Matthew Canfield is a Assistant Professor of Law, Politics, and Society at Drake University. He 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, ‘Precarious Publics: Regulating and Resisting Global Food‘, which is based upon multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork conducted 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.
Before joining Drake, He was a Max Weber Fellow in the Department of Law at the European University Institute. He has also 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 classes at New York University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), and Hunter College (CUNY).