Fall 2023 - SA 326 D100

Food, Ecology and Social Thought (S) (4)

Class Number: 2857

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



Modernization narratives have placed food and agriculture on the margins of social thought. The current ecological crisis requires us to take a new look at the global agrifood system and its social, political and ecological relations. This course develops analytical perspectives on contemporary issues concerning food, ecology and agrarian change.


This course focuses on the sociology of food and agriculture and their ecological relations. Modernization narratives have placed agriculture and food relationships on the margins of most social analysis. However, the current ecological and food crises are forcing us to take a new look at global agrarian transformation and shifting relations of food, as well as their implications for the well-being of humans and non-human nature.

The course examines the crisis in the currently dominant "global food system" from a historical perspective. It also focuses on the current conditions of COVID-19 and climate change through the following lenses: peasant dispossession; land and seed enclosures; gendered and racialized labour relations; agro-industrialization including AI, algorithms, precision agriculture, biotechnology, and supermarketization; displacement of farming cultures; and colonization of food producers. The course provides unique opportunities to re-imagine the relationship among farming, food getting, and the nature by exploring global diversity in agricultural knowledge(s) including indigenous knowledge and non-market values of well-being; food sovereignty, agroecological movements; re-peasantization; the taste and smell of place and local cuisines.


  • Written summary 15%
  • Written commentary 10%
  • Class presentation 30%
  • Critical journals 25%
  • Presenting the international news of the week 5%
  • Participation in class (details will be discussed in class) 8%
  • Participation on Canvas (details will be discussed in class) 7%


Students will receive an N grade if they do not complete any one of the following assignments: Written summary; written commentary; class presentation; and critical journals. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



Available on Canvas, online, and at SFU Library. All required course readings are available on Canvas. I have also listed some optional readings for your perusal if you wish to read more.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.