CfP: Fachsitzung “Urbanization and Food Safety”, Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, HU Berlin, 1.-6. Oktober 2015


We invite proposals for papers with a focus on Asia for the special session „Urbanization and Food Safety“ at the German Congress of  Geography (Humboldt University Berlin, Oct. 1-6, 2015).

Conveners: Dr. Markus Keck ( ) and Jun.-Prof. Cornelia Reiher ( )

Deadline: January 11, 2015

Please upload your abstracts in English or German to the conference website: (English version: ).

There are two fields in the online submission form. You will be asked to shortly outline your contribution in an abstract (200 characters maximum). This abstract will later be published in the congress’ programme. Also, you need to compile a summary (2.500 characters maximum) which will serve as a basis for the selection of suitable applications. The summary will be published in the online abstract volume of the conference.

Conference website:

Urbanization and Food Safety

The session focuses on the interrelations of urbanization and food safety in emerging markets. It addresses how consumers in different regions of the world deal with food risks and food scandals.

The attention for food safety issues has been growing around the world – especially in emerging markets. Rising incomes, massive urbanization, and the rapid diffusion of information and communication technologies are key drivers of consumers’ increased awareness of food risks and food quality. Because of the successive separation of (rural) spaces of production and (urban) spaces of consumption, today, consumers have to rely on the technical infrastructure and the information provided by producers, retailers, NGOs or public authorities. However, the mere number of involved actors, available standards and existing certification procedures has made it increasingly difficult for consumers to evaluate the often contradictory information on food products’ quality and safety. Additionally, recurrent pandemics of influenza viruses and food scandals have triggered shockwaves of uncertainty and anxiety. Against this background, the session addresses the question of how consumers in different parts of the world make decisions when they do their grocery shopping and what kind of strategies they develop to deal with present-day food risks and food scandals. A comparison of consumer’s practices in different geographical settings can shed light on food cultures, everyday life, and politics. The overall aim of the session is to unpack the diverse construction processes of “safe” and “unsafe” food and of “safe” and “unsafe” places and practices of production and consumption. This will contribute to our understanding of the complexity of power relations between consumers, producers, governments and other actors and their entanglement in global, national and local contexts. We invite papers on single food risks, on the representation of food scandals in the media, on changing shopping and consumption practices due to the ban of certain products or dishes, on technical devices and infrastructures to protect consumers, on food safety governance, or on food risk communication. We look forward to papers in German or English from within and beyond the discipline of Geography, and from practitioners from food industries, NGOs, or governments.