Affiliated Faculty

Julie H Guthman
  • Title
    • Professor
    • Principle Investigator, UC Agri-food Technology Research (AFTeR) Project
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Community Studies Program
    • Sociology Department
  • Affiliations Environmental Studies Department, Feminist Studies Department
  • Phone
    831-459-2726 (office)
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Rachel Carson College Academic Building, 323
  • Office Hours Monday 12:30 to 2:30, or by appointment
  • Mail Stop Rachel Carson College Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Agroecology and Agriculture, Food/Nutrition, Capitalism, California History, Environmental Studies
  • Courses CMMU 133: Transforming California; CMMU 148: The Problem with Solutions; CMMU 156: Politics of Food and Health; CMMU 145: Global Capitalism: a History of the Present; CMMU 149: Political Economy of Food and Agriculture; CMMU 186: Agriculture, Food, and Social Justice; ENVS 196: Contemporary Movements for Social Justice and Sustainability in Agriculture; ENVS 280: Advanced Reading Seminar; ANTH 247: Critical Perspectives on Nutrition

Research Interests

California agriculture, alternative food movements, food and agricultural technology, international political economy of food and agriculture, environmental health, political ecology, race and food, nutritional health, and critical human geography.

Honors, Awards and Grants

2023 Distinguished Career Award. Cultural and Political Ecology speciality group of the American Association of Geographers 

2022 Martin M. Chemers Award for Outstanding Research, Division of Social Sciences, UCSC

2020 American Association of Geographers Meridian Book Award for Wilted

2018 National Science Foundation, Investigating the 'grand challenge' solutions  of agri-food tech

2017 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow 2017-18

2017 Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Fellow 2017-2018

2016 Academic residency, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 

2015 Excellence in Research Award, Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society

2013 National Science Foundation, Strawberry Growers, Farmworkers, and Responses to a Changing Pesticide Industry 

2012 National Science Foundation, The Biopolitics of Farmworker Health in Methyl Iodide Regulation and Adoption

2012 Association for the Study of Food and Society 2012 Book Award, for Weighing In

2012 James E. Blaut Award for Innovative Publication, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the AAG, for Weighing In

2009 Donald Q. Innis Award, Rural Geography Specialty Group of the AAG, for Agrarian Dreams

2007 Frederick H. Buttel Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement, Rural Sociological Society, for Agrarian Dreams

2006 UC Humanities Research Institute, Irvine: residential research fellow for Eating Cultures: Race and Food cluster

2005 Public Health Institute, research contract

2005 Ashby Prize for one of the two most innovative papers published in Environment and Planning A, for “Back to the Land”

2000 Kevin Starr Postdoctoral Fellow in California Studies, University of California Humanities Research Institute

1998 Association of American Geographers, research grant 

1998 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Geography

1998 UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program Graduate Award

1997 National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant 


Selected Publications

Guthman, J. 2024 forthcoming. The Problem with Solutions: Why Silicon Valley Can't Hack the Future of Food. University of California Press

Guthman, J. and M. Fairbairn. 2023. Decoupling from land or extending the view: Divergent Spatial Imaginaries of Agri-Food Tech. Geographical Review.

Guthman, J. and M. Butler. 2023. Fixing food with a limited menu: on (digital) solutionism in the agri-food tech sector. Agriculture and Human Values. 

Guthman, J. and C. Biltekoff. 2022. Agri-food tech’s building block: narrating protein, agnostic of source, in the face of crisis. Biosocieties

Biltekoff, C. and J. Guthman. 2022. Conscious, complacent, fearful: Agri-food tech’s market-making public imaginaries. Science as Culture. h

Fairbairn, M., Z. Kish, and J. Guthman. 2022. Pitching agri-food tech: Performativity and non-disruptive disruption in Silicon Valley. Journal of Cultural Economy 15 (5).

Guthman, J. 2022. The CAFO in the bioreactor: Reflections on efficiency logics in bio-industrialization present and future. Environmental Humanities 14 (1).

Guthman, J. and C. Biltekoff. 2021. Magical disruption? Alternative protein and the promise of de-materialization. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. 4 (4). 

Guthman, J. 2019 Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry. University of California Press.

Barbour, M. and J. Guthman. 2018. (En)gendering exposure: pregnant farmworkers and the inadequacy of pesticide notification. Journal of Political Ecology 25 (1).

Guthman, J. 2017.  Land access and costs may drive strawberry growers' increased use of fumigation. California Agriculture 71 (3). 

Alkon, A. and J. Guthman (eds). 2017. The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action. University of California Press. 

Guthman, J. 2017. Paradoxes of the border: Labor shortages and farmworker minor agency in reworking California’s strawberry fields. Economic Geography 93 (1).

Guthman, J. 2017. Life itself under contract: rent-seeking and biopolitical devolution through partnerships in California’s strawberry industry. Journal of Peasant Studies 44 (1).

Guthman, J. and S. Brown. 2016. Midas’ not-so-golden touch: on the demise of methyl iodide as a soil fumigant in California. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 18 (3).

Guthman, J. and S. Brown. 2016. Whose life counts: Biopolitics and the “bright line” of chloropicrin mitigation in California’s strawberry industry. Science, Technology and Human Values 41 (3).

Guthman, J. 2015. Binging and purging: Agro-food capitalism and the body as socio-ecological fix. Environment and Planning A: 47 (12).

Mansfield, B. and J. Guthman. 2015. Epigenetic life: Biological plasticity, abnormality, and new configurations of race and reproduction. Cultural Geographies. 22 (1)

Guthman, J. 2014. Introducing critical nutrition: A special issue on dietary advice and its discontents J. Guthman, ed. Gastronomica 14 (3).

Guthman, J. 2014. Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California, 2nd edition, University of California Press

Guthman, J. 2011. Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, University of California Press

Guthman, J. 2008. Bringing good food to others: Investigating the subjects of alternative food practice. Cultural Geographies 15 (4).

Guthman, J. 2008. Neoliberalism and the making of food politics in California, Introduction to special issue, Geoforum. 39 (3).

Guthman, J. 2007. The Polanyian way? Voluntary food labels as neoliberal governance, Antipode 39 (3).

Guthman, J. 2004. Back to the land: the paradox of organic food standards, Environment and Planning A 36 (3).