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

Lunch to follow

230 Prospect Street, Room 101

Spring 2020

January 24
Gabriela Soto Laveaga
Harvard University, History of Science
Monitoring Water, Land, and People: The Historical Roots of Hybrid Seed Research in Yaqui Valley

January 31
James Hevia
University of Chicago, New Collegiate Division and the Department of History
Desert Locust Plagues and Imperialism Science

February 7
Dana Powell
Appalachian State University, Department of Anthropology
Unsettling Exceptionality and Ruin: Native Presence in the Anthropocene

February 14
Robyn D’Avignon
New York University, Department of History
Making a Ritual Geology in Savannah West Africa ca. 800-1900 AD

February 21
Jeanne Féaux de la Croix
The University of Tubingen, Department of Anthropology
Between Climate Fears and River Dreams: Transdisciplinary Research Processes in Central Asia

February 28
Erika Milam
Princeton University, History of Science
Slow Science: Ecological Landscapes and their Organisms

Cassandra Thiesen-Mark
University of Basel, Department of History & African Studies
Life, Labor and Atlantic Commerce between Manoh River and Fisherman’s Lake (West Africa) in the 19th century

Samuel Dolbee
Agrarian Studies Fellow
Locusts of Power: Borders, Empire, and Environment in the Modern Middle East, 1858-1939

Jenniffer Vargas Reina
Agrarian Studies Fellow
State, Land, and War: Land Accumulation during Colombian Civil War

Marvin Chochotte
Agrarian Studies Fellow
Building Roads to Democratic Revolution: Development Projects, Community Councils, the Tonton Makout Militia, and the Fall of the Duvalier Dictatorship, 1971-1986




Fall 2019

September 13
Marc Edelman
City University of New York, Department of Anthropology
How the United Nations Recognized the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas

September 20
Bradley Davis
Eastern Connecticut State University, Department of History 
Marks of the Beast: Animals and Ethnē in the Vietnamese Agrarian Empire 

September 27
Faisal Husain 
Penn State University, Department of History
The Ecology of Mobile Pastoralism in the Ottoman World: An Early Modern View from the Edge

October 4
Charles Mann
Writer and Journalist
The History of the West from the Future 

October 11
Zachary Caple
University of South Florida, Department of Anthropology
The Wood Storks of Lake Somerset: Multispecies Ethnography of the Holocene/Anthropocene Boundary Event

October 25
Ana Mariella Bacigalupo
State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Anthropology
The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places: Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Peru

November 1
Allison Collis Greene 
Emory University, Candler School of Theology
The Light of Tyrrell: Economic Justice and Christian Interracialism in a Jim Crow Swamp

November 8
Erika Beckman
University of Pennsylvania, Comparative Literature 
Epics and Anti-epics of Agrarian Transformation in Twentieth Century Latin America 

November 15
Pierre Du Plessis
Aarhus University, Anthropology Department/Centre for Environmental Humanities
Staying with the Truffle: Tracking Landscape Relations in the Kalahari Desert after “Man the Hunter”

December 6
Samantha Iyer 
Fordham University, Department of History
The Global Problem of Plenty: Regulating Agriculture in Egypt, India, and the United States, 1870s to 1930s