About Hannah Wittman

Academic Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems

Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)

phone: 6048221644
fax: 6048225143

MCML 179

2357 Main Mall

Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4


Cornell University, 2005, PhD, Development Sociology
Cornell University, 2002, MSc, Development Sociology
University of Washington, 1996, BA, International Studies; Environmental Studies


Rural and environmental sociology; agrarian citizenship; food security and food sovereignty; community and rural development; agrarian political economy; social movements.

My research projects examine the ways that the rights to produce and consume food are contested and transformed through struggles for agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and agrarian citizenship. Areas of empirical focus include: agrarian reform settlements, citizenship and food sovereignty in rural Brazil in collaboration with the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST); socio-ecological resilience and community-based resource management in Guatemala; and local food system transformation, farmland protection initiatives, farmers’ markets and community-based farming in British Columbia, Canada.

Research Projects

Unconventional Tenures: A Comparative Analysis of Community-Based Land Reform and Agrarian Citizenship in Brazil, Guatemala and CanadaCurrent



Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin AmericaCompleted


Environment and Citizenship in Latin AmericaCompleted


Farmers’ Markets as Social Economy Drivers of Local Food SystemsCompleted


Measuring Progress Towards Food Sovereignty: The effect of mediated markets on re-defining socio-ecological value in the food system



Current Courses

  • LFS 250 Land, Food and Community I

I am interested in supervising graduate students who would like to work on issues related to land and food governance and policy, community-based and sustainable food production systems, and rural-urban food system linkages.

Selected Publications

See Google Scholar for a full list of publications.

Journal Articles

Valley, W., Wittman, H., Jordan, N., Ahmed, S., & Galt, R. (2018). An emerging signature pedagogy for sustainable food systems education. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 41(5), 487-504. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170517000199.

Wittman, H., Dennis, J., & Pritchard, H. (2017). Beyond the Market? New Agrarianism and Cooperative Farmland Access in North America. Journal of Rural Studies, 53, 303–316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.03.007

Wittman, H., Chappell, M.J., Abson, D., Bezner Kerr, R., Blesh, J., Hanspach, J., Perfecto, I., Fischer, J., 2016. A social–ecological perspective on harmonizing food security and biodiversity conservation. Regional Environmental Change. doi:10.1007/s10113-016-1045-9

Wittman, H., Blesh, J., 2017. Food Sovereignty and Fome Zero: Connecting Public Food Procurement Programmes to Sustainable Rural Development in Brazil. Journal of Agrarian Change 17, 81–105. doi:10.1111/joac.12131

Weiler, A.M., Hergesheimer, C., Brisbois, B., Wittman, H., Yassi, A., Spiegel, J.M., 2014. Food sovereignty, food security and health equity: a meta-narrative mapping exercise. Health Policy and Planning 30, 1078–1092. doi:10.1093/heapol/czu109


Latta, A. and H. Wittman (eds). Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects and Struggles. CEDLA Latin America Series. Oxford; New York: Berghahn Books. 2012.

Wittman, H., A. Desmarais, and N. Wiebe (eds). Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems. Halifax; Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing. 2011.

Wittman, H., A. Desmarais and N. Wiebe (eds). Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community. Halifax; Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing/Oakland: Food First Books/Oxford: Pambazuka Press. 2010.