Hannah Wittman

Hannah Wittman




MacMillan 179, 2357 Main Mall

Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, Food Sovereignty Research Group

Cornell University, 2005, PhD, Development Sociology

Cornell University, 2002, MSc, Development Sociology

University of Washington, 1996, BA, International Studies; Environmental Studies

My research projects examine the ways that the rights to produce and consume food are contested and transformed through struggles for agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and agrarian citizenship. Areas of empirical focus include: agrarian reform settlements, citizenship and food sovereignty in rural Brazil in collaboration with the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST); socio-ecological resilience and community-based resource management in Guatemala; and local food system transformation, farmland protection initiatives, farmers’ markets and community-based farming in British Columbia, Canada.

Research interests: Rural and environmental sociology; agrarian citizenship; food security and food sovereignty; community and rural development; agrarian political economy; social movements.

Research Projects

  • Unconventional Tenures: A Comparative Analysis of Community-Based Land Reform and Agrarian Citizenship in Brazil, Guatemala and Canada (2011 – 2014)
  • Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America (2010 – 2012)
  • Environment and Citizenship in Latin America (2010 – 2012)
  • Farmers’ Markets as Social Economy Drivers of Local Food Systems (2009 – 2012)
  • Measuring Progress Towards Food Sovereignty: The effect of mediated markets on re-defining socio-ecological value in the food system (2015 – 2019)

Current Courses

  • LFS 250 Land, Food and Community I

I am interested in supervising graduate students who would like to work on issues related to land and food governance and policy, community-based and sustainable food production systems, and rural-urban food system linkages.

See Google Scholar for a full list of publications.

Journal Articles

Valley, W., Wittman, H., Ahmed, S., Jordan, N., Galt, R., 2017. An emerging signature pedagogy for sustainable food systems education. Renewable Agriculture And Food Systems 1–14. doi:10.1017/S1742170517000199

Wittman, H., Dennis, J., Pritchard, H., 2017. Beyond the market? New agrarianism and cooperative farmland access in North America. Journal of Rural Studies 53, 303–316. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.03.007

Wittman, H., Chappell, M.J., Abson, D., Bezner Kerr, R., Blesh, J., Hanspach, J., Perfecto, I., Fischer, J., 2016. A social–ecological perspective on harmonizing food security and biodiversity conservation. Regional Environmental Change. doi:10.1007/s10113-016-1045-9

Wittman, H., Blesh, J., 2017. Food Sovereignty and Fome Zero: Connecting Public Food Procurement Programmes to Sustainable Rural Development in Brazil. Journal of Agrarian Change 17, 81–105. doi:10.1111/joac.12131

Weiler, A.M., Hergesheimer, C., Brisbois, B., Wittman, H., Yassi, A., Spiegel, J.M., 2014. Food sovereignty, food security and health equity: a meta-narrative mapping exercise. Health Policy and Planning 30, 1078–1092. doi:10.1093/heapol/czu109


Latta, A. and H. Wittman (eds). Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects and Struggles. CEDLA Latin America Series. Oxford; New York: Berghahn Books. 2012.

Wittman, H., A. Desmarais, and N. Wiebe (eds). Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems. Halifax; Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. 2011.

Wittman, H., A. Desmarais and N. Wiebe (eds). Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community. Halifax; Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing/Oakland: Food First Books/Oxford: Pambazuka Press. 2010.