Title: “Community Kitchens & Ecofeminist Care Ethics in Practice”
Ecofeminism articulates a radical and politically engaged ethic of care that emphasises the interconnections between humans and the more than human world of which we are intrinsically a part. Alice’s doctoral research seeks to explore the extent to which this care ethic gives meaning to the practices of a community kitchen based in the South of England. The community kitchen has a dual social and environmental justice focus, providing meals made from collected surplus food for people living in food poverty and social isolation. Adopting an action research approach, Alice has worked alongside volunteers of the kitchen to address the tensions and challenges that have emerged as the organisation has expanded from a single community kitchen set up by a group of activists to a large-scale national charity. In particular this transition has allowed her to explore not only how care ethics emerge in practice but also the ways in which they are negotiated and contested. Finally, her research also draws on the rich connections between ecofeminism and the action research tradition, such as their shared social and environmental justice goals and orientation towards creating positive social change.
About the speaker: Alice Willatt is in the third year of her PhD in the Department of Management at the University of Bristol. In particular her research is situated in Critical Management Studies and contributes to the emerging field of inquiry into ‘alternative’ forms of organisation to those based on the economic logic of the market. Alice is also interested in participatory research approaches and exploring academic-activist identities. She is an active member of ARCIO (Action Research and Critical Inquiry in Organisations) and organises a participatory action research reading group for PhD students.