Matthew Canfield received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from New York University in 2017. His research explores conflicts over food and agriculture as symbolic and material struggles over shifting formations of law, economy, and nature. He draws on ethnographic methods to examine the relationship between social movements, regulatory governance, and inequality.
Currently, he is working on revising his dissertation into a book entitled, 'Organic Economies: Regulating and Resisting Global Food Markets?', which is based off multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork with the transnational food sovereignty movement in the American Pacific Northwest and at the UN Committee on World Food Security in Rome. It analyzes how transnational agrarian movements articulate social justice and rights claims in proliferating arenas of collaborative governance and how power operates within networked representations of global society and economy.
Dr. Canfield has served as a visiting researcher in the Department of Law and Anthropology at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at Australia National University.
In addition, he has received funding and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, and the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.
He has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate classes in socio-legal studies and anthropology, on topics related to constitutional and administrative law, transnational social movements, human rights, race and gender, the anthropology of food, and agrarian studies.