, 1-2 pm ET 

Presented by Dr. Maria Elisa Christie

Director, Women and Gender in International Development

Center for International Research, Education, and Development

Virginia Tech

As director of Women and Gender in International Development (WGD) at the Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED) at Virginia Tech, Dr. Christie works in multi-disciplinary teams addressing gendered aspects of agricultural research-for-development projects funded by USAID’s Feed the Future. In this presentation, she will share how an approach she developed as a PhD student of geography to explore everyday life and nature/society relations in central Mexico has been useful in work with small-holder farmers in Uganda and Ethiopia. Focusing on food preparation began as a feminist strategy to recognize women’s knowledge and priorities in three communities in Mexico, including Xochimilco, where preparing food for community celebrations is part of the fabric of everyday life. She draws on feminist political ecology as a framework, using ethnographic and participatory research methods including hand-drawn mapping, journaling, and a milk allocation game. Focusing on food and kitchenspace has served to explore issues as diverse as aflatoxins and food safety in Uganda and invasive weeds and integrated pest management in Ethiopia. In this presentation she will share her research from the three countries, including reflections on the process, and key findings that emerge such as cultural resistance and adaptation to climate change literally in women’s hands and the importance of food for building and maintaining community social networks.

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