Description: The notion of ‘foodscapes’ has become increasingly popular in order to capture the complex nature of food environments and food systems at different levels. FoodScape Studies are growing in numbers and represent both descriptive and analytical studies to explore current, desirable and undesirable developments within food systems. Within this framework, critical discourse studies constitute  an important element, because they facilitate mapping, analysing and understanding of the often contradictionary, paradoxical and confusing statements and agendas by those wielding power and those in more subordinate, but rebellious positions. The analysis discloses discourses of future food and nutrition policies and strategies, legislation and implementation. The study of a foodscape discourse in its lingual - textual - expressions provides the application of a multidimensional analysis whereby a.o. social, public health nutritional and environmental dimensions can be understood. During the course, it will be possible for participants to develop their analytical skills and achieve a ‘toolbox’ for performing  critical food discourse analysis as the outcome of  theoretical lectures, training sessions and students’ assignments. The texts that will be used for illustration will reflect food systems within the private as well as public domain.

Course content - optional:

Key lecturer: Norman Fairclough:  Critical analysis of food discourses


1. Critical Discourse analysis in health communication. Perspectives on foodscape analysis ( Anders Horsbøl )
2. The scientific discourse of genetically modified crops (Inger Lassen)

3.   The Enghave foodscapes – making sense of food adequacy, availability and accessability in the local community. Public and captive foodscapes as discourse: The Ideal and the Real. Methodologyof critical discourse analysis with focus on sustainability and public health nutrition (BEMI)

4.   Delimiting nature: Discourses of authentic and functional food with
focus on sustainability. Methodology of critical discourse analysis
with focus on sustainability. (Minna Mikkola)

5. The Moral pluralities of Organic Food. ( Anne Holst Andersen.)

6. The Danish organic public food discourse - between the local and the global (Dorte Ruge).

7. Responsibility vs irresponsibility within food chains: Operational
dilemmas on the market and beyond. Methodology of critical discourse analysis with focus on sustainability. (Minna Mikkola)

8.  Hospital Foodscape – design and Discourse, (A. M. Fisker, Tenna Doktor, Tvedebirk).

Purpose of the course:
The purpose of the course is to facilitate students’ theoretical understanding and development of practical analytical skills within the study of foodscape discourses.
In this sense the course is a supplement to courses within e.g. visual, behavioural, nutritional, epidemiological and governance analysis of foodscapes and food systems – and consequently fills out a gap in the current list of PhD. courses.


In addition, critical discourse analysis is also well suited for mapping the structures of ‘power-games’ according to a problem based learning approach. This provide students with the competence of supporting conclusions and understandings by the actual materialization of ‘meaning’ in texts ‘. An example could be a new organic food legislation and how this generates discourse in statements from stakeholders (lobbying), news in television, speeches by ministers or spin-doctors, adverts and magazines, consumer talk, campaigns, music etc.

The capability of analyzing and understanding of discoursive foodscapes is a necessary competence for students with food related studies within social science and e.g. medicine, health, (bio)technology, communication, agriculture and sustainable development.  Therefore the course will apply an interdisciplinary, cross-sectional approach that will attract students from a wide range of scientific disciplines.

There will be a daily combination of lectures, groupwork and students’ presentations. Lectures will be made by experts and experienced academics. Also more practical lectures will be included – bridging  theory and practice and including texts from various genres and media (audio, video, written). Adhoc groupwork will be conducted each day in order to increase the academic achievement and   facilitate the social climate in the whole group.

Ahead of the course, students will be asked to deliver a description of how discourse is connected to and may benefit their current study. This document will be developed during the course and supplement the presentation of the PhD. students. After the course, each student makes a three pages assignment with an example of critical discourse analysis within their field.

Written assignment.

Other: A public lecture by Norman Fairclough will be possible in connection to the course and PhD students will be encouraged to participate and contribute.

See program on page 4.

Program (preliminary order of lecturers).

Lecture Monday 5th  Tuesday 6th  Wednedsday 7th
09-11  Lecture
1. Anders Horsbøl
2. Inger Lassen Lecture
Norman Fairclough
Discussions Lecture
7. Minna MIkkola
11-12.30 Lecture + exercise
3. Bent E. Mikkelsen Lecture + Exercise
5. Anne Andersen + exercise Lecture + exercise
8. Tenna Doktor, Tvedebirk
12-30-13.00 Lunch Lunch Lunch
13.00-14.00 Lecture
4. Minna Mikkola Lecture
6. Dorte Ruge Lecture
14.00-15.00 Phd. presentations and feedback Phd. presentations
and feed back Phd. presentations
and feedback
15.00-17.00 Reading of course materials Public Lecture by Norman Fairclough Evaluation

Organizer: Bent Egberg  Mikkelsen, Professor and Dorte Ruge , PhD. Student

Lecturers: Inger Lassen, Professor and Anders Horsbøl, Associate Professor, Center for Discourse Studies, AAU.
Minna Mikkola, Senior Researcher, Helsinki University, Department of Food, Health and Environment.


Time: 5-7 may, 2014

Place: Aalborg University Copenhagen, Frederikskaj, room Fkj 10B/0.24

Zip code: 2450 

City: Copenhagen SV

Number of seats: 18

Deadline: 14 April, 2014