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"Feed the world" : food, development, aid and hunger in Africa, 1984-1985


"Feed the world" : food, development, aid and hunger in Africa, 1984-1985

Hébert, Paul C (2008) "Feed the world" : food, development, aid and hunger in Africa, 1984-1985. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR42476.pdf - Accepted Version


This thesis evaluates African reactions to the 1984-85 Ethiopian famine and broader discourses about food, hunger, aid and agriculture through an analysis of reports, editorials and letters in the African press during the height of global concern about famine in Ethiopia. Africa's leaders blamed famine on agricultural underdevelopment as a consequence of the continent's marginality in the global economy. While these discourses revealed how food was a means by which the industrialised world maintained dominance over the developing world, they concealed how African states' political and social divides determined which groups starved and which groups continued to eat. The Ethiopian famine amplified calls for the development of large-scale, technologically-advanced farming as a means to ensure Africa's political and economic independence on one hand, and valorisations of "traditional" African foods on the other. Debates over the fixture of African farming were shaped by a paternalistic attitude towards rural populations, especially women, on the part of Africa's urban elites, and revealed how the production and consumption of food is productive of local and transnational political and social networks. As well as examining discourses about food, I examine how Africans responded to events such as Live Aid, which raised millions of dollars for famine relief. While scholars have criticised these events for ignoring the politics of famine, my research shows how Africans saw these events as speaking to them as political subjects in a way that official relief efforts did not.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hébert, Paul C
Pagination:vi, 122 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ivaska, A
ID Code:976063
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:19
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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