Pastoral scene

2023-24 Schedule


The core of the Agrarian Studies Program’s activities is a weekly colloquium organized around an annual theme. Invited specialists send papers in advance that are the focus of an organized discussion by the faculty and graduate students associated with the colloquium.

This topic embraces, inter alia, the study of mutual perceptions between countryside and city, and patterns of cultural and material exchange, extraction, migration, credit, legal systems, and political order that link them.

It also includes an understanding of how different societies conceive of the spatial order they exhibit. What terms aremeaningful and how are they related?: e.g., frontier, wilderness, arable, countryside, city, town, agriculture, commerce, “hills,” lowlands, maritime districts, inland. How have these meanings changed historically and what symbolic and material weight do they bear?

Meetings are Fridays, 11am -1pm Eastern Time. 

Meetings will be held in a hybrid format, both on Zoom and in-person at 230 Prospect Street, Room 101.

Please susbscribe to our mailing list here to receive the meeting information and the password to download the paper from the Agrarian Studies website. If you have any questions, contact

Fall 2023

Todd Holmes
UC Berkeley, Oral History Center
A Special Screening of “In A Field All His Own: The Life and Career of James C. Scott”

September 15
Meghan Morris
Temple University, Law
Soil Forensics: Property and the Buried Truth in Medellín

September 22
James Sidbury
Rice University, History
Learning from Tacky’s Revolt: Coromantees, Creoles and Igbos in the Hanover Parish, Jamaica Conspiracy of 1776

September 29
Quincy Amoah
Franklin & Marshall College, Anthropology
Exploring the Mathematics of Bovine Ribs in Karimojong Ritual

October 6
Thomas Alter
Texas State University, History
Toward a Cooperative Commonwealth: Agrarian Radicalism in US Political Culture, 1870s-1920s.

October 13
Abby Goode
Plymouth State University, English
Agrotopias: Agrarianism, Eugenics, and Sustainability

October 27
Roosbelinda Cárdenas
Hampshire College, Anthropology & Latin American Studies
Black Visions of Peace in Colombia: Against the Genocidal Spectrum

November 3
Brian Donahue
Brandeis University, Environmental Studies
Go Farm, Young People

November 10
Thea Riofrancos
Providence College, Political Science
Extraction: The Frontiers of Green Capitalism

December 1
Dan Saladino
Independent Food Writer/BBC Journalist
Seedbanks: Necessary but not Sufficient. We Need to Save Entire Food Landscapes

December 8
Hannah Shepherd
Yale University, History
Crossing the Straits: Fukuoka and Pusan in the Making and Unmaking of Japanese Empire

Spring 2024

January 26
Hi’ilei Hobart
Yale University, Ethnicity, Race & Migration
What Returns, What Remains 

February 2
Anthony Acciavatti
Yale School of Architecture
Drawing Like a Tubewell: When Water Percolates and Oozes Through Soil

February 9
Tanmoy Sharma
Yale University, Anthropology
Corporations and the Countryside: Natural Resources and Rural Politics at the Margins of Modern India

February 16
Samantha Payne
Agrarian Studies Associate Research Scholar 
Atlantic Reconstruction

February 23
Sam Hege
Agrarian Studies Program Fellow
Watering Day and Night: How Bracero Workers came to Irrigate the Texas Panhandle

March 1
Aarti Sethi
UC Berkeley, Anthropology
The Suspicious Suicide: Masculinity, Pesticide, and the Political Economy of Hybrid Cotton in Central India

March 29
Sarah Osterhoudt
Indiana University, Anthropology
Vigilant Fields: Self-Surveillance in the Vanilla Boom 

April 5
Sarah E. Vaughn
UC Berkeley, Anthropology
Thought Experiments with Technology: Climate Adaptation and Critical Humanism of/for the Global South  

April 12
Philip Wight
University of Alaska Fairbanks, History
The Petro-Welfare State: Alaska’s Experiment in Fiscal and Ecological Sustainability 

April 19
Madeleine Fairbairn
UC Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies
The Incumbent Advantage: Corporate Power in Agri-food Tech 

April 26
Graduate Student Colloquium