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About Ian Werkheiser

Ian Werkheiser is a PhD candidate in the philosophy department at Michigan State University. His research interests include environmental ethics, environmental and food justice, food sovereignty, and social epistemology. He coordinates the Food Justice and Sovereignty Work Group for MSU’s Center for Regional Food Systems, and works as a Graduate Assistant for the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Projects, a Kellogg-funded foundation devoted to promoting research into sustainability in Michigan. Ian has engaged in research into sustainability values and practices of small-scale, direct-marketing farmers in Michigan through the Kellogg Biological Station’s NSF-Supported Long-Term Ecological Research, and is currently working with La Via Campesina on a project looking at barriers to women’s participation in the food sovereignty movement. With two other graduate students, he co-created and organizes Food Justice and Peace, a transdisciplinary conference on food justice. He has also worked on organizing several major non-academic conferences, including Everybody Eats: Cultivating Food Democracy, a community-based conference on Michigan food issues; and the Michigan Environmental Justice Statewide Summit, which bring together stakeholders, policy makers, academics, and activists from around Michigan and beyond to work on developing collective capacity across society, research, and policy to address issues of food democracy and environmental justice. His dissertation focuses on the capabilities approach and food sovereignty, and will argue that community epistemic capacity is a necessary requirement of meaningful political participation, particularly in issues around food and environmental justice. He will graduate with specializations in Animal Studies and Environmental Philosophy & Ethics.


Present PhD Candidate, Philosophy Department, Michigan State University, Michigan State University

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

503 S. Kedzie Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824