ESPS2107 - Food: Consumerism and Globalisation from Free Trade to Fair Trade

Course value: 0.5 unit
Convenor: Dr Mary Hilson
Duration: One term (Term 1)
Teaching structure: One hour lecture and one hour seminar
Assessment: 1 assessed essay 2,000 words (50%), 1 assessed essay 3,000 words (50%)
Available to: Second Years, Final Years, and Affiliates


Course Description:

The production and consumption of food is fundamental to human existence and not surprisingly it has generated some fierce political struggles.

This course explores the ‘moral economies’ of food production, consumption and distribution in the context of industrial capitalism, from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

The central assumption underpinning the course is that debates about food prices, fair trade, ethical production, globalisation, sustainability and ‘good’ consumption are not exclusively contemporary phenomena, but must be considered in historical perspective.

The course examines political struggles over food in different historical contexts in Europe and beyond, ranging from local demonstrations against high food prices to the international co-operative movement and its aspirations to create a consumers’ international.