Penn State faculty member to speak on the politics of food

Teaching Latin America and the Caribbean is sponsoring a talk by Dr. Jennifer Parker Talwar, associate professor of sociology at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Dr. Talwar will be speaking on "Food and Social Change in India: Drawing links to Latin America" on April 21 at 12:15 p.m. in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center.

According to Dr. Talwar, the new politics of food characterizing India today finds expression at both symbolic and structural levels and is founded on a set of contradictory forces concerning democratic ideology and notions of healthy living. This talk will discuss some of the social and economic impacts of neoliberal policies including liberalization of food imports, the promotion of industrial and genetically modified agriculture and mono-cropping, and the rise of multinational chains that have created a new landscape of consumption culture. Linkages will be drawn to similar tendencies in Latin America.

Jennifer Parker Talwar received her Ph.D in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York with distinction in 1997. After a visiting professorship at Bucknell University she joined Penn State Lehigh Valley. She did a postdoctoral fellowship with SSRC, International Migration Program, in 2001-2002, and a Fulbright Fellowship in India in 2002-2003. She is the author of Fast Food Fast Track: Immigrants, Big Business, and the American Dream (Westview Press, 2002) and is currently working on a book about economic liberalization, entrepreneurialism, and changing cultural institutions in India.