Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Katherine Hankins

Second Advisor

Kate Derickson

Third Advisor

Timothy Hawthorne


The space on which the urban farm is produced has a history of its own that can be explored for evidence of neoliberal shaping and retooling. This thesis explores how the city and the farm are understood through the complex articulations of farmers and through the account of the specific historical and geographical context of the farm. The urban farm is a uniquely situated land use that can provide the spaces for contestation to the neoliberalization of the city and the United States food system. Through qualitative analysis, including a case study, interviews with farmers, participant observation, and archival data collection, this research examines the city and the farm from the perspective of the farmer to understand the degree to which these contestations are resisting neoliberalism. Furthermore, it suggests that scholars of neoliberalism and urban farming should more fully consider the hybridized nature in which urban farmers understand their work.