Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Susan Phillips

Reader 2

Nancy Neiman

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


After centuries of colonization, the geographies and social relations of New Orleans are incredibly unequal. While many in the city were aware of this fact, the destruction brought on by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 laid bare all the problems built into the city’s environment and culture.

New Orleanians are subject to neocolonial power structures, and creating a more localized and democratic food system is a method in which we seek to subvert these systems. While this has been an ongoing process, Katrina both solidified the need and provided the conditions for greater change in our local foodways. In this thesis, I examine how New Orleanians articulate their political selves through efforts at food sovereignty,. Drawing on interviews with eight participants, I demonstrate how food sovereignty is a vehicle for articulating the political self by exploring relationships to the various community and governmental groups that are present in New Orleans. While community relationships are often fraught, they are overall more positive than participant’s relationships to the government. Participants all want a more sovereign future, but struggle to see it as a realistic possibility due to the constraints of the neocolonial, capitalist government.