Current Institutional Affiliation
Owner, Davis Creek Farm (Organic Farm)

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1997
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
Redefining the Farm, Redefining the Self: Enduring Struggles in the Historical Transformation of Agriculture in Burgundy, France

This project seeks to understand continuity and change in agricultural knowledge across three generations of agro-pastoralists in Burgundy, France. These processes will be analyzed in relation to the ongoing transformation of agriculture in France from primarily subsistence, diversified production to market-oriented, specialized production. By framing the research within a practice approach and using participant observation, structured interviews, oral history and ethnohistorical analysis, this project will: 1) describe farmers’ knowledge of agriculture and the environment (defined as not only technology, but also perceptions, daily practices, and non-verbal understandings) across three generations; 2) identify the shifting cultural influences that individual farmers have incorporated into this knowledge; and 3) determine the degree to which different aspects of this knowledge have persisted or changed over the generations. By focusing on individual farmers’ interaction with multiple sources of knowledge production through time, this study will move beyond the “expert” versus “local” knowledge dichotomy reflected in prior research. It will contribute to theoretical debates on both the nature of agricultural knowledge and on the relationship between local and global processes of agricultural and environmental change.