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EDIBLE ENVIRONMENTS: In and Beyond Montreal

How the city manages its food supply as a problem of environmental governance

July 11–19, 2019


The problem of provisioning densely populated cities like Montreal is hardly new. Yet the combined environmental pressures of intensifying global urbanization and climate change have transformed the scope and urgency of managing food supplies. Edible Environments will immerse students in a critical examination of multiple dimensions of the contested history, politics, ecology, and culture of Montreal’s food & water supply and culinary traditions. Students will, in turn, be invited to apply these perspectives to studying, in comparative perspective, the problem of feeding other cities. The main focus will be on thinking about how the city manages its food supply as a problem of environmental governance.  Through classroom sessions with lecturers, hands-on activities, and guided site visits to landmark food landscapes and food producers, they will study the history—and manifold contemporary manifestations—of how Montreal’s food supply came to be comprised of a complex network of regional and global provisioning chains, thereby connecting Montreal to near and distant natural resources.


local/global; food chains; urban environmental history; food history; agricultural history; agro-ecology; food politics; food justice; food industry; urban agriculture; sustainability; urban design; mycology.

List of outings / activities may include

  • Concordia Greenhouse and other Concordia Food Coalition facilities on campus
  • Jean Talon and Atwater farmers’ markets
  • LUFA Farms commercial urban rooftop greenhouse agriculture
  • Locating the ‘food deserts’ of Montreal
  • Post-industrial Lachine Canal granaries
  • Exploring the Mount Royal Park’s role as urban water tower
  • Edible fungi and wild plants identification tour
  • … and more TBD!

Financial Assistance

Please note that a limited number of fellowships covering tuition costs and fees are available, on a competitive basis, for international and Canadian candidates who submit an application before the deadline.


All out-of-town students will be offered free housing at the Grey Nuns' residences. For more detail, click the "Logistics" button below.

Readings and Evaluation

Students will be sent readings to complete ahead of the start of the course. Everyone will develop a brief research project proposal, which will be work-shopped on the final day of the course; to earn credit for the course, a 15-20 page paper outlining the proposed project and relevant scholarship will be due one month later.


Advanced undergraduate students intending to pursue graduate studies and MA/PhD students currently researching or interested in topics relevant to the themes of this summer school (e.g. environmental studies, food studies, and science studies) are invited to send a brief letter of intent describing how this summer school will enrich their past, current and/or prospective research (max. 500 words) as well as the name and email address of their thesis supervisor or another academic reference, and indicate whether they require financial assistance to attend.

Please click the "Apply!" button below to proceed.

Application Deadline is May 1st and decisions will be made by May 31 at the latest.

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