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, 11:00a.m.-1:00p.m. Eastern Time, unless otherwise noted.

All meetings will be held virtually on Zoom.

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

Fall 2021

September 17
Scott Reynolds Nelson
University of Georgia, History
Using Wheat to Rethink Capitalism and Slavery: Russian Imperial Finance, Land Grant Railroads, and the Southern One Percent

September 24
Dorian Fuller
University College, London, Archaeobotany
Contrasting Pathways to Domestication and Early Agricultural Productivities: Examples across Africa and Asia

October 1
Rossana Barragán Romano
International Institute of Social History
Empire of Labour: the Indian Mita in Peru, the Outbreak of K’ajchas, and the ‘Popular Economy’ in Potosí (16th to 18th Centuries)

October 8
Francesca Bray
University of Edinburgh, Social Anthropology
Moving Crops and the Scales of History: Thinking about Tuber Travels

October 15 
Robin Derby
University of California, Los Angeles, History
Javier’s Murder: Politics, Sorcery and the Cattle Trade in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands

October 29
Anne Eller
Yale University, History
The Caribbean and the World in 1898

November 5
Hannah Landecker
University of California, Los Angeles, Sociology & Center for Genetics and Society
Coming Home to Roost: Metabolic Science and Social Theory in the Twenty-First Century

November 12 CANCELLED
Frieda Knobloch
University of Wyoming, American Studies & Creative Writing
Ed Ray and the Esert Day: Wyoming’s Red Desert and the American Decadent Desert

December 3
Veronica Womack
Georgia College, Government  
Black Agrarian Tradition within the Black Belt Region: Building a Land-Based Self-Determination Philosophy

December 10
Bathsheba Demuth
Brown University, History & Environment and Society
Giving a Dam: Beavers, Law, and Making the Yukon River