Marylynn Steckley

Instructor I

Degrees:B.A., Human Geography/English Literature (Brock University) M.A., Human Geography/International Development (University of Waterloo) Ph.D., Geography and Migration/Ethnic Relations (Western University) Post-Doc., Indigenous Health and Food Systems (Western University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 5068
Office:Room 1401R B, Richcraft Hall

My work is located broadly in the field of political ecology, with a focus on globalization, and social inequality. I am particularly interested in processes of social differentiation, displacement, and ‘othering’ through food systems, with an emphasis on how class, race and gender intersect to influence food security, dietary choices, and access to land.  My approach to food systems reflects the ‘structure-agency’ tension that characterizes much of the work in the field of political ecology, and has focused on how political economic systems and food cultures interact to influence environmental and dietary change. In this respect, I aim to understand how agro-food trade policies and dietary aspirations for ‘prestigious’ goods can shape food systems in ways that can reproduce poverty and contribute to environmental change. However, I am deeply committed to the faith that this is not inevitable – eating can also be emancipatory!

Before coming to Carleton in 2017, I was an Assistant Professor in Global and International Studies at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.  I completed my post-doctoral research in Indigenous Food Systems and Health at Western University in Ontario, Canada with a focus on examining the differential food security impacts of environmental change, and dietary displacement for Indigenous Canadians across space. My scholarship has focussed most on food systems, peasant movements, and agrarian change in post-earthquake Haiti, where I have lived and worked for over 5 years.  More recent projects have focussed on the feminization of rural labour in Haiti, and “mothering” in the field. I have also conducted field research investigating value-added recycling activities in waste-picking communities in Cambodia and Indonesia, and post-disaster vulnerability and governance responses to the 2004 tsunami in Thailand.  My research and writing has been funded by SSHRC, the IDRC, and CIDA.

Alongside my academic path, I have worked in the field of International Development as a Policy Analyst, Advocacy and Food Justice coordinator, and disaster response coordinator.

Selected Publications

Steckley and J. Steckley. (In Press 2018). Gender, land grabbing and prospects for women’s livelihoods in Haiti. The Journal of Feminist Economics.

Steckley M, and T. Weis. 2017. Agriculture In and Beyond the Haitian Catastrophe. Third World Quarterly 38:2 (397-413). DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1256762

Steckley, M. 2016. Why ‘race’ matters in struggles for food sovereignty: Experiences from Haiti. Geoforum 72: 26-29. DOI:

Steckley M., and T. Weis. 2016Peasant Balances, Neoliberalism, and the Stunted Growth of Non-Traditional Agro-Exports in Haiti. The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 41(1). DOI: 10.1080/08263663.2015.1130293

Steckley, M. 2016. Eating Up the Social Ladder: How dietary aspirations limit prospects for food sovereignty in Haiti. Agriculture and Human Values 33(3)549-562

Steckley M, and Y. Shamsie. 2015. Manufacturing Corporate Landscapes: The case of agrarian displacement and food (in)security in Haiti. Third World Quarterly 36(1): 179-197.

Steckley, M. and B. Doberstein. 2010. Tsunami survivors? Perspectives on vulnerability and vulnerability reduction: evidence from Koh Phi Phi Don and Khao Lak, Thailand. Disasters 35(3): 465-487.