Sydney Moriah Giacalone

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 10507

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Giacalone, Sydney (Brown U.) "“What Kind of Ancestor Do I Want to Be?” Culpability, Repair, and Re-Alliance on the American Family Farm"

Across diverse regions of U.S. agriculture, a small but growing subgroup of farmers from multigenerational farming families are thinking about their own culpability in American agriculture’s past and present environmental and social harms, and desiring to change. As farmers attempt to disrupt the hierarchies upholding and constituting the American family farm, how are familial, ecological, and community relationships broken, remade, or formed anew? What does explicitly reckoning with the place of whiteness and anthropocentrism within American agriculture actually entail, and what forms of repair and re-alliance might arise from efforts to counter these from within the family farm itself? This research studies these farmers’ experiences of questioning their past education and ideologies, learning through practice how to collaborate with plants, animals, and microbial life to improve each other’s health, making intentional breaks from family and institutions, and creating networks to form alliances with other people and causes. Through this subset of farmers reckoning with their place in agriculture, existing messily within and against a system they are culpable in and also harmed by, I investigate what happens when people try to change structures of which they are a constitutive part.