WASS-seminar: (Re-)Assembling Rural Places? by Prof dr Michael Woods

Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) seminar: (Re-)Assembling Rural Places?

A presentation by Prof. dr Michael Woods (Aberystwyth University, UK) and prof. dr Sally Shortall (Queen’s University Belfast) as first discussiant.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 15.30-17.00, room C67 Leeuwenborch building of Wageningen University

In recent work Prof. Michael Woods explores the prospective application of Assemblage Theory as a framework for analysing the recomposition of rural places through social and economic change. Assemblage Theory builds on the influences of Gilles Deleuze, Manuel DeLanda and actor-network theory to understand social formations as assemblages of heterogeneous elements that can be human or non-human, natural or technical, material or expressive, but which are held together in temporary entanglements which are constantly changing and which cannot be contained but reach out to intersect with other assemblages. The approach has attracted increasing interest among others human geographers that started thinking about places as assemblages. Assemblage theory presents a way of extending the relational approach to rurality pioneered by Jonathan Murdoch, connecting material relations to performative and discursive aspects of rurality. Assemblage theory supports investigation of the re-making of rural places in globalization, resonating with Woods’s description of the ‘global countryside’ as an emergent and contested space and globalization as proceeding through processes of negotiation, manipulation and adaptation within place. In the seminar Prof. Micheal Woods will present his state of the art in working with these notions supported by illustrative examples.