Don’t Veg Out; Learn About Queering Agriculture at UC Berkeley


No doubt you’ve bitten into something delicious and announced: “I love this!”

Food is love, after all. So it only makes sense that the geniuses in American higher education would find a way to make dinner into a homosexual, LGBT, or or “queer” issue. So if you’re hungry for some controversy, be sure to swing by the UC Berkeley tonight for “Queering Agriculture: Food Security in the Nation’s Capital and the Crises of Reproductive American Familism.”

Oh, so you foolishly thought your boiled hot dog or grilled asparagus shoot were non-sexual? How gender-normative of you. The reality is that your plate is as politicized as anything else these days.

“This talk highlights vital ways queering and trans-ing ideas and practices of agriculture are necessary for more sustainable, sovereign, and equitable food systems for the creatures and systems involved in systemic reproductions that feed humans and other creatures,” the event flyer promises.

It’s not clear, but perhaps that means that only by embracing gay food can we grow enough of it.

Meanwhile: “By focusing on popular culture representations and government legislation since 9/11, it will become clearer how the growing popularity of sustainable food is laden with anthroheterocentric (sic) assumptions of the ‘good life’ coupled with idealized images and ideas of the American farm, and gender, radicalized and normative standards of health, family, and nation.”

There’s a mouthful.

Also, “[s]ince agriculture is literally the backbone of economics, politics, and ‘civilized’ life as we know it, and the manipulation of reproduction and sexuality are a foundation of agriculture, it is absolutely crucial queer and transgender studies begin to deal more seriously with the subject of agriculture,” the flyer adds.

The controversy is as high as an elephant’s eye.

The talk will be presented by Bailey Kier, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Maryland. Her interests include queer ecologies (of course), hydrology, natural history, transgender studies, and studies of science.

It’s tempting to paraphrase Freud, and point out that sometimes, a banana is simply a banana.

But, in this case at least, you might want to hold your tongue.


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