Bread and Water: Access, Belonging, and Environmental Justice in the City

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Call for Papers
February 1, 2019
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Humanities, Social Sciences, Urban History / Studies, Public Policy

Carnegie Mellon University's Department of History, with the generous support of the A.W. Mellon Foundation, will host a Sawyer Seminar, "Bread and Water: Access, Belonging, and Environmental Justice in the City," during the academic year 2019-20.

The seminar intends to convene researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and activists to explore what kinds of policies and practices promote urban food and water systems based on equity, inclusion, and resiliency.  The seminar's approach to answering this question rests on the assumption that challenges associated with provisioning urban residents with clean water and food go beyond agricultural yields and water treatment. The seminar will focus on rights to food and water, and infrastructures of inclusion to achieve equitable acess among diverse urban inhabitants. Along with physical structures, such as sewers and urban gardens, the seminar will analyze the cultural, economic, and political contexts in which such infrastructure is created (or not) and maintained (or not).

We seek both comparative and connected approaches to urban food and water provisioning with a preference for historical, ethnographic, and international perspectives.

We invite interested scholars to submit a proposal to present a paper at a seminar that will be convened between September 2019 and April 2020.  Scholars invited to participate will have to circulate a paper in advance of the seminar meeting.  Participants will give a brief (20-25 minute) presentation as part of a two-person panel that will include a Pittsburgh-based participant who will present her/his work.  The two panelists will then engage each other and seminar attendees with questions and comments.

Invited participants will be provided with travel reimbursement, lodging in Pittsburgh, a post-seminar dinner, and a $750 honorarium.

Send proposals, consisting of a three-hundred word abstract of the work to be presented and a two-page c.v., to <> by February 1, 2019.

For more information, please contact John Soluri <>

Contact Info: 

John Soluri

History Department

Baker Hall 240

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh PA 15208

Contact Email: