[CALL FOR PAPERS] Agricultural Frontiers and the Amazon: Lived and Contested Agrocultural Spaces

Publicado em 16/09/2019

The fifth workshop will bring together the insights from the first four events, outlining the lessons learned in terms of cultural changes and emerging identities. The discussion in this fifth workshop will focus on future scenarios, prefigurative futures, challenges and opportunities to secure social inclusion, respect for cultural pluralism, fairness and justice.



Agricultural Frontiers: Lived and Contested Agrocultural Spaces

31 January – 01 February 2020

University of Oxford

The Agrocultures International Network (www.agrocultures.org) invites scholars researchers, students, policy makers, activists and other experts to send their abstracts for the workshop that will be held in the University of Oxford on 29-30 January 2020.

This will be the fifth and final workshop of the initial series organised by the network, which has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Previous events took place in Cardiff, Brazil and Colombia, and involved academics, activists and public members in debates about past legacies, current trends and future prospects for the socio-spatial and socio-ecological frontiers in the Amazon and around the world.

‘Agrocultural’ frontiers are described as dynamic spaces in the making and cultural melting pots where national and global influences generate socio-cultural heterogeneity. The distinctiveness of ‘agrocultural’ frontiers calls for new ways of engaging the international community in response to the challenges faced by local and national governments. Social scientists, interdisciplinary scholars and organised civil society actors all share the responsibility of contributing ideas and solutions towards solving grave environmental and developmental dilemmas.

This two-day workshop seeks to bring together established and early-career academics, activists and doctoral students in the social sciences to engage in an interdisciplinary discussion reflecting on cross-scale transformations. Through dynamic cross-disciplinary interactions, the event will engage participants and help to set the agenda for future work in the interlocking study of the trajectory of development and of socio-cultural diversity in areas of rapid agricultural expansion and politico-economic transitions.

The first day will include talks from distinguished academics, political leaders and international activists, who will debate the main politico-economic and socio-ecological challenges, as well as discuss policy failures and future prospects. Attendance on the first day will require registration and attract a fee (to help to cover venue and catering services). More details will be announced in due course on the Agrocultures website.

The second day will comprise three papers sessions to examine the contestations and negotiations that undergird ‘agrocultural’ frontiers. The sessions will be moderated by the speakers from the previous day and will be followed by an interdisciplinary round table.

Papers are expected to respond to at least one of the broad themes below:

    The agrocultural frontier as a socio-ecological and dynamic territory – the politicised territorialisation of agri-food systems is a growing field of investigation, which integrates different approaches for the study of socioeconomic development and environmental change, combining historical and geographical accounts with political and socio-cultural factors. Regional development and agriculture intensification trends are constantly translated into values and practices at the local level, which affect political mobilisation and the ability of groups to adopt technologies and respond to pressures. There is a clear invitation here to examine the varied historical, cultural, linguistic and religious dimensions of agricultural frontiers, thus rethinking them as spaces of dramatic socio-ecological transformations.
    Cultures and interpersonal subjectivities at agricultural frontiers – by apprehending agrocultures from the socio-spatial margins, a reflexive project of becoming self-aware of culture-making processes should emerge. Culture will be considered in this debate as an internally coherent collection of relations and communicatory processes that enable, constitute, and organise the sociality and socialisation of groups with different interests and in-between identities. It will be, thus, necessary to connect up existing disciplinary discourses as well as disparate analytical approaches to agency, subjectivity and distinctiveness on the one hand, and culture, alterity and history on the other.
    Food sovereignty and agroecological alternatives – the workshop will also engage with the fast growing literature on food sovereignty and environmental justice. In particular, the recognition of food sovereignty in the agricultural frontier (i.e. the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food) as a socio-spatial relation, whose conceptualisation includes the rights of nations, peoples, regions and states to craft agrarian policy according to their culture and multiple values. It should be addressed the unevenness of regional development, the deficiency of socio-cultural recognition, and the need to promote more just and inclusive development strategies.

Because this is the final workshop of the initial Agrocultural series, a related goal is to provide a framework for recommendations and guidance to governments and multilateral agencies on issues of social integration, cultural pluralism, sustainable development, gender, public participation and food sovereignty. The workshop will also strengthen the Agrocultures Network and expand its capacity to engage researchers from the Global North and the Global South.

Guideline for Submission: Papers for the workshop should be an original piece that has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please send an abstract of 500 words or less by 12pm (noon), 01 September 2019 to info@agrocultures.org and a short bio.

Limited funds may be available, in exceptional circumstances, to cover travel expenses (related to the second day only). Please add a budget if you require assistance funding your trip to Oxford along with the relevant quotes.

Once accepted, the full drafts need to be due to discussant(s) by 15 November 2019 (should be submitted to the same address by that final date).

Select papers from the workshop will be invited to contribute to a peer-reviewed a Special Issue in a high impact journal.