At a time when rapidly rising food prices are causing distress, starvation and food riots around the world, we will focus our enquiry on the creation of markets for food and the industrialization of agriculture. What changed when food become a commodity traded over long distances? What changed when food began to be produced using industrialized methods? What are the social consequences of these transformations? What was the role of colonial rule in the loss of food security in Africa? What factors explain famine, and people's responses to it? We will explore these questions globally, with a focus on Africa.