Category Archives: News

Journal of Sociology – Special Issue published

Congratulations to AFRN members Kiah Smith and Geoffery Lawrence on the publication of a Journal of Sociology Special Issue (Volume 58 Issue 2, June 2022) titled Transforming Rural Futures.

Kiah served as a guest editor. Kiah and Geoffery also co-authored the article Agri-food scholarship: Past, present and future contributions to Australasian rural sociology.

Here is an extract from the editorial for the Special Issue.

“Historically and now, the rural is frequently relegated to the periphery of broader public and policy debates, and within the discipline of sociology. At this moment in time, where the world needs radical re-imagining for the future, rural perspectives and realities must be visible and addressed. This article introduces a special issue of the Journal of Sociology which seeks to articulate how rural sociology is a crucial field of study for (re)imaging rural futures. In this article, we provide an overview of the research included in the collection, which draws much needed attention to some of the specific contemporary challenges encountered in rural places and some of the possibilities for transforming rural futures, and rural sociology. We argue that rural places are a key site where transformative change can, and does occur, and that rural sociologists are ideally positioned to work with and for rural communities in effecting desired change.”

The Special Issue can be accessed via the Journal of Sociology website.


The food system in the (post)pandemic world: Disruptions, vulnerability, resilience, and alternatives
ISA RC40 Mini-Conference
Leipzig, Germany
October 20-21, 2022

No conference fee but registration is required.

This in-person two-day conference welcomes submissions which engage with, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • How has the pandemic affected agri-food relationships, what kinds of disruptions have we observed, and what are the implications for power relations and existing inequalities? How has the pandemic affected people’s access to food, agricultural working environments, agricultural production, or climatic and ecological conditions across different contexts?
  • What vulnerabilities have emerged during the pandemic, for example, due to various COVID-19 restrictions and political measures, different forms of pandemic governance, changing power balances between food system actors, or financial and economic, and social stresses? How have people tried to cope with these vulnerabilities?
  • What new forms of resiliency have been emerging out of the pandemic situation? What creative solutions have people developed in the face of the pandemic, and what forms of resistance has the pandemic spurred? What can we learn from these resiliencies and resistances for working towards alternative food systems, and the imagination of different agri-food relationships in a (post-)pandemic world?
  • How can we make sense of the complexity of agri-food relationships during the pandemic? What methodological and theoretical challenges have we encountered, what new concepts and methods have emerged, and how can we address and integrate these within the sociology of agriculture and food and critical agri-food studies?

1 May 2022               : Deadline for abstract submissions
30 May 2022             : Announcement of accepted abstracts
15 June 2022            : Deadline for confirmation of attendance
1 July 2022               : Announcement of the Mini-Conference programme
20-21 October 2022 : Mini-Conference Days

To register or for more information, visit the mini-conference website.

Call for Sessions: New Zealand Geographical Society Conference, 23-25 Nov 2022

The organising committee for the 2022 New Zealand Geographical Society (NZGS) Conference are pleased to announce the dates and some details for the 2022 conference. They are also inviting themed session proposals at this time.

Conference details

23-25 Nov 2022, University of Canterbury, Ilam Campus (hosted by the Canterbury Branch of the NZGS).

Key dates

Call for sessions & proposals for pre-conference events opens 7 March 2022

Call for sessions and pre-conference events closes 26 April 2022

Call for abstracts opens 13 May 2022

Call for abstracts closes 1 July 2022

Registration opens 8 August 2022

Check the conference website for more details about keynote speakers, pre-conference events and field trips as these become available.

Call for sessions

The following themes for the conference have guided our selection of keynote speakers. Themed session proposals and abstracts can address these themes or wider themes in human and physical geography.

  • Resilience in the context of environmental change, governance and/or justice
  • Well-being and health approaches to resilience
  • Recovery and regenerative development: solutions, approaches, methodologies and practices for social and/or ecological restoration
  • Resilience in the context of counter geographies
  • Resilience in the context of place-based, community grassroots geographies

Organised sessions provide the  opportunity to bring together a number of experts to present and discuss their work and perspectives. Sessions may take the form of presentations/papers, panel discussions, workshops or other innovative formats or interventions.

Please submit your session proposal by 26 April 2022 by visiting the NZGS 2022 Conference website or click here. Please include a 150-200 word abstract, up to five keywords and details (names, contacts) of the organisers.

Once accepted, sessions will be advertised on the conference website, allowing delegates to submit papers to specific sessions.

If you have any questions about organising a session, or about the conference in general, please contact the organisers at

PhD scholarship: University of Adelaide

A 3-year PhD Scholarship Opportunity linked to the Australian Research Council Discovery Project: ‘Artisanal Making and the Future of Small-Scale Local Production’ is available.

The scholarship is funded to support a full-time PhD student who is commencing research in cultural studies, media and communication studies, or a cognate discipline. The successful applicant will work with researchers Dr Michelle Phillipov (University of Adelaide) and Professor Susan Luckman (University of South Australia) to develop their own independent research project on a subject of relevance to the study, focusing on food and/or craft artisanal sectors. Applications are especially welcome from qualified applicants interested in undertaking research on the role of small-scale and artisanal production in tourism and place-branding in regional economies (especially South Australia, Victoria and/or Tasmania), or those interested in critical analysis of the recent history of ‘buy Australia’ or ‘Australian made’ marketing campaigns.

For further information refer to University of Adelaide Research Scholarships. Applications close 31 March 2022.

PhD opportunities

There are some very exciting projects happening across multiple universities. Do have a look!

University of Melbourne
Melbourne Social Equity Institute is inviting EOIs for a new PhD scholarship focused on understanding and addressing food insecurity among students in Australian universities. Applicants should possess excellent interpersonal skills and experience in social science methods. People with lived experience of food insecurity are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the listing on Melbourne Social Equity Institute.

University of Tasmania
A PhD scholarship is available for the project Social licence and the development of commercial onshore lobster aquaculture in Australia. Supervised by Vaughan Higgins, applicants are encouraged to view the listing on the UTAS website for application details. Applications close 29 October 2021.

University of Tasmania
A PhD scholarship is available for the project Securing a Sustainable Workforce for the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Industry. Supervised by Ruth Barton, applicants are encouraged to view the listing on the UTAS website for application details. Applications close 30 August 2021.

University of Tasmania
A PhD scholarship is available for the project Using research farms to investigate the adoptability of Industry 4.0 AgTech. Supervised by Vaughan Higgins, applicants are encouraged to view the listing on the UTAS website for application details. Applications close 28 August 2021.

Agrifood Research Network Meeting

Venue: Lincoln University, Aotearoa New Zealand
Date: 24-26 November 2021

AFRN have been invited to join in with the Sociology Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (SAANZ) conference this year. As this is a face-to-face only conference, so it is likely that this will only be relevant to agrifooders in AotearoaNZ.

There will be an AFRN-tagged panel with a number of sessions at SAANZ. The SAANZ theme of Well-being, Engagement and Sustainability will be relevant to many agrifooders. However, as usual, we welcome papers on any aspect of the agrifood system.

If you are thinking of attending, please contact Carolyn Morris.

Registration and abstract submissions are open via the SAANZ Conference website.
When you submit your abstract please note that you want to be in the AFRN stream at the bottom of your abstract. Abstracts are due 30 September 2021 and registrations close 5 November 2021.

PhD Scholarship Opportunity: Brand Name Fruits in Australia at The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is funding one PhD scholarship in connection with an Australian Research Council-funded project “The Social Life of Royalties” led by Dr Susannah Chapman (School of Social Sciences, The University of Queensland). The PhD project would suit candidates with backgrounds in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, science and technology studies, or a related field.

The larger study, to which the PhD project is attached, will explore changes in intellectual property protection for plants in Australia and how these shifts are influencing practices of audit, traceability, and ownership in agricultural supply chains for grains and fruits. Congruent with some of these changes has been the rise of new branding practices for fruit. The successful PhD applicant will develop a project that explores the rise of brand name fruits within Australia’s food sector and its relationship to emerging relations of food production and/or consumption, including novel forms of commodification, audit, marketing, and signification. It is envisaged that this project would use a mixture of ethnographic and archival research.

The successful PhD applicant will be based in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. More information about how to apply can be found at:

There is considerable flexibility in the focus, scope, and methods of project that the successful applicant can develop. Prospective applicants should feel free to contact Susannah Chapman if they have questions.

Call for Abstracts: Sustainable Food Future’ Conference 17-18 June 2021

Connecting community, industry and academia to create a sustainable food future

Where: University of Newcastle – Ourimbah Campus, 10 Chittaway Road, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258

This conference will bring together researchers, students, and local industry professionals in the food science and nutrition space to showcase current research efforts developing the next generation of sustainable food and nutrition services. The conference will feature presentations from leading experts in food science and nutrition research, with topics including nutrition and consumer science, food waste and sustainability, functional foods, postharvest technology, and nutrition and food science education.

Call for Abstracts:

The call for abstracts is now open.

To view the abstract submission requirements click here

To submit your abstract or theme for consideration please email:

The call for abstracts will close on the 30th of April 2021 at 11.59pm. 

To register for the conference please visit the conference website here.