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 are meaningful 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, unless otherwise noted.

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

Please contact to receive the meeting information and the password to download the paper from the Agrarian Studies website.

Fall 2022

September 16
Sarah Steele
University of Cambridge, Public Health
Selling liquid gold: a history and analysis of first-food commodification and industry influence on nutrition for children aged three and under

September 23
Justin Farrell
Yale University, Sociology & School of the Environment
Effects of land dispossession and forced migration on Indigenous peoples in North America

Participants are also encouraged to explore the website of the Native Land Research Initiative.

September 30
Hilary King
Emory University, Development Practice
Brighter Spots: Tracing the Roots of Resilient Pandemic Response in Atlanta’s Alternative Food Systems

October 7
Karen Rignall
University of Kentucky, Community & Leadership Development
Extraction as an agrarian question: Copper mining, solar energy, and collective land tenure in the Moroccan periphery

October 14 
Giovanni Batz
University of California, Santa Barbara, Chicana & Chicano Studies
The Fourth Invasion: Decolonizing Histories, Megaprojects, and Ixil Maya Resistance in Guatemala

October 28
Mark Usher
University of Vermont, Geography & Classical Languages and Literature
Following Nature’s Lead: Ancient Ways of Living in a Dying World

November 4
Diana Montaño
Washington University in St. Louis, History
Missionaries of light and progress: Engineers & Technological Pilgrims in Crafting Mexico’s Necaxa, 1890s-1914

November 11 
Sarah Hines
University of Oklahoma, History
Trouble with Indians, Trouble with Explorers: Conquering and Revering the Glaciers of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real in the Age of Mountaineering

December 2
Steve Hindle (paper, map
Washington University in St. Louis, History
Mediating Subsistence in Seventeenth-Century England: The Case of the Country Miller

December 9
Christopher Otter
Ohio State University, History
Socializing the Technosphere