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About the Program

1939 photo of a woman holding home-canned jar of food

The Food Studies Program was founded at Virginia Tech in 2020, based in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. It aims to bring the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences to questions that center on food and agriculture.

Since its founding as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts in 1872, Virginia Tech has been committed to agricultural and food sciences, and to cooperative extension programs that facilitate public engagement with these fields.

The VT Food Studies Program helps situate food issues in social and historical contexts, drawing on the expertise of faculty from fields such as history, sociology, political science, philosophy, gender studies, literature, folklore studies, geography, education, Africana studies, American Indian Studies, and more. We offer a welcoming community for collaborating on food-related projects that span the University and region. 

The program is led by founding director Anna Zeide, an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. Steering Committee members in 2023-2024 include Mark Barrow (History), Courtney Thomas (Political Science), Kira Dietz (University Libraries), Marcus Weaver-Hightower (School of Education), and Jake Lahne (Food Science & Technology). 

Read more media coverage of the program here. Read our Year in Review Letters: 2020-2021 Year in Review, 2021-2022 Year in Review.