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Thesis or dissertation

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This paper was part of the 2014-2015 Penn Humanities Forum on Color. Find out more at


Growing demands for alternative diets are filtered from the perspective of nation- building and agro-food employees in Washington State. Refusing food as the antithesis of death, brownness emerges as a conceptual frame that foregrounds multiple bodies and actors (human animals, nonhuman animals, and matter) simultaneously as it holds onto ways of being-in-common within scarcity and disavowal. “Sensing Inhumanity” inhabits the limits of nationalist political mobilization for brown bodies by exploring labor embodiment (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and the sun) and the criminalization of food and color itself (illegalized food trucks and police brutality). Multimedia (video, images, and geographic information systems) and ethnographic writing invite a collective witnessing to our own obligations to the violence constitutive of food production in the U.S. today. Ultimately, how would it feel to embrace a synaesthetic politics of brown alimentary obligation?



Date Posted: 18 November 2016