Susanne Freidberg

|Professor of Geography

As a geographer, my work spans the fields of political ecology, cultural economy and science and technology studies (STS). Much of my research has centered on the politics and cultural meanings of food provisioning, in and between different parts of the world. Although different projects have focused on different geographic regions and scales, one of my enduring interests lies in the expert knowledge that goes into both food itself and all the meanings that surround it. The experts I have tracked down in my fieldwork range from small-scale green bean export farmers in West Africa to lobster traders in Hong Kong, from French gardeners in the 18th century to Danish industrial ecologists in the 21st. Using multisite ethnography and sometimes archival work, I try to understand the social worlds they work in, the practical and ethical challenges they face, and how these influence the broader workings and politics of food supply.

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Fairchild 016
HB 6017


  • B.A. Yale University
  • M.A. University of California at Berkeley
  • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley

Selected Publications

  • 2017 "Trading in the secretive commodity," Economy and Society, 46, 3-4, 499-521.

  • 2017 "Big Food, little data: The slow harvest of corporate food supply chain sustainability initiatives," Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 1-18.

  • 2016 "Wicked nutrition: The controversial greening of official dietary advice." Gastronomica, 16, 2, 69-80

  • 2014 "Footprint technopolitics," Geoforum, 55, 178-189. 

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Speaking Engagements

  • 2016, "Contentious Harvest: The Greening of Big Food," Public Humanities Lecture, The Ohio State University, March 24.

  • 2014, "Machine in the Garden: The Making of American Freshness," Mergen-Palmer Endowed Lecture, George Washington University, Washington DC, October 6.

  • 2013, Keynote Address, "The Renaissance of Life Cycle Assessment: A Social Scientist's Perspective," International Conference on Life Cycle Management, Gothenburg, August 26.

  • 2013, Keynote Address, "Moral Economies of the Cold Chain," Anglo-American Conference of Historians on Food in History, London, UK, July 10.

  • 2012, Keynote Address, “The Political Metrics of Food’s Footprint,” World Rural Sociology Congress, Lisbon, Portugal, August 30.  

Selected Works & Activities

PhD Opportunity in Food, Agriculture and Sustainability
The Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems & Society (EEES) graduate program at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, United States) seeks applicants for fully-funded PhD study in the area of sustainability and agro-food supply chains. One position is available this year. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated capacity for conducting original research, and a commitment to methodologies that integrate the social and biophysical sciences, such as political ecology and/or science and technology studies (STS). A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in one of the environmental social sciences (e.g., geography, environmental studies, anthropology, rural sociology or related fields) is preferable. A few examples of potential research topics include food industry sustainability initiatives, farmer perspectives on environmental change and/or technological change, or the political ecology of novel foods and food production technologies. To initiate an application please email a brief statement of interest and a CV to Professor Susanne Freidberg ([email protected]). Applications can be submitted to EEES at any time and Ph.D. programs can begin in any academic term. However, most interviews are held in February, and most new students begin in summer or fall term. Prospective students for Fall 2018 are encouraged to complete their applications by 1 December. To learn more about the program, please visit the EEES Home Page. To submit an application, please start here on the Dartmouth School of Graduate and Advanced Studies site.