Category Archives: News

Call for mini-conference proposals

RC40 (Sociology of Agriculture and Food Research Committee of the International Sociological Association) and the Australasian Agri-Food Research Network (AAFRN) seek mini-conference proposals for IRSA XV in Cairns, Australia, July 8-12.

We seek intellectually exciting, inclusive proposals organized around academic research and practical themes. The mini-conference can be scheduled just prior or just after the Congress. The format and aims of the event are flexible. The hope is that this event will contribute to the IRSA World Congress program through engagement of members of AAFRN and RC40, as well as other IRSA participants. All proposals are welcome.

We offer special encouragement for proposals from young scholars, and we are particularly interested in proposals coming from teams that incorporate representatives of both sponsoring organizations. RC40 will provide a small financial contribution to support this event.

Additionally, AAFRN and RC40 seek proposals for a post-graduate/graduate student workshop. This jointly sponsored workshop can be part of the mini-conference or separate, and can last only one day or run for several days. The workshop should be student-focused and inclusive, and may provide participants with opportunities to work through methodological issues, explore diverse theoretical approaches, and refine their own ideas and research projects collegially with other students.

Workshop proposals should include a theme, an organising team, suggested mentors who may be mid-career or senior academics, and/or outings or fields trips in Cairns, although these are just suggestions and all workshop formats are welcome.

We offer special encouragement for proposals that include graduate/post-graduate students on the organising team. RC40 will provide a small financial contribution to support this event. Please send proposals to Steven Wolf  and Katharine Legun before April 22, 2019.

Intellectual leadership is a critical resource. Please get involved, form a team, and advance our field.


Post-Doc Opportunity: Lincoln University

Lincoln University is seeking an interdisciplinary-backgrounded Postdoctoral Fellow with training in social science or human-environment relations, political ecology, environmental sociology, geography or anthropology, etc.

This could be a good opportunity for anyone interested in working across boundaries of social science, agricultural science/management and landscape design.

For more information, please visit Lincoln University Careers.

Applications close 31 January 2019.

Call for sessions: Eurosoil 2020

The 2020 Congress of the European Federation of Soil Sciences Societies will be held in Geneva.

The organisers are putting a lot of effort in opening this Soil Sciences event to other disciplines (notably social sciences) and practitioners.

They are looking for sessions that would enable to build dialogue between approaches and disciplines around soil and sustainable development issues (drawing on the SDGs). Innovative formats are also welcome!

This is an excellent opportunity to engage with transdisciplinary dialogue around food, agriculture and soil.

Please visit the offical website for more information and to submit a proposal.

Deadline is the 1st of March.

Multiple PhD scholarships offered

8 fully funded PhD scholarships are being jointly offered by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. They are open to a broad range of social science applicants and are focused on the social implications of new technologies being developed by the Future Science Platforms of the CSIRO.

Applications close January 31 2019.

For more information please visit the CSIRO-UQ Responsible Innovation Program website.

Two PhD scholarship opportunities CSIRO/UQ

CSIRO, in collaboration with the University of Queensland, is offering 8 PhD scholarships for social researchers in the field of ‘Responsible Innovation’ for projects starting in the first half of 2019. There are projects on diverse topics, some of which might be of specific interest to the agri-food community, and which are being supervised from members of the Agri-Food Network. Specific topics of interest to the network include: new personalised foods and impacts for health; social, legal and ethical implications of the digital revolution in agriculture; and the impact of cultural diversity on the development and use of novel biological systems.

If you, or someone you know is looking for a post graduate research opportunity, this could be for you!. Please visit the website for further details of projects on offer, and for details of how to apply.

Projects of direct relevance to the network include:

1.      Shaping the Digital Revolution in Agriculture: Understanding Ethical, Legal and Social Implications. Supervised by Emma Jakku and Simon Fielke CSIRO), Kiah Smith and Kristen Lyons (UQ)

2.      The Impact of Cultural Diversity on the Development and use of Novel Biological Systems. Supervised by Lucy Carter and Marcus Barber (CSIRO), Kristen Lyons (UQ)


Applications close 31 January, 2019, with a start date scheduled for April.

Please contact Kristen Lyons for more information.

Call for abstracts, ESRS 2019 – Working Group 1

Abstract submissions are now open for the 2019 European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Conference to be held in Trondheim, Norway, June 25-28. We invite you to submit an abstract under Working Group 1: Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Rural and Food Futures.

Digital agriculture refers broadly to the application as well as integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for improving efficiency, productivity and sustainability in agricultural production. The purpose of this Working Group is to critically examine the relationship between digital agriculture and rural and food sustainability. We specifically invite papers that:

  • Unpack the meaning of ‘sustainable’ rural and food futures in the context of digital agriculture;
  • Explore how digital agriculture is assembled as an object and vehicle of sustainable rural and food governance;
  • Examine the ways in which digital agriculture intersects, and is constituted through, other processes of rural governing such as financialization, standardization and neoliberalization;
  • Historicize contemporary debates and update sociological analysis of digital agriculture in relation to analyses from the 1990s (e.g., Wolf and Wood; Wolf and Buttel);
  • Investigate the possibilities for contestation, resistance, and alternative ways of organising/performing the relationship between digital agriculture and rural and food sustainability.
  • Provide detailed case studies of how digital agriculture is implemented within specific regions and/or industries; and,
  • Develop new or novel ways of conceptualising the relationships and tensions between digital agriculture and rural and food sustainability.

Abstracts can be uploaded at the following website. Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is January 10.

For further information, please contact the Working Group contact, Associate Professor Vaughan Higgins