After thorough review, the Hall Network is pleased to announce two recipients of the Inaugural Scholarly Seed Grant. The first is Dr. Renee VanVechten and her course development project titled "Food Politics & Policy". The second is a group comprised of Dr. Amber Bechard, Dr. Kim Coles, Dr. John Glover, Dr. James Krueger and Dr. Eric McLaughlin and their project titled "Southern Africa Coridor". Continue reading for a brief description, adapted from the project proposals, of each of the two projects.
Stable governments and economies of scale depend on the safety and widespread availability of food that sustains populations, and U.S. consumers depend on a largely invisible regulatory system to ensure a safe, nutritional, affordable, sustainable, and sufficient food supply. Globalization and climate change represent just two major forces that will drive food politics higher up the US agenda, especially if systems of production and delivery experience major disruptions that expose vulnerabilities in the world’s food supply chain. The issues that US consumers (i.e. students) confront through the simple act of eating are implicated in culture, the national economy, the evolution of regulatory structures, the global economy, and rights regimes, and food policy continues to evolve domestically and internationally in response to these forces.
Through an initiative called the Southern Africa Corridor (SAC), we seek to engage with and eventually work with faculty and staff at the Universities of Swaziland and Johannesburg (South Africa), at the Ministry of Health (Swaziland), and with non-governmental organizations on issues of 1) health, 2) education, and 3) development and humanitarianism. The SAC envisions two 7-10 day interactions across the continents, the first in Johannesburg and Swaziland, the second in Redlands. Activities planned consist of formal meetings, seminar style presentations, intentional conversations, and policy site visits as well as outreach after each travel trip. The outcomes of this venture include establishing long-term contacts for collaborative research and teaching. Because of the interdisciplinary backgrounds of the participants involved (history, political science, political anthropology, philosophy, educational curriculum, health services, activism, and human resources), we will be approaching policy issues from multi-faceted and comparative perspectives.
The aim of this project is to create a “Southern Africa Corridor” (SAC) for the University of Redlands, a framework for classes, faculty and student research, internships, and other opportunities related to the region connecting the city of Johannesburg and the Kingdom of Swaziland. Beyond this regional focus, the SAC will be organized around themes of health, education, and humanitarianism, drawing on the University’s institutional strength in GIS. The SAC will encompass active research collaborations, involving both students and faculty, across the University of Redlands, University of Johannesburg, and University of Swaziland. It will foster active engagement by faculty and students with governmental (e.g., Swazi Ministry of Health), and non-governmental (e.g., Youth Education Farm, Clinton Foundation, MSF) organizations active in the region. It will develop and support internships and other educational opportunities in the region, including student and faculty exchanges with both the University of Johannesburg and University of Swaziland. Its intent is to leverage interest in and concern with social issues into more pragmatic and concrete actions based on working towards resolving those pressing social issues.