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A selection of dried fish and seafood displayed for sale in a Southeast Asian market.

A selection of dried fish and seafood displayed for sale in a Southeast Asian market.

Food for Thought: Dried fish matters

Second talk in series focuses on the social economy of dried fish for livelihoods and food security

February 20, 2018 — 

This is the second in the new Food for Thought seminar and knowledge sharing series established by the recently formed Food Systems Research Group. We invite you to join us and be a part of the discussion.

Our February Food for Thought seminar features the talk “Dried Fish Matters: Mapping the social economy of dried fish in South and Southeast Asia” with Derek Johnson, Professor, Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, on Wednesday, February 28 at 3:00 pm in Room 409 Tier Building, with discussion to follow.


Johnson will discuss the importance of dried fish on both livelihoods and food and nutrition security in South and Southeast Asia. This partnership project brings together experts from academia, civil society, and government from multiple countries. Their research will look at how value is created in the dried fish economy at all stages of activity from production through processing to consumption – value chains rooted in social wellbeing. This provides a framework to understand human economic activity in the context of social, ecological, cultural, historical, and political forces.

Johnson connects his research to the bigger picture, “Our ultimate goal with this research is improving the lives and wellbeing of some of South and Southeast Asia’s most marginalized people.”


A 30 minute open discussion will follow the presentation. Johnson is particularly interested in discussing three topics with the audience:

  1. the challenges of implementing transdisciplinary approaches in food and nutrition research;
  2. bringing together political ecology and value chains approaches to forge critical value chains research; and
  3. online best practices for sharing and visualizing data on the social economies of food.


Each month during the regular session we will hold a presentation and discussion session, so that as a research community we can learn from each other about the breadth and diversity of food systems research happening across our campus. The location of the session will vary depending on the host Faculty. The session consists of a 30 minute presentation followed by 30 minutes of discussion.


The FSRG will host a variety of special events and guest lectures throughout the calendar year, including the FSRG Inaugural Graduate Student Symposium planned for June 2018.


The Food Systems Research Group – a joint initiative by Agriculture, Environment, Science, and Arts Faculties – is an umbrella group fostering the creation of multi/trans-disciplinary collaborative research to advance the UofM signature research theme of Safe, Healthy, Just, and Sustainable Food Systems.

 Faculty and students are welcome to join the FSRG. Email foodsystems [at] umanitoba [dot] ca to join our mailing list to be informed of future events and activities of this diverse group.


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