Alumnus (Graduate Program)
310 LeConte

I study the global history of food and agriculture, with a focus on twentieth-century North America. My dissertation will examine how Cold War programs of global rural development, particularly the Green Revolution, emerged out of the transnational conversation between reformers working in the American South and Mexico. In the first half of the twentieth century, rural reformers from diverse backgrounds - Rockefeller Foundation agronomists, Mexican revolutionary agrarians, and New Deal social planners, to name a few - looked across the American Mediterranean for both models and warnings, believing rightly that both Mexico and the U.S. South shared the colonial complexes of plantation agriculture and unequal landownership. But the solutions that reformers proposed for righting these historic wrongs were many and often at odds, ranging from redistributive politics to technocratic science. When this transnational exchange was globalized with the Rockefeller Foundation's push into the postwar Third World, the clash between these multiple visions was especially stark, and the fate of the rural planet lay in their resolution.In 2011-2012, I was an International Dissertation Research Fellow with the Social Science Research Council. In 2012-2013, I will be a Fellow in Technology and Democracy at the University of Virgina's Miller Center, funded by the Ambrose Monell Foundation. I have previously written and published work on ethnic food vendors in Atlanta, labor relations in Georgia's poultry industry since World War II, and the globalization of the Vidalia onion.

Tore Olsson's Selected Publications