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Les Reclusiennes: Call for papers

Call for papers: general frame

Reclusiennes 2014, 8-13 July, Ste Foy la Grande, 33-France
Anne-Hélène Delavigne, Philippe Pelletier and Marc Sahraoui

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1Agricultural issues are currently in the limelight. They appear on the agenda of many institutions and governments. All over the world they provoke protests and demonstrations on the part of producers and consumers - involving pastoralists, indigenous peoples and citizens alike throughout the world. Food production and relations to the land manifest the political and social preoccupation of our increasingly urban and globalising societies with land monopoly, the patentability of living organisms, the control of seeds and the quality of food, to take only the most salient of the many issues raised.

2What does this rising ecological consciousness signify? Is it a harbinger of a new social vision? Of new social forms? Is it possible to realize these dreams of a ‘social ecology’? How?

3Is ‘social ecology’ a means of designing non-exploitative social relations? Can the model of an exploited labour force inherited from the nineteenth century give way to a society structured by emancipation and mutual aid ?

4Or is the current fascination with agro-food issues a refuge for identity politics? Should we talk about a « counter-society » that lays bare fundamental tensions between ecology and politics ?

5This conference seeks presentations from researchers and activists alike concerned by ecologism and the way protest movements engender political and social propositions.

6Les Reclusiennes 2014 will follow the path opened by Elisée Reclus, the social and libertarian-anarchist geographer born in Ste Foy la Grande. He held human beings responsible for the earth, the land : "Man has become the conscience of the earth".

7The articulation of political and social issues is at the core of anarchist thought and nowhere more clearly than in the concept of ‘social ecology.’ Social change should not be achieved at the expense of environment. It would be very destructive not to include environment protection in social change.

8How is this capital of experiences and reflections mobilized in contemporary alternatives ? What kind of utopia do they construct?

9Les Reclusiennes 2014 also seek to explore the mobilization of relations to locality, to agriculture and to food, throughout the world. How, breaking away from purely technological answers, do these relations open up new horizons for action and the transformation of society?

10Presentations may take various forms : workshop discussion, public talk, film debate, exhibition, a musical or theatrical performance, perhaps a meal...

Theme 1 – The earth as production tool in globalisation

11During this session we want to consider the adoption of the productivist model in France, in which many farmers believed before breaking away from it. Looking back at industrialization means questioning relations to the State model of agrarian organisation and food supply : the constitution of specialised chains of production in former colonies such as string beans in Burkina Faso (S. Freidberg, 2010), organic farming in Morocco (Bennani et Herman, 2012), pig-farming delocalised to Eastern Europe, Malian immigrants working in Breton slaughterhouses or Moroccans in Bordeaux vineyards. In the world race for authenticity, local heritage drives globalisation. With the designation of « terroir » (Trubek 2009), age-old agricultural landscapes and vineyards catch the attention of urban tourists who overlook social, economic and ecological consequences for those who work there.

12We intend to consider the status of « people of the land » today and the conditions of labour in farming and the agro-industry, particularly migrant farm workers (Berlan 1988, Crenn, Tersigni, 2013, Mésini 2013). We also plan to examine the conditions that turn living organisms into production tools, land, human beings and animals into merchandise.

13We need to investigate movements that work for the de-industrialisation of agriculture, as is the case in Brittany, for instance, a region that has long embodied the French industrial dream, along with the mining industry in the North of France. The consequences of these movements affect not only relations to the land, to plants and animals, to landscapes, knowledge and techniques but also to kinship, sociability, and language,… All are sustained by the ideology of development.

14How is it possible today to re-think the means of production: the place of the micro-economy, the control of agricultural sectors (i.e. control of reproduction : seeds), land tenure (alternatives to private land ownership), forms of management, cooperatives, mutual assistance (for land accessibility or installation aid), modes of cultivation (agro-industrialisation and recycling of hazardous chemicals), etc.

15On what scale can such counter-models or resistances be applied ? To what extent are local movements imbedded in the global ? (cf. in France movements such as the Peasant seed network ; and elsewhere, Via Campesina or the Libertarian international ; urban agriculture such as in Detroit, Michigan ; « whiteness and just sustainability » (Guthman, 2011 ; Slocum, 2007) ; Shared Gardens and Incredible Edibles).

Theme n°2 – Earth: a power issue, a challenge for action ?

16This session will focus on how the earth, as land and as living organism, is a key issue in political conflicts and political, economic and social dynamics, as well as in debates concerning the responsibility of humans for their environment. Despite the financialization of the economy, in the current phase of globalisation, such a basic and material resource remains highly coveted and opens up new representations. The example of Greece (cf. Roxanne Mitralias, 2013) shows that economic austerity and State disengagement result in massive privatization of coastal land for speculation.

17At local or global levels, the land remains at the core of issues such as food security, access to natural resources (land monopoly), and the recognition of human rights and citizenship. At the same time, relations between human beings and land and territory have become central for ecological and « native » movements (as shown by Elisabeth Cunin, 2006, in Latin America).

18This session will discuss land tenure issues and conflicts, considering the increasing competition for land control, privatisation, the land as merchandise -with the example of land price and the urbanization of farm land in France (cf. Terre de liens association).

19« Earth » and «hunger » will also be addressed in their complexity - both in the North, with the introduction of short supply chains for food aid, and in the South, where protests against high prices reveal « local anger repertoires » (Bonnecase, 2013).

20Anarchist movements show that the earth political and economic dimensions are paramount. Concerns about the land haven’t always been ecological. The land was mainly viewed as a tool for economic and political emancipation, like the Land Collectivisation in Spain or the LongoMaï cooperative. Examples in the Chiapas, indicating new models in a fragmented territory, might also illuminate the subject.

Theme n°3 – Ecology and Anarchy 

21Has the dream of a counter-society really disappeared? While the “ecologisation” of our societies is underway, what forms do libertarian/anarchist aspirations for a new society take today, as many of their pioneering ideas have spread?

22In the light of Elisée Reclus’ writings, we will discuss the social and political inscription of the libertarian thought upon/in the environment (social geography or ecology).

23How have past libertarian/anarchist movements included relations with peasants (i.e. Spanish farming collectives in 1936, Andalusia, Aragon, Ukraine,…) ? 

24What is the place of anarchists and anarchist ideology in contemporary emancipation movements? What place for the tools they have forged to gain emancipation and resist depoliticization ? We will reflect on issues such as land ownership, self-management, federalism and autonomy, and we will question the role of the media in the dissemination of ideas (films / radio/ newspapers) or the coverage of field actions.

25What are alternatives, and for whom? What are the alternatives to capitalism outside the capitalist system (degrowth and distributive economy theories) or within that system? How can such movements escape twisting or hijacking, with the example of food supply (i.e. AMAPs -associations supporting small farming - pointing social equity and new relations between farmers as direct suppliers and consumers), or regional cuisine and food choices (antispecism, animal rights, vegetarianism, etc.).

26We will also welcome analyses of contemporary reactions to industrialised and globalised foods: what hides behind “the joy of cooking”, the promotion of “the meal as a social event”, « slow-food » militants. How are we to interpret “the return” to so-called traditional values? How are we to understand food and agriculture as new goals for popular education?

Scientific Committee

27Coordination : Chantal Crenn, Anthropologue, MCF Université Michel de Montaigne, IUT/ISIAT et chercheure au LAM Cnrs UMR 5115 IEP Bordeaux et UMI 3189 ESS Dakar, membre de Cœur de Bastide.

28Contact : Tel. 06 84 50 54 80

29Members :

30- Marc Abélès, anthropologue, Directeur de recherche Cnrs/EHESS (Paris)

31- Jean Audouze, astrophysicien, directeur de recherche émérite au CNRS, Président de «Terre de Montaigne»

32- Gilles Boëtsch, anthropo-biologiste, Directeur de l’Unité Mixte Internationale Cnrs 3189, Environnement, Sociétés, Santé, Bamako, Dakar, Ouagadougou, Marseille.

33- Vincent Bonnecase, CR historien, Les Afriques dans le monde. UMR Cnrs 5115/ IEP Bordeaux

34- Marie-Christine Boutheau, Diplômée IEP Bordeaux, Cadre territoriale, Spécialisée dans le développement Durable, adjointe au Maire de Cenon.

35- Aurélie Carimentrand, MCF en économie, Université Michel de Montaigne IUT, Chercheur (Aménagement, Développement, Santé et Sociétés), Unité mixte de recherche 5185

36- Franck Cormerais, MCF en Information et Communication et chercheur à MICA laboratoire de recherche en Information, Communication et Art (EA 4426) de l’Université Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux 3

37- Chantal Crenn, Anthropologue, Maitre de Conférences Université Michel de Montaigne, IUT/ISIAT et chercheure au LAM Cnrs UMR 5115 IEP Bordeaux et UMI 3189 ESS Dakar, membre de Cœur de Bastide

38- Franck David, Université populaire du jardinage

39- Matthieu Delabarre, Maitre de Conférences en sociologie, Agrosup, Dijon Chercheur au CESAER UMR 1041 INRA - Agrosup Dijon

40- Anne-Hélène Delavigne, Anthropologue Cnrs Muséum d'Histoire naturelle Paris

41- Dominique Paturel, chercheure en sciences sociales, UMR Innovation Montpellier

42- Philippe Pelletier, Professeur de géographie, l’Université Lyon II et à Sciences politiques Lyon.

43- Fredéric Précigout, Sociologue, Léa Université de Tours

44- Eric Prédine, Saluterre

45- Jacques Puyaubert, Docteur en Histoire, chercheur associé au CEMMC, Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux 3

46- Céline Thiriot, Maître de conférences en Science Politique à Sciences Po Bordeaux, Les Afriques dans le monde. UMR Cnrs 5115/ IEP Bordeaux

47- Marc Sahraoui, socio-économiste, coordinateur des Reclusiennes, secrétaire de l’association Cœur de Bastide.

48- Isabelle Téchoueyres, anthropologue, rédactrice en chef Anthropology of Food, Bordeaux.

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Electronic reference

Anne-Hélène Delavigne, Philippe Pelletier and Marc Sahraoui, « Call for papers: general frame », Anthropology of food [Online], Calls Archives, Les Reclusiennes: Call for papers, Online since 14 February 2014, connection on 13 April 2021. URL :

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About the authors

Anne-Hélène Delavigne

ethnologue chercheur associé (Eco-anthropologie et ethnobiologie CNRS/MNHN, Paris)

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Philippe Pelletier

professeur de géographie (Université de Lyon)

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Marc Sahraoui


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Anthropologie of food est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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