- Senior Specialist
LAURA DELIND, as an anthropologist working in her own culture, has spent considerable time deconstructing ‘the familiar.’ She demystifies, for herself and others, the way we behave and the understandings that underlie this behavior. She is fascinated by the contradictions that are endemic to our contemporary, post-modern lives. Food and farming have become her primary focuses, not because she likes to eat or touch the soil (though both are true), but because they offer her endless opportunities to explore the power relations, ideologies, inequities, and confusions that frame our sense of self and place. In this vein, she has written about the "farm crisis" of the 1980s, the "redistribution" of foreclosed farmland, the reindustrialization of state agriculture, community resistance to CAFOs, anti-hunger campaigns, local food, organic standards, and community supported agriculture. The majority of her research is grounded in Michigan and the Midwest.
As an academic-activist, she has tried, with varying degrees of success, to reconnect food and farming to ecological health, democratic access and process, and community development. In an effort to "walk the talk," she is a member of MSU’s University Committee for a Sustainable Campus and chairs its subcommittee on campus food and agriculture. She is a member of the Culture and Agriculture group of the AAA, the Society for Applied Anthropology, and a council member of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society. She serves on the advisory board of the Lansing Garden Project. She was a founding member of the Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance, and is a founder and working share member of Growing in Place Community Farm, a CSA now in its sixth season.Dr. DeLind teaches the following courses: Our Place on Earth: Exploring and Expressing Our Relationship to the Natural Environment; Local Food Systems: In Theory and Practice; Food, Culture and the Great Lakes: Then and Now.