Adriana Premat

Adriana Premat


Associate Professor -Sociocultural Anthropology

PhD 1994 (York University)
Office: Social Science Centre 3425
Tel: 519 661-2111  ext. 85100


Research Interests

I am a social anthropologist whose research interests include the environment, agriculture, and food consumption as these intersect with poverty, sustainable development and political activism in urban settings. My work straddles various disciplinary subfields, including urban anthropology, the anthropology of space and place, the anthropology of food, the anthropology of the state, and political ecology. To date, my field research has centered on the cities of Havana (Cuba), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Toronto (Canada).

Publications and Talks

2012  Sowing Change: The Making of Havana’s Urban Agriculture. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press. 

Chapters in Books (all single-authored):

2008  El Inter⁄Cambio: The Ex-change. In Ron Benner: Gardens of a Colonial Present. London: Museum London, pp. 46-51. 

2004  Moving Between the Map and the Ground: Shifting Perspectives on Urban Agriculture in Havana, Cuba. In The Social, Political and Environmental Dimensions of Urban Agriculture. Pp. 153-185. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals (all single-authored):

2017 (March) “On Beans, Rabbits, and Cows: Food for Thought on New Cuba-US. Relations.” Hot Spots Issue entitled Cuba as Dreamworld and Catastrophe.

2015   “Popular Culture, Politics and Alternative Gender Imaginaries in 1960s and 1970s Argentina” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 33:41-56.

2009  State Power, Private Plots and the Greening of Havana's Urban Agriculture Movement. City and Society 21(1):28-57.

2003  Small-Scale Urban Agriculture in Havana and the Reproduction of the 'New Man' in Contemporary Cuba. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies⁄ Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe 75(October):85-99.

Articles in Non-peer-Reviewed Journals (single-authored)

1997  Dibujando La Ciudad. In Se Puede, Vol. 2 (11). La Habana: La Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre. 

Book Reviews (single-authored):

2016 “Review of Marisa Wilson’s Everyday Moral Economies: Food, Politics and Scale in Cuba.” American Anthropologist 118 (3): 700-701.

2011  Review of Julia Wright’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity: Lessons from Cuba. Agricultural History 85(1):107-108.

Invited Lectures ⁄ Colloquium Presentations

2017 “Cuba Today” Presentation given to grad students participating in Seminario de Estudios Transaltlánticos organized by Hispanic Studies at Western University, London, ON (November 19)

2013    “Reason, Compassion and Pocketbook”: Urban Agriculture, and the Search for Balance in Post-Soviet Cuba”, Food Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, The Institute for the Humanities, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (April 6)

2013    “Urban Agriculture in Havana: ‘Grassroots’ Initiatives and Worldly Engagements in Alternative Development”, Graduate Student Colloquium Series, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Miami, FL, USA (March 27).

2012 "Havana’s Urban Agriculture: Survival Strategies and Worldly Engagements in Alternative Development", Agrarian Studies Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA (September 7).

2010 "Plotting Change: The politics of Growing Environmental Consciousness in Toronto’s Community Gardens", The City Seminar Speaker Series, City Institute at York University, Toronto, ON, Canada (February 5).

2009 "Gaining New Ground: Havana’s Urban Agriculture Sites and Shifting Landscapes of Power in Post-Soviet Cuba", Fall Lecture Series 2009, The Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA (November 3).

Papers Presented at Professional Meetings (all single-authored)

2015  (refereed) “Reading Mafalda as a Gendered Subject in 1960s and 1970s Argentina.” Paper presented at the Latin American Studies     Association (LASA) Annual Meeting (May 30). 

2012 (refereed) "Locating the Global in Havana’s Rooted Landscapes." Paper presented at the Foodways, diasporic diners, transnational tables and culinary connections Conference, University of Toronto, ON, Canada (October 6).

2012 (refereed) "Querying the Location of Territories of Difference" in Territories of Difference: Place at the Margins." Paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA (May 23).

2011 (refereed) "Havana’s Urban Agriculture Plots: Between Master Plans and Territories of Difference." Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting (AAA), Montreal, QC, Canada (November 16).

2010 (refereed) "Gaining New Ground: Havana’s Urban Agriculture Sites and Shifting Governmentalities in Post-Soviet Cuba." Paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada (October 8).

2010 (refereed) "Plotting Change: Tracing the Politics of Nature and the Nature of Politics in Toronto’s Urban Gardens." Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) Conference. Natureculture: Entangled Relations of Multiplicity. Santa Fe, NM, USA (May 8).

2009 (refereed) "Ordering space and disciplining subjects: Re-socializing parcelas in Havana at a time of crisis." Paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Annual Meeting, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (June 13).

2009 (refereed) "Private plots and Public Land: Explorations of Governmentality in Havana, Cuba." Paper presented at the Conference The Measure of a Revolution: Cuba, 1959-2009, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada (May 9).

2007 (refereed) "State Power, Private Plots and the Greening of Havana’s Urban Agriculture Movement." Paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Annual Meeting, Montreal, QC, Canada. (September 8).

2006 (refereed) "Cuban Agricultural Developments: Shifting Images of Nature." Paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA (March 18).

2004 (refereed) "Private Plots, State Power, and the Modeling of Havana’s Urban Gardens." Paper presented at the Cuba Today Symposium organized by the Cuba Project at the Bildner Center for Western Hemispheric Studies, Graduate Centre, CUNY, New York, NY, USA (October 5).

2002 (refereed) "Plotting Change in Havana’s Agro-scapes: Space and the Re-production of the Ideal Socialist Citizen in Contemporary Cuba." Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) Annual Meeting, Montreal, QC, Canada (October 25).

2002 (invited) "Shifting Perspectives on Urban Agriculture in Havana, Cuba." Paper presented at International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as part of a panel reporting on Urban Agriculture research, Ottawa, ON, Canada (March 26).

Talks to General Public

2008 "Success Stories" Presentation at Local Food for Local Tables Conference: Growing Food Security for Southwestern Ontario. Organized by London Community Resource Centre and FoodNet Ontario, Brescia University College, London, ON, Canada (November 27).

2007 "Sustaining the Environment: The Case of Urban Agriculture in Havana, Cuba" Presentation at Public Conference, Agriculture and Sustainability: Local and Global Perspectives, UWO Public Interest Research Group, Huron University College, London, ON, Canada (March 20).

Graduate Supervision

Over the last few years, I have primarily supervised the work of graduate students doing field research on the subjects of urban agriculture, food distribution, and food procurement in urban settings in Canada, the U.S. and Cuba.

Past Students

Diana Gavric (M.A., 2016 to 2019 ). Topic: Mass media communications in contemporary Cuba.

Lina Johnston (Ph.D., 2012 to 2017). Title: Shifting State Plans and the Politics of Street Food Vending in Cuba.

Catherine Villar (Ph.D., 2011 to 2017). Title: Engaging Past and Future on a Community Supported Agriculture Farm.

Daphné Gagnon (M.A., 2016 to 2018). Title: Hunting for (dis)connections in Northern Ontario: "nature," wild meat, and community in Hearst.

Brian Venne (M.A., 2011- 2013) Cultivating change: Aspirations, realities and limits of community gardens in Windsor, Ontario.

Monica Kelly (M.A., 2010-2012). Thesis title: Cultivating Respect for Difference: Exploring the Enactment of Community at HOPE Garden in Parkdale, Toronto.

Jennifer Long (Ph.D., 2007-2011). Thesis title: Shifting Notions of Citizenship in the Netherlands (joint supervision with Dr. Randa Farah). 

Aaron Lawrence (M.A., 2009-2011). Thesis title: Urban Agriculture as a Place-Making Project in Havana and Detroit. 

Becky Ellis (M.A., 2008-2010). Thesis title: Sowing the Seeds of Democracy: Community Gardening in Parkdale, Toronto.

Yeh Lavi (M.A., 2007-2009). Thesis title: Taiwanese Indigenous Education in the Urban Environment: A Case Study of Kaohsiung Municipal Cianjhen Junior High School (co-supervision with Karl Hele).


This coming year, I will be offering the Cultures of Latin America course online and will again be teaching the second year course Debates in Cultural Anthropology.

Undergraduate courses taught

Debates in Sociocultural Anthrpology (Anthropology 2222)

Cultures of Latin America (Anthropology 2216)

Urban Anthropology (prior Urban Thinking: Cultural Explorations of Towns and Cities,  Anthropology 2201)

The Anthropology of Space and Place (Anthropology 3266, prior 2266 and 228) 

Nature in the City (Anthropology 2260, prior Anthropology 260) 

The Politics of Food in Buenos Aires (Anthropology 3321)

The Anthropology of Contemporary Food Activism (Anthropology 3326) 

Anthropological Thought (Anthropology 4400)

Foundations of Anthropology (Anthropology 222)

Graduate Courses Taught

From Political Ecology to Naturecultures (Anthropology 9221/9516)

Regional Topics in Ethnography: Theorizing Space and Place in and from Latin America (Anthropology 508B/608B) 

Anthropological Theory (Anthropology 9200/9700, prior 500B/600B)

Research Methods (Anthropology 9201B)