Janita Grace Van Dyk

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Toronto, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10036

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Van Dyk, Janita (Toronto, U. of) "Food Tempos: Making Food and Time Ecological in the Slow Food Movement, Italy"

JANITA VAN DYK, then a graduate student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded a grant in August 2020 to aid research on “Food Tempos: Making Food and Time Ecological in the Slow Food Movement, Italy,” supervised by Dr. Shiho Satsuka. As producing goods associated with specific places in Italy increasingly involves struggle due to climate transformations, how do key proponents of sustainable food systems respond to the diminishing certainty of growing and eating place-based foods? What models and methods do these actors turn to? Focussing on students, educators, and alumni of Slow Food’s university in Northern Italy, this research project tracks how the increasing rejection of the value of ‘place’ — previously expressed through the language of terroir or Geographical Indications — affords new relational and experimental collectives that create subjects and food values. Based on in-person and virtual fieldwork, involving observation of online courses, webinars, conferences, and festivals, as well employing arts-based and journaling methods, this research demonstrates how the temporal qualities and efforts of ‘creativity, innovation, and experimentation’ defined by participants became strategies of navigating the uncertainties of food due to dual ‘crises’ — climate change and Covid-19. By focussing on Slow Food actors and students as present day ‘philosophers of time,’ this research ultimately demonstrates how emerging strategies of making people and value rely on food tempos — forms of coordinating the temporal dimensions of relationships, food practices, and professionalization strategies — to grapple with increasing uncertainties of food systems.