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

vechtdal 1

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

Framing urban food strategies

london food strategyDuring the first week of the course Food health and society, the students set on to analyse Urban Food Strategies, each of the six groups having their ‘own’ city. They received classes in what ‘policy’ is and had to apply the ‘what’s the problem’ approach by Carol Bacchi. The key idea is that policies are not neutral or objective but that how the problem is represented – what is brought to the fore and what is left out – is constructed in social context. It is therefore important to ask who’s problem is represented and how discourse has intended and unintended effects. Continue reading

Origin Food: a market for identity – course starts again March 12

The course Origin Food: a market for identity will start again on Monday, March 12. The course is obligatory in the specialization Gastronomy of the Master Food Technology, but open to students from other masters as well. Last two years students from various masters and nationalities and an interest in food products with a Geographical Indication attended the course: next to Food Technology students from Animal Sciences, Management, Economy and Consumer Studies, Development and Rural Innovation, Nutrition and Health, Organic Agriculture, International Development Studies and a student from Geo-information Sciences completed the course. The interaction between students from different disciplines and nationalities in group assignments and plenary discussions contributes to mutual learning and is highly appreciated by the students. The gastronomic excursion is however seen as the highlight of the course, as Jidi Xu made clear with her video clip of the field trip to the Rhederoord Estate. Continue reading

Capita Selecta ‘A global sense of place’

In the 2nd WU education period running, starting October 31, Rural Sociology will again offer the Capita Selecta course ‘A Global sense of place’ (course code RSO-50806).  Course outline is available here.

The course offers a comparative perspective on place-based approaches in rural and spatial development. Next to lectures and readings on place-based development, five guest lecturers are invited to present a case and discuss the relevance of place-based development. 

The interdisciplinary course is open to MSc-students from different Master programs that want to broaden their understanding of place-based approaches for sustainable development.  The course aims to make students acquainted with different  disciplinary approaches to study and understand the sustainable development of places, necessary for thoroughly understanding transformation processes, rural and territorial development.

From the course outline:

A global sense of place gives a critical overview of approaches and discourses on sustainable place-based development and is a constituent and contingent expression of three interrelated, interdependent and relational processes: economic, ecological and social-cultural. Places can then be seen as the constructs wherein the varied interactions between these three interconnected processes are expressed. We will focus on an action-perspectives based on ecological and cultural processes as a starting point, which can create autonomy and a repositioning of economic relations, a regrounding in ecological capital and self-efficacy in the cultural sphere.

We will focus on two main approaches: 1) places as arenas for negotiation, conflicting interests and power struggles, influenced by capital and global forces, where place-based struggles occur as multi-scale, network-oriented subaltern strategies of localization; 2) Spaces endowed with meaning and the constitution of identities, subjectivities and difference.

The themes for the six weeks and invited quest lecturers are:

Week 1 Analysis of place-based development (Dirk Roep)

This lecture introduces an analytical model for sustainable place-based development where place-shaping is a constituent and contingent expression of three interrelated, interdependent and relational processes: economic, ecological and social-cultural. Places can then be seen as the constructs wherein the varied interactions between these three interconnected processes are expressed. The lecture deals with the issue how place-based development based on an action-perspective takes practices based on ecological and cultural processes as a starting point, with the aim of creating autonomy and a repositioning of economic powers, a regrounding in ecological capita and self-efficacy in the cultural sphere. Continue reading

Origin Food – course on Origin Food Products

Over the coming education period, covering eight weeks from March 1 till April 23, our group will again provide the MSc course ‘Origin Food:  a Market for Identity’. The course is compulsory for students of the Specialization Gastronomy of the Master Food Technology, but is open to students for other educational programmes as well.

Prosciutto di Parma

Food products with a geographical indication are becoming more important worldwide, both in economic and cultural terms. In the course a distinction is made between officially acknowledged ‘regional typical products’  with a protected geographical indication (such as Parma ham, Boerenleidse kaas, Café de Colombia) and ‘local food’ sourced locally by e.g. restaurants, shops or online box schemes.

The course deals with a range of questions on OFPs organised around five weekly themes: 1) Originality factors; 2) Regulation and legislation; 3) Marketing and branding; 4) Sustainability impact; and 5) Consumers’ appreciation, regional gastronomy and food tourism.

The course consists of a combination of lectures, guest lectures by experts, a gastronomic excursion and group assignments to study the particularities of Origin Food Products.