Three Little Pigs: Industrial Agriculture and Garden Farming in the German Democratic Republic, 1970-1989


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Through an exploration of food production and consumption in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the 1970s and ‘80s, this dissertation reveals the common intellectual project that was industrial agriculture on both sides of the Iron Curtain. It analyzes the East German response to stagnating crop yields, sickly livestock, and rising production costs, placing these developments alongside the parallel array of scientific experiments, innovations, and Cold War propaganda that became known as the Green Revolution. It places three pigs—the industrial pig, the garden pig, and the wild boar—at the center of this story, interpreting these "historical documents" in order to reveal the central role of natural and man-made systems in East Germany's food and environment.