Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Economics, as part of the Asian Platform for Global Sustainability & Transcultural Studies (AGST), aims to contribute to sustainable development in Asia and throughout the world. Wageningen University’s Rural Sociology Group is a key partner in this platform. As a part of this partnership, Dr. Jessica Duncan has come to Kyoto University to teach a course on Global Food Security Governance.
Taking a sociological approach, the course covers a variety of angles to think about global food security governance. The course is attended by graduate students, PhD candidates and faculty members, which has contributed to rich discussions. Furthermore, amongst the participants there is a large variety of backgrounds and fields of expertise such as law, economics, development studies, business management, political science, and agricultural science with attendants coming from Asia, Europe and Africa.
One of the students attending the class is Wurihan. She decided to follow the course because of a growing interest in policy regarding food security. Before attending Kyoto University as a research student, she went to an agricultural university in China where she studied geographical information systems:
“I used to think that to ensure food security we should increase efficiency in production. But after I did some fieldwork I found it was more about policy and how this can sometimes turn out differently than policy makers intend.”
That is why she wants to learn more about food governance in order to understand how we can contribute to solutions of problems like the distribution of food and obesity.
As one of the objectives of the course is to explore the complexity of the thinking about food security, many theories and approaches are discussed and explored in class while using “framing” as a method to understand the different (often competing) perspectives.
‘Mountains covered with woods’ is used to describe the green area of Keihoku, just outside of Kyoto City. As part of the AGST program, students and faculty members visited a farming event organized by the Shinfujin Kyoto (the new Japan Women’s Association) and the Nouminren Kyoto (Japan Family Farmers Movement).
Participants transplanting rice: Our academic hosts were not afraid to get their hands and feet dirty!
This event tries to make the connection between farmers and consumers and is visited by a lot of families. We can look at it as a celebration of what the earth has given to both farmers and consumers, illustrated by the waving flags showing the text: ‘Hug the Mother Earth’. For example, one of the farmers I met told me about how he grows his rice in the village at the foot of the mountain without making use of chemicals.
One of the organizations responsible for the event, Shinfujin, is a women’s organization that aims to promote environmental protection and emancipation but is also a movement to oppose the comeback of militarism in Japan. Many of the members of this organization are young mothers who are concerned with a variety of crises that could become a threat to their children’s future. This farming event however was more a celebration than a protest, with a vibrant temporary market with products and food stalls, activities, and the possibility to experience transplanting rice plants into the rice paddies. Continue reading →
The first contender for the annual award of the University Fund Wageningen (UFW) is, according to the jury, a lecturer who is to be praised for her enthusiasm and audacity. Someone who is not afraid to tackle her lectures in a different way and is always open to feedback on her methods.
At the Rural Sociology Group we are very proud that Jessica Duncan is one of the six nominees for the Teacher of the Year award. The official ceremony in which the Teacher of the Year Award 2017 will be handed out is on April 6, 2017.
Wageningen University’s School of Social Sciences (WASS) will be offering a PhD course in May and June 2017 called Gender and Diversity in Sustainable Development. Bettina Bock and Jessica Duncan, both from RSO, will lecture in this course.
Inequality lies at the center of current debates about sustainable development, from which a number of policy issues, including Sustainable Development Goals, emanate. Yet, how social (in)equality contributes to creating sustainable development often remains invisible in research. This course enables participants to recognize linkages between gender and diversity and sustainable development in a contemporary globalising world.
The topics covered in this course are:
Introduction: key concepts in gender studies
Trends form a historical perspective
Economics: macro and micro perspectives
Work and care
Population and migration
Food security and governance
Environment and natural resource management
This course will be a seminar. We will take a highly interactive learner-centered approach that combines short lectures with group-based learning activity and discussion. A series of instructors with gender and diversity expertise from WUR and other universities will discuss the relevance of the themes discussed in our class to their own domains.
Telling your science story in just three minutes without using Powerpoint. That is FameLab, a competition for scientists, PhD-candidates or even master students who love to inspire people to see the world from a new perspective.
Young Wageningen researchers in the broad spectrum of science and technology who subscribe in Famelab competition are entitled to the dedicated Famelab Presentation Workshop preceding the Wageningen heat. Registration closes February 11th.
All selected participants are entitled to the dedicated FameLab Presentation Workshop. This is a half day workshop where – in addition to general presentation skills and principles – you will be able to practice and tweak your own presentation and improve your story based on direct and personal feedback. Training workshop is scheduled Tuesday afternoon February 14 or on Thursday morning February 16 as desired.
Apply online at the website of the organising British Council Netherlands for the Wageningen heat in the afternoon of February 24th at Impulse Wageningen Campus, get more information or contact Wageningen science information officer Jac Niessen, tel. 85003 or email@example.com.
On the 5th of January 2017 we will open a vacancy for an associate or full professor in agrarian sociology. We are looking for someone with demonstrated excellence in research and education in the domain of agrarian and rural sociology. The associate/full professor will undertake independent research and participate in (and coordinate) international research projects, focusing on topics such as agricultural and rural development, rural-urban transformation processes, transitions towards regenerative agriculture, and the role of (multifunctional) agriculture in rural eco-economies. The associate/full professor will also teach courses for the Bachelor and Master programs International Development Studies and the Master program Organic Agriculture, and supervise Bachelor and Master thesis students for these programs. Other aspects of the job include project acquisition, training and supervision of PhD students and participation in various research and/or education committees. At least 40% of the time will be spent on research, a maximum of 40% on education and approximately 20% on other aspects.
Candidates applying for this position are expected to have the following qualifications:
A PhD degree in (agrarian or rural) sociology, human geography or related social science discipline;
An inspiring vision on agrarian sociology and the future challenges and priorities for agrarian studies;
An excellent track record in research in agrarian/rural sociology, proven by publications in key international journals and by the successful acquisition of research grants;
A relevant international academic network, combined with good connections with grassroots networks and policymakers (at different levels);
Ample empirical research experience, preferably in different geographical settings;
Proven experience in supervision of PhD candidates;
Excellent didactic qualities and the capacity to motivate and inspire students;
Teaching competences that comply with the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Program (LTHEP, in Dutch referred to as BKO, a system adopted by all Dutch universities) or willingness to follow the LTHEP;
Excellent writing skills;
Fluency in English and, if appropriate, willingness to learn Dutch.
If you are interested in this position, keep an eye on the vacancies webpage of Wageningen University or create your job alert, so you will be notified when the vacancy opens. Applications can be submitted between 5 January and 8 February 2017. From 9 January 2017 onwards you can contact me (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the position.
This week the Green Office of Wageningen is launching this year’s Green Teacher Award !
Last year the Green Office selected the teachers. This year they will do things differently.
Their aim is to let the members of the WUR community nominate themselves, their colleagues and/or their teachers. After this, the nominated teachers will get a questionnaire and a jury will use different criteria to select the ‘Green Teacher(s) of 2016’.
In October RSO will offer a 3 ECTS Capita Selecta course called Global Food Security: Linking theory and practice.
The course offers the opportunity for students to learn more about international food security governance through lectures, assignments, and by attending the annual meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome.
The schedule (subject to change) is:
Tues Oct 11 17:30-19:30 Lecture- Introduction to Global Food Security Governance
Thurs Oct 13 17:30-19:30 Lecture- Introduction to the Committee on World Food Security + potluck dinner
Oct 15-22 Excursion to the CFS in Rome
Nov 1st 17:30-19:30 Presentations of final assignments
Registration is limited and open to students with a proven interest in food security, international development, and/or global governance. Interested students should send a CV and letter of motivation to jessica.duncan (a) wur.nl
Please note students are expected to cover the costs of travel (airfair, accomodation (we will likely reserve a large apartment via AirBnB), and food). Student course coordinators are working to secure funding to help reduce these costs.