Sign in now for the course A global Sense of Place!

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A Global Sense of Place (RSO-55306) is an optional interdisciplinary course on sustainable place-based development for students from various master programmes (e.g. MDR, MES, MID, MLP, MUE, MOA, MFN). The course builds on the BSc course RSO-56806 Sociology and Anthropology of Place-shaping providing an introduction to place-based approaches in development. Knowledge of this introductory course is an advantage, but is not assumed.

The course aims to make students acquainted with an interdisciplinary and place-based approach to development. A relational place-based approach is seen as key to the understanding of interrelated rural and urban transformation processes and ergo sustainable development.

By means of this course students will achieve profound understanding in key-concepts and methods on place-based sustainable development. Work from key thinkers in sustainable place-making will be critically discussed and examined on the basis of various cases. Guest speakers are invited to reflect on place-based approaches to sustainable development and illustrate these through case studies. Ultimately students will acquire a place-based perspective on development.

Different interdisciplinary themes will be addressed such as:
• a relational approach of place and space;
• key thinkers on place and space and politics of place;
• community development
• cultural approaches of place-based development
• ‘the human dimension’, encompassing collaboration and leadership
• ‘defence’ of places and conflicts

If you are interested or want to register for this course, please send a mail before October 4th to lummina.horlings@wur.nl

Migration – sixth post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This sixth blog is about migration by:

Diand Laarman

wooffing groupIn the morning and afternoon, we were WWOOFing at Ekozagroda farm again. Today, we were divided into 4 groups for 4 tasks including weeding in the field, making spiral garden, repairing the fence and rebuilding the old house at the farm. Everybody had their hands dirty. At 1 pm., it was a lunch time. In Poland, lunch was the most important meal and polish people liked to have a warm meal. We were served with a typical Polish dish including potato dumpling, meat and salad. Then, at 4 pm., it was the time to say good bye to WWOOFing with a cheerful group picture.

The discussion evening started with a presentation of Dr. Malchar-Michalska lecturer at the University of Opole. Dr. Malchar-Michalska explained how the region of Opole suffers from Continue reading

WWOOFING – fifth post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This fifth blog is about the logistical side of the trip by:

By Lianne Vreugdenhil

After visiting different stakeholders influencing and regulating Polish agriculture, it was time to do more practical work. Public transport brought us to the small town called so “easily” Szczedrzyk, Opole Voivodeship. This village is the home of Ekozagrada, an organic farm owned by Iwona and Jens Frusek. They offered us a place to do WOOFFing. Continue reading

The Polish Ministry – fourth post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This fourth blog is about the logistical side of the trip by:

Louise van der Stok, Rosan de Groot, Hilde-Marije Dorresteijn, Hanbin Qiao, Annika Meuche, Mathilde Sanglier, Malou Heidekamp

Tuesafday July 9th. On the program today were in the morning a visit to the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and in the afternoon we visited the Dutch Embassy. Both with the main focus on the agricultural sector and its development, and especially on policies that (try to) regulate Polish agriculture.

At 9.30am we received a warm welcome at the Ministry with coffee, tea and lots of toast and biscuits, after which we started the session with some facts about Polish agriculture. Some numbers: out of the 38 million Polish inhabitants, 23.3 million people live in urban areas and 14.8 million in rural areas. Furthermore is 93.2% of Polish territory is classified as rural area. Continue reading

Logistics in Poland – third post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This third blog is about the logistical side of the trip by:

Darja Tretjakova
train running RUWLast day in Poland – how exciting! Leaving Opole behind and spending a lovely day in Wroclaw, a charming city on the river Odra, and then finally heading home!

It all began with the bus. Remembering the previous encounter with the minibus (and no, 27 people with backpacks do not fit in one), RUW asked the bus company for a bigger, medium-sized, one. Who could have foreseen that you have to specify that the driver should take the key from the trunk with him? So what do you do when the bus is too small bus for 27 people and all their backpacks, your train is leaving in an hour and the next bus far too late for it? Yup. Continue reading

Tatra National Park – second post RUW-RSO studytrip to Poland

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. The is second blog on the Tatra National Park posted by:

Emanuel Sandrini, Kyra Weerts, Ileen Wilke, Meret Windler, Meia van der Zee

Museum Tatra national parkToday our trip took us to Tatra National Park, in the south of Poland. It is one of the 23 national parks in Poland.

First we arrived in Zakopane, a village close to the park. Zakopane is the so called wintersport capital of Poland and in summer many tourists come to hike and do other outdoor activities in the area. Each year in fact more than 2 million visitors come to Zakopane. Here we went to the local museum where we got a tour about the history and natural environment of the area from a very enthusiastic guide.

We learned about the Gorale people, the original inhabitants of the Tatra mountains. Traditionally they lived under harsh conditions with cold and long winters in the mountains and survived mostly from hunting. The Gorale are nowadays still famous for their wood crafts and making music. Continue reading

Going global and remaining local: challenges of Poland in implementing climate change policies

RUW Foundation and the Rural Sociology Group organized a studytrip to Poland. In a 10 day intensive program different cities and rural areas in Poland were visited, interesting people and organizations met and farm work is done. The theme of the trip is “Glocalise”. Students are asked to prepare themselves well on different themes in groups before leaving and to write a concluding reflexive paper on their impressions and findings, and to write a blog. This is first is posted by:

Caroline Lumosi, MSc-student Forest and Nature Conservation.

The first day saw us spend time learning about nature conservation in Poland. We focussed on climate change policies and agriculture. Poland faces challenges in implementing regional EU climate change policies in relation to implementing its national regulations on energy and economic development. Poland relies on the use of coal to support 90% its electricity. As the EU moves to cut down on its carbon emission, this in turn means focus is put on use of renewable energy sources. For Poland, and in particular the city of Warsaw, this presents a huge challenge as the city heavily relies on the use of coal for electricity, in transport and in household heating. Continue reading

Grassroots Science course with Boerengroep and St Otherwise

Last year’s Food Farmer Fork series organised by Boerengroep and Otherwise was a big success. Some 750 people came to one or more of the 9 evening lectures and activities. The series could also be followed as a Capita Selecta course with the Rural Sociology group. Initially, 40 students enrolled and 20 students finalised the course successfully with the writing of an essay.  All in all, it inspired both participants and us as organisers. So, the new series until the summer is again available for students to follow as a capita selecta course. Please look at the websites of Boerengroep and Otherwise where you can subscribe to the course and download the course outline. The current topic; grassroots science. Why? Continue reading

Capita Selecta ‘Global sense of place’ – a tutorial reading group

Earlier the Capita Selecta course ‘A global sense of place’ was announced here as optional course for master students in the 2nd period, starting Monday October 31, 2011.  Seen the number of students attending the course, the earlier outlined weekly lectures and workshops are now replaced by a tutorial reading group that will meet once a week with the lecturers to discuss the literature of the week (as was listed in the earlier course outline). Those interested in joining the reading group can contact Joost Jongerden (joost.jongerden@wur.nl).

CS: Food crisis? Strategies to transform our food system: course outline

On the 16th of October it is World Food Day. The theme this year 2011 is ‘Food prices –from crisis to stability’. Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. It is predicted that instability in the world food economy will continue during the decade to come. What can we do? How can we create resilient food systems? The World Food Day has inspired the NGO’s Otherwise, RUW and the Boerengroep, to jointly organise a series of activities and lectures: Food, Farmers and Forks: moving beyond the crisis in agriculture.

In collaboration with Petra Derkzen of the chairgroup Rural Sociology (RSO) the series can be followed as one of the learning activities in this Capita Selecta course under the code RSO 51303 ‘Agricultural and Rural Innovation Processes’. The Food Farmer Fork lecture series together with the book: Food movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food System (ed. Eric Holt-Giménez; see foodfirst.org) and a written essay form the basis of the course.

So, listen to critical lectures on the role that social movements can play in rural development, the future for European farmers after the CAP, the contribution of urban agriculture to food security and consider your own Ecological Footprint in the Food Farmer Fork series! And, the course literature consists of a just released and super timely book which gives the necessary background and concepts to understand the relationships between food sovereignty, resilient food systems and social movements. We will read Part I. You will learn to formulate your own vision on these relationships through the course essay assignment. The full course outline will be available soon.

Credits: 3. See under this link the course outline: Capita Selecta RSO 51303 v2

Language: English

Start: Tuesday evening 1th of November. Lectures/activities; every tuesday evening until 13th of December. Deadline essay delivery 14 of December.

Subscribe to the course until 31 of October at Boerengroep st.boerengroep@wur.nl