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.

Guest lecture on Migration

Open Guest Lecture Professor David Brown, Professor of Development Sociology (Cornell University, USA) on Friday March 3oth

 Title: “Challenges in researching migration”
Time: 13.30-15.00
Place: Leeuwenborch building, room: C78

David L. Brown is professor and chair of Development Sociology, co-director of the Community & Regional Development Institute, and associate director of the Population Research and Training Program at Cornell University in Ithaca. He was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Excellence in 2009, and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Rousse in Bulgaria. He is past president of the Rural Sociological Society. He has written and edited eight books on rural population and society. His most recent books include: Rural Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation (2011), Rural Retirement Migration (2008) (with Nina Glasgow), Population Change and Rural Society (2006), and Challenges for Rural America in the 21st Century (2003).

Lecture: The traditional definition of migration is at odds with contemporary migration processes. Migration is traditionally seen as a disrupt of everyday social relationships. Brown however argues that contemporary migration is socially embedded (embedded in a social structure) and that social relations are often continued. Professor Brown’s research focuses on migration and population redistribution in the US and Europe with a particular focus on how migration affects and is affected by local community organization. His work also focuses on the production and reproduction of social and economic inequalities between regions and rural v. urban areas. In his guest lecture he talks about the conceptual and methodological challenges in researching migration.

Guest lectures on ‘A global sense of place’

In the context of the new Capita Selecta course ‘A global sense of place’ several guest lectures are organized by the Rural Sociology Group. These lectures are open for all students, PhD’s and staff members. Coming up are the following events, please join! More information: lummina.horlings@wur.nl.

Monday May 23th (15.30-17.00, room C63): Will Day.

Will Day is a PhD candidate in Harvard University’s dual PhD program in Middle Eastern Studies and Social Anthropology. His main interests are in economic and political anthropology, Marxist thought and its legacy in anthropology, urbanization and urban political economies defined by displacement and dispossession, and political geography and political ecology. He has carried out two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Diyarbakir, Turkey (June 2007-June 2009). His dissertation is focused on urban livelihoods and cultural politics in Diyarbakir the wake of massive state counterinsurgency campaigns that led to the displacement and dispossession of, very likely, well over 1,000,000 rural Kurds. He is interested in how family histories of rural displacement and dispossession and subsequent urban realities of mass unemployment have resulting in the transformation of not only the practices of work, but also the meaning of productivity, work, and masculinity, wealth, value, masculinity, and, ultimately, political belonging and citizenship and the imagination of political futures in this space of rapid and radical political economic transformations.
Content of the lecture: Will Day will talk about urban development in a place in Turkey. He will focus on ”political economy and urban livelihoods in the city through the lens of Massey’s concepts about thinking spatially which might help to clarify what it means to think of a space (a city, a village, etc) as less a fixed, stable entity and more a temporary, contingent crystallization of dynamic processes that link localities to wider geographies and relations of political community, economic life, and cultural imagination”.

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