Food, Landscape, and the Future of Greenlandic Agriculture

Departmental News

Posted:  Mar 05, 2021 - 11:23am

This summer, Dr. Les Field travelled to Greenland to begin his work on his project  "Accelerating Anthropogenic Climate Change and Contemporary Agriculture in Southern Greenland," funded through an Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) from the National Science Foundation.  He presented a public lecture on Wednesday, May 15, entitled, Food, Landscape and the Future of Greenlandic Agriculture, which is featured on the university's You Tube site: https://www.youtube.com/user/ilisimatusarfikgl

In his lecture, professor Les Field explores the current possibilities Greenlanders are creating and confronting in the era of climate change. Based upon previous ethnographic work, he asks, on the one hand, whether the potential for expanded and more intensive agriculture in Southern Greenland could usefully be addressed as an issue of food. What produced agriculturally foods would Greenlanders want, prefer, or seek to experiment with? Are there other markets, such as tourists and foreign workers, who would constitute important markets for agriculturally produced foods? On the other hand, he asks how Greenlanders envisage the future landscape that agriculture produces, given that agriculture itself is a major form of landscape transformation. How do agricultural landscapes fit into the imagining of Greenland as an independent country, a country that has differentiated itself from its colonial past?