Lecture series: Visual Framing of Food Technologies. 16-18 October 2019

Published on
September 30, 2019

You are hereby cordially invited to a series of keynote lectures, as part of the international seminar Visual Framing of Food Technologies. Each talk will be followed by Questions and Answers and an open discussion.

Wed 16 October 2019 11:00-12:30

Detecting Food Networks: Visual Democracy and the Investigation of Food Controversies. Huub Dijstelbloem, University of Amsterdam

Forum | Rooms 031, 034 behind WUR-SHOP

The ‘eye’ has returned with a vengeance in political theory. Notions such as ‘ocular democracy’, ‘monitoring democracy’ and ‘counter democracy’ all emphasize the critical role of watchful citizens that control the movements of states and industries. Methodologically, visualizations of all sorts offer important contributions to many disciplinary fields, varying from policy studies to security studies and media studies. But what does the visual have to offer in the study of food and food technologies? This lecture discusses the conceptual underpinnings of the political role of the eye. It pays particular attention to the role of “food detectives” that uncover “food controversies”. The lecture will discuss how visual events can be regarded as particular openings to explore the networks food is part of: food chains, value chains, infrastructures. Elaborating on the approach set out by Latour and others in Making Things Public (2005) the lecture argues the visual approach to food controversies helps to imagine the broader conflicts food issues are part of. 


Thu 17 October 15:30-17:00

Growing Monstrous Organisms? The power of (in)visibility for shaping the politics of food. Kelly Clancy, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Impulse | Speakers Corner

Most food technologies operate invisibly: consumers are unable to tell the difference between a genetically modified tomato and a “natural” tomato. In the United States, this invisibility is exacerbated by the lack of mandatory labeling of GMOs. Without labels, or clear differences, opponents of food technologies use memetic images of the process, product, and implication of food modification in order to make their opposition clear. The talk primarily focuses on the way that GMOs, in particular, are framed in popular media, and how this framing spills over into other depictions of food and food technologies – including the counter construction of “organic” and “natural” foods. In particular, I am interested in the way that these images travel across borders and technologies. I then consider the implications of this framing for political debate in both the United States and in Europe.


Fri 18 October 11:30-13:00

Networked images of controversial topics: Visual and digital methods for issue research and public participatory work. Sabine Niederer, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Forum | Rooms 031, 034 behind WUR-SHOP

Visual methodologies offer means to map issues as they are discussed online, understand the visual vernaculars of such issues on social media platforms, and engage publics in situated participatory practices. In her talk, Sabine Niederer will present methods and tools for issue analysis. Focusing on the online climate change debate, she will address how digital and visual methods can be put to use to map the the climate change debate on the web, and assess the place and status of certain topics, objects and actors in the online debate. Secondly, Niederer will discuss how visual methodologies may be used to study the ‘platform vernaculars’ of climate change, looking at online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia. Thirdly, she will present visual data practices for public participatory work around social issues. This lecture aims to offer food for discussion and possible ways forward for researchers willing to work with digital and visual methods to study controversial issues.