(Home-grown) Food for Thought

(Home-grown) Food for Thought

24. 11. 2021

Petr Jehlička at the seminar of the Institute of Ethnology AV ČR 6. 12. 2021 online

(Home-grown) Food for Thought: Putting the European East Back on the Map of Knowledge Production

Abstract: The talk addresses the debates in the social sciences on the inequality of knowledge production and the context-dependent hierarchy of knowledge claims. Drawing on recent research on the East European informal food economy the talk seeks to counter the scripting of East European scholarship as being on the margins of knowledge production. Instead, the talk demonstrates that research in the European East can generate important and novel insights. It seeks to make sense of the invisibility, to Western academia, of East European informal food provisioning as a research topic with the potential to inform general debates and theorisations. Looking at how East European informal food practices have been read from the West is instructive for understanding how certain knowledge ‘travels’ and becomes universally accepted knowledge – or theory – or remains a partial knowledge with validity restricted to specific places and circulating within specific subfields. Using East European everyday sustainable food practices as a case study, the talk demonstrates a persistent hierarchy of knowledge-generating contexts even in situations where findings from non-Western settings have strong potential to extend general knowledge on a particular topic. The paper highlights the obstacles facing efforts to shift Eastern Europe from its position at the bottom of the hierarchy of knowledge-generating spaces. They include the predetermined, entrenched and essentialising conceptualisations of Eastern Europe that have confined research on this region to particular disciplines whose premises and research agendas are associated with developmentalism, the region’s residuality and its status of know-how recipient. To end up on a more upbeat note, the talk concludes by exploring several strategies for redressing the imbalances within international knowledge circuits.

pondělí / Monday 6. 12. 2021, 14:00 ONLINE MS Teams: ZDE / HERE

Online event only