Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Adriana Premat


Practices of urban agriculture in Detroit have been variously represented as a response to

economic crisis or as the emergence of a new green capitalism. In Havana, representations of similar practices also frame it as a response to economic crisis and highlight the role of the Cuban state in initiating and supporting the activity. Such representations submerge existent diversity and the potential for commonalities in perceptions and motivations across difference. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Havana and Detroit, this thesis argues that practices of urban food production across different national contexts can be understood as place-making projects, exemplary of what J.K. Gibson-Graham term economic difference. Such a conceptualization unsettles some of the dominant narratives, specific to each city and in general, associated with urban food production. The research contributes to contemporary debates on place and discussions relating to economic diversity arising from the work of Gibson-Graham.



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