Category Archives: News

International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Vancouver: Submissions now open

Organizers of the ICAE2018 have opened submissions of Contributed Papers (oral and visual), Organized Symposia, Eicher award, and more!

Find out more at

Due date for complete contributed papers and organized sessions: 15 January 2018


Call for papers: Agrarian livelihoods in the Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong Deltas. Workshop, 5-6 April 2018 at University of Cologne

Workshop: A comparative assessment of transformations to agrarian livelihoods in the Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong Deltas

The Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong are the three great rivers of South/Southeast Asia. The human landscapes of these three river deltas reflect millennia of agricultural efforts working their rich soils and ample water availability. They are characterised by high population densities and intensive agriculture.

During recent decades, all three deltas have experienced considerable change. This has included changes within agricultural practices (e.g., high-yield hybrid crop varieties), new agricultural investment (e.g., mechanisation), restructured labour geographies (displacement of agricultural work by technology, new migration patterns and non-farm labour arrangements), new political ecologies in how people relate to their environments (in contexts of resource depletion; hazard risk and climate change), and new transport and communication infrastructures that have transformed the ways in which delta populations connect to extra-regional actors.

These processes have occurred in different ways with the Ayeyarwady, Ganges and Mekong deltas, reflecting the ways that people have interacted with varying physical geographies in diverse national geopolitical contexts. The specific aim of this workshop is to examine comparisons and contrasts in the human environments of these three deltas, with a view to generate cross-deltaic insights that can remain invisible within the perspective of separate studies.

The workshop will take the form of a two-day event involving paper presentations built around generous time for discussion and interaction. Papers will have discussants from a different delta region, encouraging comparative perspectives.

The workshop will feature a keynote and closing address from Professor Jonathan Rigg, National University of Singapore.

Shitangsu Kumar Paul, Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, has also confirmed as a keynote.

Numbers will be restricted to approx. 10-15 papers. A specific aim will be to discuss the prospect for papers to be submitted to a Special Issue of a leading journal in either Geography or Development Studies.

Key dates
The workshop will be held on 5-6 April 2018 at the University of Cologne, Institute of Geography and is co-funded by the Global South Studies Centre, Cologne.

Titles and abstracts need to be sent to the organisers by 22 December 2017 for consideration.

Amelie Bernzen
Bill Pritchard
Boris Braun

Call for papers: Global Conference on Economic Geograpny, July 24-28, Cologne

Organisers would like to invite abstract submissions for presentation at one of the jointly organised sessions at the Global Conference on Economic Geography (GCEG), July 24-28, 2018, Cologne (Germany). 

Session Title(s):
The changing economic geographies of food production and consumption in the Global South – Implications for nutrition, sustainability, livelihoods and gender.

Session/Part I: Case studies from Asia.
Bill Pritchard (University of Sydney/University of Cologne)
Amelie Bernzen (University of Cologne)

Session/Part II: Africa and Latin America.
Stephanie Barrientos (University of Manchester)
Niels Fold (University of Copenhagen)

Economic geographers have much to contribute to debates on the social implications of rapidly changing food systems in the global South. Traditional own-production food systems in rural areas are giving way to more diverse agrarian landscapes based on production for markets. On the one hand, farm production is increasingly being incorporated into value chains in which downstream actors (such as supermarkets and global traders) execute key governance powers. These processes have crucial implications for farmer agency over land use and production systems, the role of labour within agricultural production, and the concentration of farm production. Additionally, food consumption landscapes in rural areas of the global South are being restructured by greater physical and economic accessibility of highly-processed foods, with ramifications for nutrition and the gendered expression of food preparation activities. This Session welcomes researchers working on diverse aspects of food production and consumption dynamics in the global South, including key themes such as value chains, diets and nutrition, gender, food environments, sustainability and the politics of food and environment.

Please submit your abstract online through the conference website between November 15, 2017 and March 15, 2018.

Call for papers: 2019 ISA Congress special session

Conference: 2018 International Sociological Association Congress | 15 – 21 July 2018

Location: Toronto, Canada

Title: Techno-politics in Agriculture and Food Under (and After?) Capitalism

Organizers: Katharine Legun, University of Otago, Madeleine Fairbairn, UC Santa-Cruz, Zenia Kish, Stanford 
Abstract: In food and farming, technology is both a site of capitalist expansion, and an arena of possible change. We invite papers that consider how technology is participating in our food and farming politics by, for example, altering agricultural knowledge production and governance, changing relationships among producers and consumers, or solidifying or challenging existing power relations. Technologies here is used expansively, including everything from biotechnology to mechanisation to algorithms to social networking. Papers should consider these topics within capitalism—either its reproduction or possibilities for its transgression. We hope that through this session we can elaborate on contemporary challenges to developing a socially just and environmentally sound food system, while also considering how new material infrastructures might be altering relations of production in meaningful ways.

The Organisers welcome abstracts to be submitted by September 30th, 2017 through the conference website. Please send inquiries to Katharine Legun.

Call for Papers – Constructions, representations, productions: Exploring historical and contemporary imaginations of land

22 – 24 March 2018
Venue: Collaborative Research Centre 1199, University of Leipzig
Convenors: Michaela Böhme & Sarah Ruth Sippel

Recent transformations in the global food system have drawn renewed attention to questions of land control and land use. Precipitated by the convergent crises of food, fuel, and finance since 2007/08, land is today at the centre of conflicting visions about the future of food and farming. New imaginations of land are emerging, accompanied by, and resulting in, shifting notions of land use and value. Three dynamics in particular illustrate the new imaginations of land: the large-scale acquisitions of farmland (often referred to as the global “land rush”) by governments and corporations driven by concerns over scarce and finite natural resources; the construction of land as a new asset class by financial actors looking for new sources of profit; and the growing use of digital farming methods such as Internet data and satellite images to increase farmland productivity and output. The realization and putting into practice of these imaginations are highly consequential for the novel ways in which land is being reconstructed, appropriated, and used. At the same time, new visions of how to utilize and engage with land do not emerge from within a vacuum; they are embedded in historical contexts.

Throughout history, perceptions and conceptualizations of land have affected land relationships and land use regimes. These histories have tangible meanings and implications for contemporary land relations. By bringing together contemporary and historical perspectives on the multiple and shifting imaginations of land, this workshop seeks to investigate the ruptures and continuities in the ways people have conceived of and interacted with land.

Two perspectives will be of special importance for this purpose. First, environmental history offers important tools for analyzing environmental narratives and their material impacts on nature and society. Often situated within colonial contexts, these histories trace how specific views about land were constructed and mobilized to promote colonial interests in the name of improvement, civilization, and conservation while disenfranchising local peoples and their local understandings of the environment. Many of these narratives are carried over into the present and continue to inform agricultural practices and land regimes in these regions. Second, perspectives from political ecology, combined with insights from science and technology studies (STS), are useful to understand how (contemporary) knowledge about nature and land is produced, applied, and circulated. Emphasizing the social construction of nature, these perspectives help to detect how divergent knowledge claims about land are produced at the intersection of politics, science, and new technologies.

By combining historical, contemporary, and emerging perspectives on land, the workshop seeks to explore how land is and has been produced, represented, appropriated, and used across different regional and historical contexts. To this end, the workshop addresses three interlinked perspectives on land imaginations:

Continuity and rupture: As a product of social practices, imaginations of land are shaped by evolving political and economic prerogatives, emerging technological possibilities, and a changing repertoire of social rules and norms. To unpack and disentangle continuity and ruptures in land imaginations, the workshop asks several questions: How have different actors across diverse regional and temporal contexts shaped notions around land use and land control? Which materials and processes did they employ in constructing such notions? And do we see a continuous development towards enclosure, commodification, and financialization, or are there ruptures allowing for alternative visions of land relations to be realized?

Power and durability: Imaginations of land are multifaceted as well as act as drivers. While some imaginations become enduring, hegemonic, and highly significant for the organization of agriculture and food in society, others remain local and marginalized. To shed light on the power and durability of notions about land use and control the workshop asks the following questions: How do imaginations of land acquire force and durability across different scales from the local to the global? What role do environmental narratives and myths play in this context? And which processes are required to stabilize, formalize, and institutionalize imaginations of land?

Contestations and negotiations: Imaginations of land are contested and riddled with tensions. How are we to make sense of simultaneous processes of land assetization, digitalizing of agriculture, and notions of food and land sovereignty? How are these conflicting imaginations of land negotiated across global and local contexts? And how are they shaping the way land is struggled over?

The workshop aims at bringing together researchers from various disciplines with a keen interest in land and human-nature relations, including historians, critical geographers, anthropologists, political ecologists, and STS scholars. We look for innovative and empirically grounded as well as conceptual contributions. Funds will be available to support participants presenting invited talks. You are invited to submit an abstract of 300 words by 31 October 2017 to

The workshop is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB1199): “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” at the University of Leipzig. It will take place in Leipzig from 22 to 24 March 2018.