Agrarian Studies Conference


Short bios of authors, speakers, chairs, & organizers

Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue
September 14–15, 2013
Yale University
Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

View and download PDF:
Short bios of authors, speakers, chairs & organizers
(opens in new window), also presented below.

Short Bios:

Paper Authors, Keynote and Plenary Speakers, Discussants & Chairs

Aaron E. Kappeler, then a student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2009, to aid research on ‘Sowing the State: Land Reform and Hegemony in Rural Venezuela,’ supervised by Dr. Tania Murray Li. This research provides an ethnographic account of the restructuring of agriculture and nation-state in the Bolivarian Revolution. This project investigates the transformation of land tenure relationships and productive activity in light of the challenges faced by reformers after decades of neoliberal policy. Based on 18 months of fieldwork in El Centro Tecnico Productivo Socialista Florentino (an agricultural enterprise located in Barinas in the central plains), the account centers on the enterprise, its operation, and the openings created for subaltern actors in its relations with producer communities and the wider context of state formation.

Aeyal Gross is a Professor at the Faculty in Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law. He is also a visiting Reader at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London.

Alastair Iles is an Associate Professor of Science, Technology & Environment in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California at Berkeley; and the faculty co-director of the new Berkeley Food Institute.

Alder Keleman is a doctoral candidate at Yale University, in a joint PhD program hosted by the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Department of Anthropology, and the New York Botanical Gardens. Her multi-disciplinary thesis research examines the relationships linking agrobiodiversity to food security and food culture in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Previously, Ms. Keleman worked in applied agricultural development research at the UN FAO, CIMMYT, and IPGRI.

Alexander Nikulin is Professor and Director of the Center for Agricultural Studies of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia. He specializes in economic and agrarian sociology, history of the peasantry, and the current state of farming in Russia. E-Mail:

Alison Hope Alkon is assistant professor and chair of the sociology department at the University of the Pacific in Stockton California. Her research examines the ways that local and organic food systems shape and are are shaped by racial and economic identities and inequalities. She is co-editor of Cultivating Food Justice: Race Class and Sustainability and author of Black White and Green: Farmers Markets, Race and the Green Economy, as well as over a dozen articles and chapters on this topic.

Amita Baviskar is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development. Her publications include In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley; and the edited volumes Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource; Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power; and (with Raka Ray) Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes. She has taught at the University of Delhi, and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, Cornell, Yale, the University of California at Berkeley, and Sciences Po, Paris. She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.

Amy Trauger is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia in Athens. Her work has focused on women farmers, sustainable agriculture and the alternativeness of alternative agriculture. She now is pursuing a research trajectory in food sovereignty and is currently working on the book “We Want Land to Live”: Space, Territory and the Politics of Food Sovereignty to be published by UGA Press in the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation Series.

Anil Bhattarai is currently writing his Ph.D. dissertation on sustainable agriculture in Nepal’s Chitwan valley. Currently based in the Programme in Planning and Department of Geography at University of Toronto, Canada, his scholarly interests include ecological future, creative production, democratization, social justice, sustainable agriculture, public health, ecological designs, and politically engaged scholarship. Besides academic pursuits, he has been writing regular column, (un)commonsense for The Kathmandu Post, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper (with online presence), since May 2009. During his ethnographic field work in Nepal in 2010-2011, he built a small earthbag home and innovated on washable mud- floors and bamboo crafts, and planted an agroforest in an acre of land. He was actively involved in Citizens Movement for Democracy and Peace during Nepal’s second popular democratic movement in 2005.

Annette Aurélie Desmarais is an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba. She is the author of La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants (Fernwood Publishing and Pluto Press, 2007) which has been published in various languages. Annette co-edited Food sovereignty: Reconnecting food, nature, and community and Food Sovereignty in Canada.

Antonio Roman-Alcalá is an MA student at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and co-founder of the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance. His work focuses on the intersections of global environmental politics and local deliberative democracy, with food and farming as vehicles for politicaleconomic critique and praxis-based interventions. His interest in participatory action research and improving activist/academic collaboration is reflected in his paper for this conference. Email:

Antonio Turrent Fernández is a Senior Researcher at Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP).

Asfia Gulrukh Kamal is a PhD candidate at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba. Ms. Kamal has a Masters in Cultural Anthropology from University of Manitoba and Masters of Social Science from Women’s Studies, Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her doctoral research focuses on food sovereignty and community economic development with the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation in northern Manitoba.

Barbara Deutsch Lynch is Visiting Associate Professor of International Affairs and City and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology. Her current research treats watershed governance and conflict in Peru. In 2012 she was Alberto Flores Galindo Visiting Professor, Pontifical Catholic University in Lima. Lynch has written on Latino environmentalisms and agriculture and environment in the Hispanic Caribbean. She edited with Sherrie Baver, Beyond Sand and Sun: Caribbean Environmentalisms.

Ben McKay is a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, Netherlands. His research focuses on the political economy and ecology of land/resource access and control in Bolivia in the context of the rise of Brazil.

Ben Orlove is an anthropologist (PhD University of California, Berkeley) who teaches in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia, where he also directs the Master’s Program in Climate and Society and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. He has published many books, including the recent Darkening Peaks: Glacier Retreat, Science, and Society.

Ben White is Emeritus Professor of Rural Sociology at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague. He is co-author of “Agrofuels capitalism: a view from political economy” (with A.Dasgupta, 2010), and co-editor of The new enclosures (2012) and Governing the global land grab (2013). He is a founding member of the Land Deal Politics Initiative. Email:

Bina Agarwal is Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester, UK. Until recently she was Director of the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University. She is also President of the International Society for Ecological Economics.

Educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Delhi she has lectured worldwide and held distinguished positions at many universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Michigan, Minnesota (where she held the Winton Chair), and the NYU School of Law. She was Harvard's first Daniel Ingalls Visiting Professor, and later a Research Fellow at the Ash Institute, Kennedy School of Government. Agarwal has been Vice-President of the International Economic Association, President of the International Association for Feminist Economics, on the Board of the Global Development Network, and a member of the Commission for the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, chaired by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. She served two terms on the UN Committee for Development Policy and is on the editorial boards of many international academic journals. She holds honorary doctorates from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands and the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Agarwal's research is both theoretical and empirical in scope, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged. An economist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary and intercountry explorations, her publications include nine books and over seventy-five professional papers on subjects such as land, livelihoods and property rights; environment and development; food security; the political economy of gender; poverty and inequality; law; and agriculture and technological change. Among her best known works is A Field of One's Own : Gender and Land Rights in South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 1994) which was awarded the A.K. Coomaraswamy Book Prize 1996; the Edgar Graham Book Prize 1996; and the K. H. Batheja Award 1996. Her writings placed the issue of women's land rights centrally on the agenda of governments, civil society groups, and international agencies. In her latest book, Gender and Green Governance (Oxford University Press 2010), Agarwal explores the impact of women's presence on forest governance and conservation.

Birgit Müller (PhD Cambridge 1986) is a senior researcher at the LAIOS, CNRS/EHESS in Paris. Her current research explores global governance of food and agriculture at the FAO and agricultural practices of farmers in Canada and Nicaragua. She examines links between agricultural practice, political worldviews and structures of power and global agricultural policies. Her most recently published book is: The Gloss of Harmony: The politics of policy making in multilateral organisations (2013).

Blain Snipstal is a returning generation peasant-farmer, community organizer, artist and seed keeper of afro-indigenous ancestry based in the traditional North-South, Baltimore, Maryland. He is part of the International Youth Articulation of La Via Campesina and serves as part of the regional and youth leadership of La Via Campesina North America. He serves as a board and farm member of SAAFON - South Eastern African-American Farmers Organic Network, the only African-American organic farming network in the South Eastern United States.

Bob St.Peter lives and farms on rented land in Sedgwick, Maine with his wife, Juli, and daughters, Luna and Emma. They raise small livestock, flowers, seeds, and produce. Bob is also a seasonal farmworker, with experience in organic poultry and blueberries. In 2011, Sedgwick became the first of 10 Maine towns to pass a Local Food & Community Self- Governance Ordinance, sparking a movement across the U.S. to localize food policy decisions and protect traditional foodways. Bob is a founding member of Food for Maine's Future, a grassroots organization working to build a just, sustainable, and democratic food system in Maine.

Bola Akanji is a Research Professor, in the Economic Policy Research Department, at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research. Her research and consultancies focus on agricultural markets and structural studies, socioeconomic policy and programme evaluation, gender analysis of agricultural policies, with emphasis on poverty, food security and sustainable livelihoods. She is member, International Working Group on Gender and Macro- economics and currently Visiting (Adjunct) Professor, University of Rhode Island, Kingston USA.

Brian Dowd-Uribe (PhD University of California, Santa Cruz) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Development at the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Previously Brian was a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.

Carla Roncoli is Senior Research Scientist (PhD State University of New York, Binghamton) with the Department of Anthropology and the Associate Director of the Master’s in Development Practice at Emory University.

Carolyn Sachs is Professor of Rural Sociology and Women’s Studies and Department Head of Women’s Studies at Penn State University. Her research focuses on women farmers, gender and food, and gender and climate change. Her books include Invisible Farmers: Women in Agricultural Production Agriculture; Gendered Fields: Rural Women, Agriculture and Environment; and Women Working in the Environment.

Charalampos Konstantinidis is an assistant professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His primary research interests lie at the intersection of political economy and ecological economics. His recent work has examined the socio-economic and environmental dimensions of the growth of organic farming in the European Union, as well as the inverse relationship between farm size and productivity in rural Kenya.

Chelsea Wills is a social practice artist. Her works are often collaborative and participatory, and she using artistic processes to shed new light on issues important to communities. She exhibits widely in the United States, Mexico and Europe. She holds an M.A. in education from UC Berkeley and a BFA form UC Santa Cruz.

Christopher M. Bacon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University. His primary research examines the political ecology of conventional and alternative food systems and their impacts on rural development in northern Nicaragua. He often uses a community-based participatory action research approach. In addition to continued work in Central America, he recently initiated research focused on environmental and food justice in San Jose, California. Previous work has been published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecology and Society, and World Development.

Clara Mi Young Park is a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and a gender and social equity consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). She has recently coauthored Governing Land for Women and Men, a technical guide to support the achievement of responsible gender-equitable governance of tenure. Email:

Clare Gupta is a National Science Foundation SEES (Science, Education and Engineering for Sustainability) postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her recently completed dissertation work in the University of California Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management examined the implications of wildlife conservation for the livelihoods of rural communities living near protected areas in northern Botswana. This work drew from the fields of human geography and conservation biology to assess migration patterns, agrarian change and community-based conservation around Chobe National Park. She is now conducting an interdisciplinary research project that examines sustainability initiatives to “re-localize” the Hawaiian economy, particularly in the agricultural and energy sectors, from a combined political and industrial ecological approach. Her recent publications include: “Elephants, safety nets and agrarian culture: understanding human-wildlife conflict and rural livelihoods around Chobe National Park, Botswana” Journal of Political Ecology (2013) and “Highlighting the shortcomings of CBNRM: The case of the Chobe Enclave” in Environmental Governance for Social Justice in Southern Africa (2013).

Colin Thor West is a human ecologist (PhD The University of Arizona) with the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He works on issues related to natural resource-based livelihoods and global change in semi-arid West Africa and western Alaska.

Craig Harris is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University, with appointments in Michigan AbBio Research, and the Center for Regional Food Systems, and is one of the co-founders of the Center for the Study of Standards In Society. He has studied the social dimensions of fisheries of the North American Great Lakes and the East African Great Lakes, especially Lake Victoria.

Derek Johnson is an Associate Professor of socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Manitoba. He works in the areas of international development and natural resource governance with a primary focus on small-scale fisheries.

Devon Sampson is a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. His research in Yucatan, Mexico examines the links between the biodiversity that farmers manage and household food security. He uses a participatory action research approach and methods from ecology and the social sciences to investigate the many ways that agrobiodiversity supports food security in a risky and changing climate and economy. His work contests the idea that diverse farms are expendable in the project of feeding the world.

Devparna Roy is a Visiting Fellow at the Polson Institute for Global Development, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University. She holds a Master’s degree in biotechnology from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India. For her Ph.D. dissertation at Cornell University, she analyzed the early experiences of Gujarat agriculturists with Bt cotton (2002 to 2004). She conducts research on the sociology of agri-food systems in India and the United States of America, with an emphasis on comparing different agricultural technologies (e.g. industrial farming using transgenic seeds versus organic farming), the political economy of land seizures in India, and social movements related to various natural resources (from seeds to land).

Dineshkumar Moghariya is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, and the Department of International Development Studies, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Canada. He holds PhD in environmental Science from SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY.

Dominique Caouette is an Associate Professor with the Department of Political Science and Director of the East Asian Studies Centre at Université de Montréal where he teaches international relations and Southeast Asian politics. Before joining the University, he worked for five years with Inter Pares a global social justice organization. His current research interests include food sovereignty, transnational advocacy networks, global social movements, and armed resistance in Southeast Asia. Recently, he edited a special issue on food sovereignty in Southeast Asia of Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies (2011).He co-edited with Pascale Dufour and Dominique Masson, Solidarities Beyond Borders: Transnationalizing Women’s Movement (2010) and with Sarah Turner, Agrarian Angst and Rural Resistance in Contemporary Southeast Asia (2009).

Dwijen Rangnekar is an Associate Professor of Law at the School of Law (University of Warwick). His research focuses on the intellectual property rights; thus, probing the construction of standards and their contested globalisation. His recent publications include Geneva Rhetoric, National Reality: The Political Economy of Introducing Plant Breeders’ Rights in Kenya (New Political Economy), Re-making place: the social construction of a geographical indication for Feni (Environment and Planning A), and The Glivec Precedent – The Supreme Court Judgement: Lawmaking in the South (Economic and Political Weekly). He is currently working on a monograph, titled Re-Making Place: The Social Construction of Geographical Indications (Palgrave Macmillan). Further details at

Elise Garvey is a researcher at Policy Research, Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute.

Elizabeth Fitting is an Anthropologist and Associate Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She is the author of The Struggle for Maize: Campesinos, Workers, and Transgenic Corn in the Mexican Countryside (2011) and a forthcoming chapter in Food Activism: Agency, Democracy and Economy (2014), which compares anti-GM activism in Colombia and Mexico. Her email is:

Elizabeth Havice is an assistant professor of international development and globalization in the Geography Department at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Her work is on the political economy of resource regulation, production and consumption in natural resource systems. Much of her empirical research is on the tuna industry that spans the Pacific Rim. Campling and Havice have co-authored articles that have appeared in Journal of Agrarian Change, Global Environmental Politics and Environment and Planning A. They also recently co-edited a 12 article special issue of the Journal of Agrarian Change on the political economy and ecology of capture fisheries. Both remain committed to policy relevant research and writing on fisheries property and access, the right to food and international trade dynamics.

Liza Starr received her B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University. She has done research on land concentration processes in the developing world, with a particular focus on Latin America. In September 2013, she will begin a new position as a research associate based out of the National University of Colombia, where she will be studying the Colombian land restitution process and land property rights.

Enrique C. Ochoa is Professor of Latin American Studies and History at California State University, Los Angeles.Professor Ochoa’s publications include Agricultura y estado en México: Antecedentes e implicaciones de las reformas salinistas (co-editor, 1994), Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000), Latina/o Los Angeles: Migrations, Communities, and Political Activism (co-editor, 2005), Water: History, Power, Crisis, a special issue of Radical History Review (co-editor, 2013), “The Political History of Food,” in The Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012), and “Food History” in Oxford University Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies (2011)

Eric Holt-Gimenez worked with the Campesino a Campesino Movement in Latin America from 1977-1999. He has a M.Sc. in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. His teaching in development studies includes Boston University, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia and the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. He directs Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy in Oakland, CA.

Ernesto Méndez is Associate Professor of Agroecology at the University of Vermont. He works with smallholder coffee cooperatives in Mesoamerica and a variety of growers in Vermont. His research uses agroecology as a transdisciplinary, participatory and action- oriented approach focusing on the interactions between agriculture, farmer livelihoods and environmental conservation.

Esther Lupafya has been the AIDS Coordinator as well as the Deputy Director of Primary Health Care of Ekwendeni Hospital in Malawi for over a decade. She is a community nurse and holds a M.A. in Social Development and Health from Queen Margaret University (Scotland).

Federica Ravera, Post-doctoral researcher, Social-Ecological Systems Lab and Associate Researcher, Ethnoecology Lab. Federica Ravera’s PhD in Environmental Science and Ecological Economics option (UAB) focused on vulnerability and local adaptation to climate change of semiarid socio-ecological systems. Her major research interests are related to the role of institutions in vulnerability/adaptation studies, gender and agro-biodiversity studies, participatory multicriteria assessment of ecosystems services in agriculture.

Giuliano Martiniello is a Research Fellow in Political Economy at the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University since 2012. He received a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Leeds in June 2011. He has been working on the political economy of land and agrarian change in South Africa in historical perspective. His current research interests include land grabbing, land reforms, food sovereignty and social movements in Africa.

Hannah Wittman is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She conducts collaborative research on food sovereignty, local food systems, and agrarian citizenship in Brazil and Canada and is co-editor of Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects, and Struggles; Food sovereignty: Reconnecting food, nature, and community; and Food Sovereignty in Canada.

Haroon Akram-Lodhi teaches agrarian political economy at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. A fellow of Food First, he is also an Associated Research Professor of the Academic Unit in Development Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico and Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Master’s in Development Practice program at the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Professor Akram-Lodhi’s most recent book is Hungry for Change: Farmers, Food Justice and the Agrarian Question.

Harriet Friedmann, food systems analyst, author, and speaker, is Professor Emerita of Sociology, Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, based at the Munk School of Global Studies. She participates in international research and policy on food and agriculture, most recently with Centre International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD), and including the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and several editorial boards of journals related to food and agriculture. Friedmann is a member and former chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council, a pioneer in linking civil society and municipal governments in comprehensive food strategy. She has published on many dimensions of agriculture and food, including family farms, corporate strategies in the food sector, food policies, changing patterns of diet and consumption, and social movements to change the food system, focusing on trans-scalar dynamics. With Philip McMichael, she developed the food regimes approach. Friedmann is currently preparing a book on Political Ecology of Food with Tony Weis. She was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Achievement award by the Canadian Association of Food Studies.

Heather Retburg and Bonnie Preston are founding members of Local Food Rules, the organization formed to foster broadening support for the local food and community self- governance ordinances.

Henry Bernstein is Emeritus Professor of Development Studies in the University of London at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He was editor, with Terence J Byres, of the Journal of Peasant Studies, for fifteen years (1985–2000), and founding editor, again with Terence J Byres, of the Journal of Agrarian Change (2001), of which he became Emeritus Editor in 2008. His book, Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change (2010), has been translated to various languages. He is Adjunct Professor at COHD, China Agricultural University, Beijing.

Hilda Kurtz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia (US). Her current research focuses on the biopolitical stakes in controversy over access to controversial foodstuffs such as raw milk and un-licensed and – inspected locally produced food. She has published primarily in geography journals such as Geoforum, Antipode, Urban Geography, Space and Polity, Gender, Place and Culture and the Geographical Review. She is currently working on a book about the local food and community self-governance ordinance strategy profiled in this paper.

Hom Gartaula is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba and International Development Studies, Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg. With the financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, his current research focuses on food security and wellbeing of small farmers in South Asia.

Hugh Lacey is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Swarthmore College; Visiting Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, and Research Fellow in the ‘Thematic Project,’ “The origins and meaning of technoscience: Science, technology, values and society,” University of São Paulo, Brazil. Professor Lacey is the author of Values and Objectivity in Science (2005), and A Controvérsia sobre os Transgênicos: Questões científicas e éticas (2006).

Hyo Jeong, Kim is a PhD student in the Department of Women’s Studies at Ewha Womans, University (EWU). She started her feminist activism as an NGO activist to support women in sex-trafficking in Asian countries and recognized development issues in Asia. She wrote her M.A. thesis of Women’s Studies ‘A Study about the Indigenous Knowledge of Peasant Women through the Indigenous Seed Preservation Movement’ at EWU. She was a researcher at Asian Center for Women’s Studies in EWU. Her current research interests include women’s collectives of urban agriculture and agricultural development utilizing women’s knowledge and skills in Asia. (E-mail:

Isabella Giunta graduated in Social Anthropology, is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Doctorate in Knowledge and Innovation for Development-A G. Frank, in the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Calabria (Italy). Performs a comparative research, between Ecuador and Italy, on the collective actions of organizations linked to La Vía Campesina. She lived for more than ten years in Ecuador working in initiatives of cooperation and research, conducted mainly with social organizations.

Jack Kloppenburg works in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is Director of the GreenHouse Residential Learning Community and is affiliated with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Agroecology Program. He is founder of the REAP Food Group and most recently has joined with farmers, plant breeders and sustainability advocates to establish the Open Source Seed Initiative to apply open source mechanisms to plant breeding.

James K. Boyce, Director, Program on Development, Peacebuilding, and the Environment and Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Boyce received his Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University. He is the author of Investing in Peace: Aid and Conditionality After Civil Wars (Oxford University Press 2002), The Political Economy of the Environment (Edward Elgar 2002), The Philippines: The Political Economy of Growth and Impoverishment in the Marcos Era (Macmillan 1993), and Agrarian Impasse in Bengal: Institutional Constraints to Technological Change (Oxford University Press 1987), and co- author of A Quiet Violence: View From a Bangladesh Village (with Betsy Hartmann, Zed Press 1983). He is the co-editor ofNatural Assets: Democratizing Environmental Ownership (with Barry Shelley, Island Press 2003) and editor of Economic Policy for Building Peace: The Lessons of El Salvador (Lynne Rienner 1996). Professor Boyce's current work focuses on strategies for combining poverty reduction with environmental protection, and on the relationship between economic policies and issues of war and peace.

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg is Professor of Transition Studies at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Adjunct Professor in Rural Sociology at China Agricultural University, Beijing. Professor van der Ploeg has worked with peasant organizations in Peru, Colombia, the Netherlands and Italy. Recently he co-authored an HLPE report on ‘Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security’ that was written on request of the Committee for World Food Security of the FAO. His most recent book is Peasants and the Art of Farming: A Chayanovian Manifesto (2013, Fernwood)

Jason Cons is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bucknell University. His research focuses on the India-Bangladesh border and on agrarian change in rural Bangladesh.

Jennifer Clapp is a Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor, Environment and Resource Studies Department at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She has published widely on the global governance of problems that arise at the intersection of the global economy, the environment, and food security. Her most recent books include Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid (Cornell University Press, 2012), Food (Polity, 2012) and Corporate Power in Global Agrifood Governance (co-edited with Doris Fuchs, MIT Press, 2009).

Jennifer S. Bowles is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Since 2008, Ms. Bowles has been working on labor and agrarian rights movements in Misiones, Argentina, particularly on the politics of yerba mate production. Trained as an attorney and clinical social worker, she has advocated for low wage workers and practiced as a mental health therapist for homeless men and women recovering from addiction.

Jenny Cockburn received her PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Social Justice from the University of Windsor in June 2013. Her dissertation, based on ethnographic research in farming communities and an NGO in the Bolivian Andes, focused on challenges to agricultural knowledge exchange and collaboration. She is currently working on publications with the intention to conduct post-doctoral research on incorporating a gendered framework into Food Sovereignty in Bolivia.

Jesse Ribot is Professor of Geography, Women and Gender in Global Perspective, Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, and faculty of Beckman Institute, University of Illinois. Before 2008 Professor Ribot worked at World Resources Institute, taught at MIT, and was a fellow at The New School, Yale, Rutgers, Max Planck Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, and Harvard. He is an Africanist studying local democracy, resource access, and social vulnerability.

Jessica Clendenning is an independent Researcher whose interests revolve around agro- food systems (food security/sovereignty), rural livelihoods and agrarian change, land access and resource use, and forestry conservation and governance.

Jessie Mazar received her BA in Global Studies from the University of Vermont in 2012. She is currently a Research Assistant and Program Assistant for Huertas.

Jill Richardson is a freelance writer based in San Diego. She is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do To Fix It.

Jim Handy is a Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History, University of Saskatchewan. He is author of Revolution in the Countryside: Rural Conflict and Agrarian Reform in Guatemala, 1944-1954 and Gift of the Devil: A History of Guatemala.

Joan P. Mencher is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, and Lehman College of the City University of New York, is now the Chair of a small Foundation (TSCF), which works to support rural grassroots organizations in India working on sustainable agriculture. Currently she is primarily writing even though she still visits the rural areas in India when she can. She still presents papers annually at professional meetings. She has also worked as a consultant for various UN agencies.

John Cavanagh has been Director of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) since 1998. He directed IPS’s Global Economy Program from 1983-1997. He is the co-author of 12 books and numerous articles on the global economy, most recently Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match. He led the effort to detail a new global economy in the International Forum on Globalization book Alternatives to Economic Globalization. He is co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, an organization delineating transformative visions of a new economy that serves people and the planet.

John Gershman is a Clinical Associate Professor of Public Service at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Assistant Director of NYU's Masters in Public Health Program. He previously worked at the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First) and Partners in Health. His research looks at issues of natural resource management in Ghana and the Philippines, accountability of development agencies, and rights-based approaches to development.

Julia* is a Presidium member of the Kalimantan Women Alliance for Peace and Gender Justice (AlPeKaJe) based in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sheis currently involved in a research on political ecology of the Kapuas River in collaboration with Bonn University and Bremen University. She is co-author (with Ben White) of “Gendered experiences of dispossession: oil palm expansion in a Dayak Hibun community in West Kalimantan” (Journal of Peasant Studies, 2012). Email: *(this is her full name).

Kai Thaler is a doctoral student in the Department of Government at Harvard University, and an affiliated researcher of the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security (IPRIS). His research interests include violence and conflict, revolution, civil wars, regime transitions, and the political economy of development in agrarian societies. He holds a B.A. in political science from Yale University and an M.Soc.Sc. in sociology from the University of Cape Town.

Karine Peschard is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. She holds a PhD in anthropology from McGill University (2010). Her doctoral thesis examines the controversy over agricultural biotechnology in Brazil, looking more specifically at resistance to transgenic seeds among small farmers in Southern Brazil. She is currently conducting comparative research on farmers’ rights in Brazil and India. Her research interests are centered on global capital, contemporary peasant movements, food sovereignty, agricultural biotechnology, intellectual property rights and biodiversity.

Karla Peña is a researcher for the Ecology Center, an Ann Arbor, Michigan based environmental non-profit organization. She earned her Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. Broadly, she is interested in ethnic politics and questions of rural and agricultural development in the Andes.

Kasia Paprocki is a PhD student in Development Sociology, Cornell University. Her research broadly is concerned with the relationship between development and agrarian dispossession in Bangladesh. Working in partnership with Nijera Kori, Bangladesh’s largest landless social movement, her dissertation research is examining depeasantization through industrial shrimp aquaculture and related rural development schemes, and the ways in which it is shaped by discourses around climate change and market-based development solutions.

Kathryn DeMaster is Assistant Professor of Agriculture, Society, and Food Security in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management’s Society and Environment Division, University of California, Berkeley. DeMaster comes to Berkeley from Brown University, where she held a Visiting Assistant Professorship at the Center for Environmental Studies. She has focused her research on engaged scholarship, exploring the applicability of EU-style “multifunctional” initiatives in New England and mapping the local Providence food system with her students. DeMaster also served as coordinator of the “Cultivating Hope” Community Urban Agriculture Initiative, helping to initiate a collaborative urban gardening program between Brown University students and the students and staff at John Hope Settlement House (JHSH), a community service center in one of Providence’s most diverse and low-income neighborhoods. DeMaster completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her dissertation involved an extended case study of the national Polish organic agriculture sector, in the context of Poland’s 2004 accession to the European Union (EU).

Kathy Ozer has worked on farm, rural, and fair trade policy for over 20 years at the National Family Farm Coalition. In the mid-1980's she worked for the United States Student Association (USSA) on education access issues. She represents NFFC on the boards/coordinating committees of the Citizens Trade Campaign, Jobs with Justice, and the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. Kathy has been part of the farmer delegations at the WTO in Seattle and Cancun and at the United Nations. Her work addresses the credit and global food crisis; holding onto farmer wins to restore fairness and competition in farm and food policy and efforts to address the ongoing dairy farmer crisis. Kathy received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and lives in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Woods is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UC-Berkeley in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management Dept. (ESPM) as a political ecologist and geographer, as well as research analyst for both the Transnational Institute (TNI) based in Amsterdam and for Forest Trends based in Washington, D.C. He has been engaged in research and activism on land politics in Burma for over a decade. His initial research focused on the Burma-China timber trade, but since then has expanded to include research on the country’s emerging agribusiness sector as the frontline of land grabs and conflict. Most of his work has focused on examining Chinese agribusiness in northern Burma as part of China’s opium substitution programme, and its entanglements with drug militias, counterinsurgency and land grabs. Most recently Kevin has conducted participatory action research on farmers’ resistances to land grabs during the current reform period under the new military-backed government. Kevin’s collaborative work with local community activist networks attempts to overcome the problems that our research uncovers.

Kim Burnett is a SSHRC funded doctoral student with the University of Waterloo’s Global Governance program. Her research focuses on the governance of agricultural production and trade, examining how Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty challenge neoliberal structures of agricultural production and trade, and with what efficacy. She has authored a forthcoming publication with Geopolitics on Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty responses to governance opportunities after the global food crisis.

Kirit Patel is an Assistant Professor, International Development Studies Program, Menno Simons College affiliated with the University of Winnipeg & Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg.

Kristal Jones is a Ph.D. candidate in Rural Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University. She has long-standing ties to Sahelian West Africa, and has worked on a variety of research projects focused on the differentiated effects of agricultural research and development projects in that region. She is currently working on an analysis of adaptive seed systems with the introduction of improved varieties of sorghum and pearl millet.

Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Studies at Goucher College. She broadly explores the interactions between food and racial justice, rural development, and transnational environmental and agricultural policy. Her dissertation investigated farmworker food insecurity in California, with a focus on indigenous immigrant gardeners and farmers from Oaxaca, Mexico. Her current research builds on her dissertation, where she found that a significant population of farmworkers and other first generation immigrants and refugees to the US aspire to be small-scale farmers. In this work, she explores immigrant and refugee farmers’ role in agrarian change in the United States today. She has a BA from Cornell University in Sustainable Agriculture and Development and PhD in Geography from University of California, Berkeley.

Liam Campling teaches at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London. His main research interests are in international political economy and uneven development, commodity chain analysis (with an empirical emphasis on tuna), the history of capitalism, and the political economy of development in island states in the Western Indian and Pacific oceans. He is a Book Reviews Section Co-editor of Journal of Agrarian Change, and a Corresponding Editor of Historical Materialism. He also works part time on trade policy and its politics for the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.

Lizzie Shumba has been working with the Soils, Food, and Healthy Community project in Ekwendeni Malawi since 2005. She has co-authored five papers on health, agriculture, and nutrition in Malawi and has presented at conferences in Malawi, the UK, and Mexico. Lizzie holds a diploma in nutrition, and a Certificate of Principles and Practice in Farm Home Science, both from Natural Resources College, Lilongwe, Malawi.

M. Guadalupe Rodríguez Gómez is a Full-time Professor-researcher at the Cen-tro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), in Guadalajara, Mexico. She is a level III researcher, Sistema Nacional de Investigadores. Rodríguez Gómez has conducted research on Mexican and Spain rural sector, commodity chains, staple food, popular movements against NAFTA and neoliberalism, small-scale farming since 1994. From 2009 on she has been coordinating evaluations of Mexican Public policies for the National Ministry of Agriculture, the Forestry National Commission, and for the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). Some of her publications are La paradoja de la calidad: Alimentos mexicanos en la región de América del Norte (2011); El frijol en México. Elementos para una agenda de soberanía alimentaria (2006); Strategies for resource management, production and marketing in rural Mexico (2000); and “Crisis alimentaria vis-a-vis crisis financiera” (2009).

Madeleine Fairbairn is a PhD candidate in the joint Sociology/Community and Environmental Sociology graduate program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her previous research examined food sovereignty as a social movement frame. She has also studied land grabbing in Mozambique. Her current work explores growing interest in farmland on the part of the financial sector, as well as the policy debate that surrounds foreign farmland investment in the case of Brazil.

Maggie Dickinson is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation, “Re-Calibrating the Welfare State: Food and the New Politics of Poverty”, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, uses the messy politics around food, poverty and welfare as a lens to explore larger concepts such as emergent articulations of the political, urban class formation, neoliberalization and the state. She has published on food and protest at Occupy Wall Street, women, welfare and food insecurity and graffiti, race and the urban commons.

Mamadou Goita a development Socio-Economist and specialist in education and training systems is the Executive Director of IRPAD -Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development-. For two years, he was Executive Secretary of ROPPA (advisor actually)., the West Africa Farmers Coalition Previously, he worked in West Africa with UNICEF, UNDP, OXFAM-Belgium and ACORD. He teaches at the University of Ouagadougou and ENEA Dakar. He was recently a member of the UN CFS High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) project team on ‘Investments in Agriculture’.

Marc Edelman is professor of anthropology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, both of the City University of New York. He is the author of The Logic of the Latifundio (Stanford 1992) and Peasants Against Globalization (Stanford, 1999); co-author of Social Democracy in the Global Periphery (Cambridge, 2007); and co-editor of The Anthropology of Development and Globalization (Blackwell, 2005) and Transnational Agrarian Movements Confronting Globalization (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). His current research focuses on the campaign to have the United Nations approve a declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

Margarita Fernandez is a PhD candidate in Agroecology at the University of Vermont. Her dissertation work uses participatory action research to explore the relationship between agroecology, food sovereignty, climate change and livelihoods with coffee communities of Mexico and Nicaragua. She has over 15 years’ experience working on a range of food systems initiatives in urban and rural landscapes of Mexico, Nicaragua, Laos, Cuba and the US. She holds a Masters from Yale F&ES and a BS from Tufts University.

Maria Elena Martinez-Torres is a faculty member in the Environment and Society Program of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology-Southeast Campus (CIESAS-Sureste) in Chiapas, Mexico. She is also a research associate at the Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA) in Berkeley, California.

Mark Bomford. As a farmer, educator, advocate and leader, Mark Bomford has spent the last 18 years immersed in creating sustainable food systems. Mark was the founding Director for the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, where he launched an inter-disciplinary program and a thriving 60-acre teaching and research farm on campus. Prior to his work at UBC, Mark worked in the non-profit sector, establishing school gardens, new farms and food enterprises, and a range of international urban agricultural programs. Mark joined Yale University as the Director for the Yale Sustainable Food Project in late 2011. Under the theme of “Food Literate Leadership,” Mark aspires to position the Yale Sustainable Food Project at the forefront of a global movement for change in the food system.

Malik Kenyatta Yakini is a founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. He views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Blacks farmers in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. He is currently an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellow.

Marta G. Rivera-Ferre is an associate professor at the University of Vic (Barcelona-Spain) and performs her research on food systems and sustainability from a wide scope, analysing interactions among different components of the systems. She has been interested in food sovereignty since 2006 and has centred the analysis of the proposal from a sociological perspective, including local research in Spain linked to the food sovereignty movement, and also from an international and institutional perspectives.

Martha Robbins is currently the Strategic Research Coordinator for the Community- University Institute for Social Research, University of Saskatchewan. In December, she graduated with distinction from the Agriculture and Rural Development Master’s program at ISS in The Hague and won best research paper for her thesis "Locating Food Sovereignty: Geographical and Sectoral Distance in the Global Food System". Prior to this, she worked as the International Coordinator for the National Farmers Union (NFU) and as technical support for La Via Campesina, the international peasant and small-scale farmers' movement. She was a staff person for the 2007 international food sovereignty forum in Mali, Nyeleni. She also served as the NFU Youth President from 1999 to 2003.

Maryam Rahmanian works with farmers and breeders to implement a national programme on Participatory Plant Breeding in Iran, an initiative of the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (CENESTA), an Iranian NGO, where she has been Research Associate since 2001. Maryam was regional focal point of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty between 2002 and 2012. She served as Vice Chair of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security from 2010 to 2013. She has an MA in Leadership for Sustainability from the University of Lancaster.

Max Spoor is Professor of Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), of Erasmus University; Visiting Professor in Barcelona (IBEI) and Guest Professor in Nanjing (NJAU). His research is on transition economies in Asia, such as Vietnam and China, and in Eastern Europe, regarding rural and environmental issues, poverty, and inequality. E- mail:

Maywa Montenegro is a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California at Berkeley.

Meleiza Figueroa is a Ph.D. student in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. Her current research is concerned with how food practices of rural-urban migrants shapes urban space in Brazil’s favelas. She holds a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA, and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Michael Levien graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2013 and joined the Sociology Department at Johns Hopkins University in July 2013 as an Assistant Professor. Michael’s research and teaching interests focus on sociology of development and globalization; political sociology; sociological theory; economic sociology; rural sociology; qualitative methods and India. In addition to his teaching and research, Michael will play a role in advancing interdisciplinary initiatives such as the joint Sociology-International Studies undergraduate track in Global Social Change and Development and the research and teaching programs of the Arrighi Center. He is Co-Editor of the Book Reviews Section of The Journal of Peasant Studies (together with Tony Weis and Madeleine Fairbairn).

Mindi Schneider is a postdoctoral fellow in the Arrighi Center for Global Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She will join the faculty in Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, in January 2014. Her research centers on food and agrarian questions, most recently in reform era China. She has worked with the FAO, GRAIN, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Oxfam on issues of industrial agriculture and smallholder farming.

Molly Anderson holds the Partridge Chair in Food & Sustainable Agriculture Sys-tems at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine, where she teaches on hunger and food security, fixing food systems, sustainability and system dynamics. She is involved in food systems planning and sustainability metrics at the state and regional scales.

Nancy Lee Peluso, Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy, University of California, Berkeley. She is a political ecologist. Her research is primarily ethnographic and historical. Nancy and her students study the social processes that affect the management of land-based resources. Her work explores various dimensions of resource access, use, and control, while comparing and contrasting local, national, and international influences on management structures and processes. She grounds her analysis of contemporary resource management policy and practice in local and regional histories. She is particularly interested in how social difference – ethnic identity, class, gender – affects resource access and control. How do government and non-government institutions and actors define, make claims upon, contest, and attempt to manage natural resources. In her early research on forest and agrarian politics and socio-environmental change in Indonesia, she studied trade in non- timber forest products in East Kalimantan, village-state conflicts in the teak and montane forests of Java, the role of forestry and social forestry in state formation, and changes in forest management practices and resource rights among indigenous swidden cultivators in West Kalimantan. The scope of my research has expanded in the past ten years to include the history of political forests in Southeast Asia and violence, territorialisation and the production of landscape.

Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland is the Migrant Health Coordinator for Bridges to Health, a Program of University of Vermont Extension. She is currently completed her MS in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont, focusing her research on Health Care Access and Utilization of Health Services by Latino Dairy Workers in the state of Vermont.

Natalia Mamonova is PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, The Netherlands. Her PhD-research is on land grabbing in the post- Soviet countryside, land conflicts, responses by the local population, and rural social movements in Russia and Ukraine. E-mail:

Oane Visser is Assistant Professor and Senior Researcher, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University. He recently gained a prestigious ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grant for his research on land grabbing, financialization, poverty and social movements in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (2013-2017). Email:

Olivier De Schutter, (LL.M., Harvard University; Ph.D., University of Louvain (UCL)), has been the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food since May 2008. He is a Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain and at the College of Europe (Natolin). He is also a Member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University and is Visiting Professor at Columbia University. In 2002-2006, he chaired the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, a high-level group of experts which advised the European Union institutions on fundamental rights issues. He has acted on a number of occasions as expert for the Council of Europe and for the European Union. Since 2004, and until his appointment as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, he has been the General Secretary of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) on the issue of globalization and human rights. His publications are in the area of international human rights and fundamental rights in the EU, with a particular emphasis on economic and social rights and on the relationship between human rights and governance. His most recent book is International Human Rights Law (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010).

Patrick Clark is an associated researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO- Ecuador) in Quito, Ecuador and a PhD candidate in political science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is currently completing his doctoral research on the Ecuadorian government’s rural development policies and food sovereignty. He can be contacted by email at

Paul Nicholson is from the Basque Country. He is a farmer on the coast of the Cantabrian Sea, the Bay of Biscay. By profession, by training, he is a dairy farmer, although he is no longer a practicing dairy farmer. He no longer has a dairy farm. He has a small farm and is part of a cooperative where they make jams, cider, conserves, with their products. He is a member of EHNE (Euskal Herriko Nekazarien Elkartasuna), the Basque Farmers Union in the Basque Country. EHNE is part of the Spanish COAG (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos), which is part of the European Coordination-Via Campesina, a Via Campesina organization in Europe. La Via Campesina is an organization of organizations, a global movement of peasants, family farmers, indigenous and landless people. Paul was part of the core team that established La Via Campesina 20 years ago. He was a member of its International Coordinating Commission from 1993 to 2008.

Peter Rosset is a researcher and professor at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECO-SUR) in Chiapas, Mexico. He is also a researcher at the Center for the Study of Rural Change in Mexico (CECCAM) and is co-coordinator of the Land Research Action Network (

Philip McMichael is a Professor of Development Sociology, Cornell University. Professor McMichael has authored Settlers and the Agrarian Question (1984), Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective (2012, 5th edition), and Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions (2013), and edited The Global Restructuring of Agro-Food Systems (1994), New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development (2005, with Fred Buttel), Contesting Development: Critical Struggles for Social Change (2010), and Biofuels, Land and Agrarian Change (2011, with Jun Borras & Ian Scoones). He has worked with the FAO, UNRISD, La Vía Campesina, IPC for Food Sovereignty, and the Civil Society Mechanism (CFS). Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions, a volume in ‘Agrarian Change and Peasant Studies’ book series by the Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) and published by Fernwood, develops the methodological contributions of food regime analysis, re-examining the agrarian question historically.

Priscilla Claeys is a researcher in Social and Political Sciences, University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium. She recently completed her PhD dissertation on the use of human rights by the agrarian movement La Via Campesina. Her research interests include peasant movements, food and agriculture, human rights, and economic globalization. She is an Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, since 2008. Prior to becoming an academic, she worked for a number of human rights organizations and development NGOs. She teaches two online courses on the right to food at the Open University of Catalunya (UOC), in partnership with the FAO.

Rachel Bezner Kerr is an Associate Professor in Development Sociology. Her research interests converge on the broad themes of sustainable agriculture, food security, health, nutrition and social inequalities, with a primary focus in southern Africa. She has worked with a long term, interdisciplinary, participatory research project in Malawi that has aimed to improve nutrition, food security and land quality using agroecological methods.

Raj Patel is a writer, academic and activist. He has degrees from Oxford University, the London School of Economics and Cornell University, and is a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for African Studies, a Fellow at Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban, South Africa. He is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, and the New York Times and international bestseller, The Value of Nothing. He has also published widely in the academic press, with articles in peer-reviewed philosophy, politics, sociology and economics journals.

Richard Mbunda is a Lecturer and PhD student in Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He specializes in International Politics particularly International Political Economy. His recent work investigated the Kilimo Kwanza initiative as an agricultural transformation framework to find out whether it is an opportunity or a curse to small-scale producers, and its implication to food and rural livelihood. The study was funded by the Land Rights and Resources Institute (Haki Ardhi) in 2011. His PhD study is on the politics of food, where he is focusing on peasant agriculture and the quest for food sovereignty in Tanzania.

Robin Broad is Professor of International Development, School of International Service, American University.Dr. Broad has a wide range of professional experience, from international economist in the U.S. Treasury Department and Congress, to work with civil- society organizations in the Philippines and El Salvador. She received her MA. and PhD in development studies from Princeton University. She is author/coauthor of several books including Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match, and Global Backclash: Citizen Initiatives for a Just World Economy

Ryan Nehring is a PhD student in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. His research interests include the political economy of rural development in Latin America and, more recently, the emergence of Brazilian South-South Cooperation in African agriculture.

S. Ryan Isakson is an Assistant Professor of International Development Studies and Geography, University of Toronto. His research and teaching interests are in the political economy of food and agrarian transformation, particularly in Latin America. He has conducted research on peasant livelihoods and the cultivation of agricultural biodiversity, land reform, agro-food certification, and compensation for environmental services.

Sejuti Dasgupta is a third year PhD scholar in the Development Studies Department, School of Oriental and African Studies. She has worked in the development sector in India as a researcher and tutored in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) before embarking on her PhD. She completed her Masters and M.Phil from JNU in Political Studies in 2008. Her area of interest is agrarian political economy in India and agricultural policy. Her field includes three states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Shirley Thompson is an associate professor at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba. Dr. Thompson has a doctoral degree in Adult Education and Community Development and a Master of Environmental Engineering, both from the University of Toronto. Dr. Thompson has been elected as the co-president of the Environmental Studies Association in Canada for the last four years and is a board member of Food Secure Canada and the Association of Non-profit and Social Economy Research.

Shoshana Devra Perrey is an NSF Fellow who did participatory research in agroecology with farmers in Mexico and Madagascar. She earned a B.A. in Food Policies, Institutions and Culture from Mills College, designed a campus farm, and was a Food First intern. Her master’s thesis is on alternative education in international farmer training. She is coordinating a community-produced mural on wild edibles in Ithaca, NY for the Food Justice Summit. Sophia Murphy is a Widely published policy analyst, 2013 Trudeau Foundation Scholar, incoming PhD student at University of British Columbia. Her policy analysis is on food, agriculture, and international development. Recent work includes analysis of food price volatility in international markets, the effects of trade rules, and corporate concentration on food systems. She is a senior advisor to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Sophia has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries

Sophia Murphy. Widely published policy analyst, 2013 Trudeau Foundation Scholar, incoming PhD student, University of British Columbia. Her policy analysis is on food, agriculture, and international development. Recent work includes analysis of food price volatility in international markets, the effects of trade rules, and corporate concentration on food systems. She is a senior advisor to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Sophia has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries

Surichai Wun’gaeo, Director, Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University. After finishing his post graduate studies at the Graduate School of Sociology, University of Tokyo, He has successively held academic posts as researcher and lecturer in Chulalongkorn University, including visiting professorships at Hosei, Ritsumeikan, and Hitosubashi , Humbolt and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He was Drector of Social Research Institute , presently Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Chulalongkorn University, and also chairman of the board for FOCUS on the Global South. His research interests are wide-ranging: sociology of development, environmentalism and sustainable development, social movements, and endogenous social theory. His publications include: Confronting Cultural Globalization: A New Framework for Policy. Office of Contemporary Arts and Culture (in Thai, 2004); The Provinciality of Globalization: a Thai Perspective (in Thai, 2004); Rural Livelihoods and Human Insecurities in Globalizing Asian Economies (2007); Sociology of Tsunami: Coping with the Disaster (in Thai, 2009)

Tanya Kerssen is the Research Coordinator for Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy. She is the author of Grabbing Power: The New Struggles for Land, Food and Democracy in Northern Honduras (Food First Books, 2013) and is currently researching Bolivia's quinoa export boom and its implications for highland peasant communities and food sovereignty. She can be contacted at

Teodor Shanin OBE: PhD; Professor Emeritus University of Manchester; Fellow of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences of RF; President of Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. His research interests include: epistemology, historical sociology, sociology of knowledge, social economy, peasant and rural studies, theoretical roots of social work. His books include: Peasants and Peasant Societies (1971); The Awkward Class (1972); The Rules of the Game: Models in Contemporary Scholarly Thought (1972); Russia as a Developing Society (1985, 1986); Revolution as a Moment of Truth (1986, 1987); Defining Peasants (1990); In Russian: The Great Stranger (1987), The Peasant Rebellion in Guberniya of Tambov 1919–1921. Antonovshchina (with V. Danilov) (1994), Informal Economies: Russia and the World (1999), Reflexive Peasantology (2002), Fathers and Sons: Generational History (2005), Nestor Machno: peasant movement in Ukraine (with V. Danilov) (2006). He was among the first editors of The Journal of Peasant Studies.

Teresa Mares is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont and is affiliated with the Transdisciplinary Research Initiative in Food Sys-tems. She received her Ph.D. (2010) in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington. Dr. Mares’ research focuses on the intersection of food and migration studies. She is currently developing a new ethnographic project on food access strategies and food security concerns within Vermont’s migrant worker community.

Tony Weis is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Western Ontario, in London (Canada), whose research on global agro-food systems is broadly located in the field of political ecology. He is the author of The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Livestock (Zed, forthcoming Fall 2013) and The Global Food Economy: The Battle for the Future of Farming (Zed, 2007).

Timothy A. Wise is Director of Policy Research at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute.

Virginia Vallejo-Rojas, PhD candidate, Polytechnic University of Catalonia. As a PhD candidate, Virginia Vallejo Rojas is working on the development of new tools to assess agri- food system responses to policy changes. She is particularly focused in the social research linked to Ecuadorian Andean region. She holds an MSc in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning and Management from the University of Basque Country, and completed her Bachelor in Biotechnology at Army Polytechnic School – ESPE in Ecuador.

Wendy Godek is a PhD Candidate at the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. Her dissertation research examines Nicaragua’s Law of Food and Nutritional Sovereignty and Security with emphasis on the policy-making process. Her research interests include food politics, alternative agrifood systems, sustainable rural development, and discourse in policy making. She provides research assistance to several organizations with food sovereignty and food security projects in Nicaraguan communities.

Will Schanbacher is an Instructor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. He is the author of The Politics of Food: The Global Conflict between Food Security and Food Sovereignty (Praeger, 2010), Will Schanbacher’s research interests include, ethics and the global food system, religion and food, human rights and theories of justice, and liberation theologies. He is currently working on an edited volume tentatively titled, The Global Food System: Issues and Solutions (Praeger).

Wolfram Dressler is an Associate Professor at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His interests lie in the political economy of landscape change, smallholder farming and human rights in northern and southern hemispheres.

Ye Jingzhong is a Professor and Deputy Dean at College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD), China Agricultural University. He holds a PhD degree in Social Sciences from Wageningen University. He was engaged in a range of rural project interventions as a development practitioner from 1988 to 1998, since then has focused his professional career on action research and academic research in the area of development studies. His research interests include: development intervention and rural transformations, rural social problems, rural left-behind population, rural education, agrarian sociology and land politics. In Chinese and English language, he has published a number of refereed articles and book chapters, single-authored books and (co-)edited scholarly volumes. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Agrarian Change, Sexuality and Disability, and is the editor of the Journal of China Agricultural University (Social Sciences Edition). His research on “Left- behind Population in Rural China” has brought great social impacts to the society and policy impacts to the central government of China and has been largely covered by media in China and aboard. Another research on “the Construction of the New Countryside: Farmers’ Perspectives” has made huge policy impacts in China.

Zoe Brent holds an M.A. in International Relations from Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires where her thesis research focused on indigenous rights claims in the context of soy, mining and tourism development in Argentina. She is a Food First Fellow, where her research interests include worker and immigrant rights throughout the global food supply chain. At Food First she also began developing Food Sovereignty Tours’ in 2010, served as the first program coordinator and led the first Food Sovereignty Tour to Cuba. This more recent work on land access in California is part of her planned PhD dissertation work, to begin in 2014.

Conference Organizing Committee/Conference Secretariat

Andrés Vargas is a third year political science PhD student at Yale. He's also a student associate of the Order, Conflict, and Violence Program and an associate researcher of the Bogotá based Resource Center for Conflict Analysis. His research interests include violence and civil wars, with special emphasis on explaining the emergence, persistence, and transformation of armed group’s institutions, and their effect on violent outcomes.

Andrew Offenburger is a Ph.D. Candidate in U.S. history at Yale University and Coordinator of the Agrarian Studies Program. His dissertation investigates the relationship between capitalist development and cultural imperialism in the U.S.-Mexican borderlands between 1880 and 1940. Offenburger also leads the editorial board of a quarterly, academic journal, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, published in print and online by Routledge.

Annie Shattuck is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of California at Berkeley and Fellow at Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy. She is co-author of the book Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice with Eric Holt-Giménez and Raj Patel. She works on land politics, food sovereignty, conservation and agrarian change in the Americas.

Christina Schiavoni is currently doing graduate work in agrarian studies at the International Institute for Social Studies in the Netherlands. Previously, she directed WhyHunger’s Global Movements Program based in New York City, where she worked with diverse networks to grow and unify food movements in the US and globally. For eight years, she has been closely following efforts toward food sovereignty in Venezuela for their relevance to the broader global food sovereignty movement—a focus of her current research.

H.G. Salome is sole proprietor of MetaGlyfix, a typography and design firm that assists scholars and academic clients with intricate, technical, or editorially complex projects in print and electronic media. She grew up in New Mexico, holds an MPhil from Yale University, where she was also employed for many years, and currently lives, works, and grows her own food in Vermont, USA. Website:;

James C. Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University, as well as Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and the Council on Southeast Asia Studies at YCIAS, with grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He was president of the Association of Asian Studies in the USA from 1997 to 1998. His researches focus on political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is illustrious particularly for his studies on peasant resistance in Southeast Asia and subaltern politics. He is the author of The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Subsistence and Rebellion in Southeast Asia (1976); Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (1985); Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (1990); Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (1998) and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2009). His earlier publications include Political Ideology in Malaysia: Reality and the Beliefs of an Elite (1968) and Comparative Political Corruption (1972).

Kalyanakrishnan (‘Shivi’) Sivaramakrishnan. "Shivi" is Co-Director, Program in Agrarian Studies; and Chair, South Asian Studies Council, in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. With Professor Michael Dove, he coordinates the combined PhD Program in Anthropology and Forestry & Environmental Studies. Shivi’s research interests span environmental history, political anthropology, cultural geography, development studies, and science studies. He has published widely in the leading journals of all these disciplines and inter-disciplinary fields, with a regional focus on south Asia, especially India. He is currently working on several projects including essays on India's terrestrial environmental history, the comparative study of postcolonial nature conservation in the tropical world, urban ecology in metropolitan India, the anthropology of law and justice in India, and new research on law, civil society, and environmental sustainability in India, with case studies from the National Capital Territory of Delhi. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of American Ethnologist, Conservation & Society and is a member of the Editorial Collective of the Journal of Peasant Studies. He edits the Culture, Place, and Nature Series at the University of Washington Press, which has published fifteen inter-disciplinary books, on environmental issues in different parts of the world, since 2005.

Saturnino ('Jun') M. Borras Jr. is Associate Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, Netherlands, Adjunct Professor in China Agricultural University in Beijing, Fellow of the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Food First, coordinator of the Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS, and co-coordinator of the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI, His publications include: Transnational Agrarian Movements Confronting Globalization (2009, with M Edelman and C Kay) and Pro-poor land policies: a critique (2007). Borras and research collaborators Jennifer Franco and Sofia Monsalve are currently researching actually existing alternative systems of working people’s control over land and other resources, and are developing the notion of ‘land sovereignty’. His academic and political work aims at contributing to efforts in bridging together academics and social movement activists for tension-filled but productive and mutually reinforcing interactions. He has been deeply involved in transnational agrarian movements since the 1980s. He is the Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Peasant Studies.

Todd Holmes received his Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 2013, where he served for four years as the graduate assistant and program coordinator for Agrarian Studies Progam. He is now postdoctoral fellow with the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. The author of many articles on U.S. political, business, and agricultural history, he is currently finishing a book manuscript tentatively titled The Fruits of Fracture: The Corporate West, The United Farm Workers Movement, and the Rise of Reaganism in American Politics.

Zoe VanGelder is in the Master's of Environmental Science track at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Previously she managed impact evaluations of rural development projects for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the Jameel Abdul Latif Poverty Action Lab (JPAL.) She's worked closely with peasant organizations in Mexico, Philippines and Cambodia and has advocated for small farmers internationally. Her current research uses political ecology to examine climate change and agrarian politics in Latin America.

About the sponsors

The Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale is an experimental, interdisciplinary effort to reshape how a new generation of scholars understands rural life and society. Our basic goal is to infuse categories of social science research in danger of becoming purely statistical and abstract with the fresh air of popular knowledge and reasoning about poverty, subsistence, cultivation, justice, art, law, property, ritual life, cooperation, resource use, and state action. The many hands from many disciplines that have shaped this Program share three premises. The first is that any satisfactory analysis of agrarian development must begin with the lived experience, understandings, and values of its historical subjects. The second premise is that the study of the Third World (and what was, until recently, called the Second World) must never be segregated from the historical study of the west, or the humanities from the social sciences. In this spirit, we aim to bring together streams of scholarship that are rarely in touch. Finally, we are convinced that the only way to loosen the nearly hegemonic grip of the separate disciplines on how questions are framed and answered is to concentrate on themes of signal importance to several disciplines. By building a sustained community of interdisciplinary conversation and by demonstrating what creative trespassing can accomplish, we hope to set a standard of integrative work that will act as a magnet. The Program began formally with academic year 1991-92, thanks to support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Yale University.

The Journal of Peasant Studies is one of the leading journals in the field of rural development. It was founded on the initiative of Terence J. Byres and its first editors were Byres, Charles Curwen and Teodor Shanin. It provokes and promotes critical thinking about social structures, institutions, actors and processes of change in and in relation to the rural world. It encourages inquiry into how agrarian power relations between classes and other social groups are created, understood, contested and transformed. The Journal pays special attention to questions of ‘agency’ of marginalized groups in agrarian societies, particularly their autonomy and capacity to interpret – and change – their conditions. The Journal promotes contributions that question mainstream prescriptions or interrogate orthodoxies in radical thinking. It welcomes contributions that explore theoretical, policy and political alternatives. The Journal encourages contributions about a wide range of contemporary and historical questions and perspectives related to rural development. These are issues that confront peasants, farmers, rural labourers, migrant workers, indigenous peoples, forest dwellers, pastoralists, fisherfolk and rural youth – both female and male – in different parts of the world. In the 2013 Journal Citation Report (JCR) by Thomson Reuters, JPS’ Impact Factor for 2012 was 5.8. It is currently ranked 1/55 in Planning & Development, and 1/85 in Anthropology. For detail, see the website:

The purpose of the Institute for Food and Development Policy - Food First - is to eliminate the injustices that cause hunger. Bridging Food Justice and Food Sovereignty: Called one of the country's “most established food think tanks” by the New York Times, the Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First, is a “people's think-and-do tank.” Our mission is to end the injustices that cause hunger, poverty and environmental degradation throughout the world. We believe a world free of hunger is possible if farmers and communities take back control of the food systems presently dominated by transnational agri- foods industries. We carry out research, analysis, advocacy and education with communities and social movements for informed citizen engagement with the institutions and policies that control production, distribution and access to food. Our work both informs and amplifies the voices of social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty. We are committed to dismantling racism in the food system and believe in people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems—at home and abroad.

Hosted at ISS in The Hague, the Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS) has been established as a community of like-minded scholars, development practitioners and activists from different parts of the world who are working on agrarian issues. ICAS responds to the need for an initiative that builds and focuses on linkages -- between academics, development policy practitioners, social movement activists; between the world’s North and South, South and South; between rural-agricultural and urban-industrial sectors; between experts and non- experts. ICAS promotes critical thinking, which here means: conventional assumptions are interrogated, popular propositions critically examined, and new ways of questioning composed, proposed and pursued. ICAS believes in and promotes engaged research and scholarship. This means an emphasis on research and scholarship that is both academically interesting and socially relevant, and further, implies taking the side of the poor. The focus is on contributing to the dynamics of ‘change’ - playing a role not only in (re)interpreting the agrarian world in various ways, but also in changing it – with a clear bias for the working classes, for the poor. For further info: The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is located in The Hague, The Netherlands. Its mission is to create and share state-of-the-art critical knowledge in relation to global issues in the areas of international development, social justice and equity. ISS research focuses on studying political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East and transition economies. The Institute explores new developments in North-South and South- South relationships and the role of the BRICS countries, especially in relation to globalization and development. ISS research is accessible to the academic community in the Global South, and attempts to influence policy-makers and practitioners. The Institute aims to capitalize its unique methodology of co-constructing and co-creating new knowledge, and contribute to the education of a new generation of researchers and change agents in their own societies and on the world stage, amongst others through a large PhD programme. In terms of teaching and research, one of the most vibrant groups in ISS is the Agrarian, Food & Environmental Studies (AFES) group.

The Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI) is a worldwide fellowship of scholar- activists founded in 1974. The Transnational Institute (TNI) was established in 1974 as an international network of activist researchers (‘scholar activists’) committed to critical analyses of the global problems of today and tomorrow. It aims to provide intellectual support to movements struggling for a more democratic, equitable and environmentally sustainable world. Over almost 40 years, TNI has gained an international reputation for: carrying out well researched and radical critiques – sometimes against the grain of current pressing global problems; anticipating and producing informed work on key issues long before they become mainstream concerns, for example, ourwork on food and hunger, third world debt, transnational corporations, trade, and carbon trading; supporting and enhancing social movements’ work for economic and social justice worldwide; naming outstanding TNI fellows from many countries and backgrounds whose scholarship, analysis and research have inspired and educated generations of activists and whose writings continue to provoke debate; building alternatives that are both just and pragmatic, for example developing alternative approaches to international drugs policy and providing support for the practical detailed work of public water services reform; influencing policy makers thanks to its research and its direct links and engagement with mass movements, particularly those most affected by current global economic and social policies; remaining non-sectarian and able to bridge different political tendencies, thereby helping build coalitions of social movements that span regions and continents. One of the Work Areas at TNI is ‘Agrarian Justice’.

Yale Sustainable Food Project (YSFP). Every day, food offers us the opportunity to engage with the world around us. By gathering people around shared food, shared work, and shared inquiry, the Yale Sustainable Food Project fosters a culture that draws meaning and pleasure from the connections among people, land, and food. The Sustainable Food Project manages an organic farm on campus, runs diverse programs that support exploration and academic inquiry related to food and agriculture, and collaborates on a sustainable dining program at Yale. The world’s most pressing questions regarding health, culture, the environment, education, and the global economy cannot be adequately addressed without considering the food we eat and the way we produce it. By creating opportunities for students to experience food, agriculture, and sustainability as integral parts of their education and everyday life, the Sustainable Food Project ensures that Yale graduates have the capacity to effect meaningful change as individuals and as leaders in their communities, their homes, and their life’s work.

The South Asian Studies Council at Yale is committed to promoting a comprehensive understanding of historical and contemporary South Asia, encompassing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. As part of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, the Council seeks to foster lively intellectual exchange from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives by integrating teaching and research on traditional South Asia with contemporary study of the region. The Council provides a forum for student and faculty interaction, both social and intellectual, and promotes South Asian cultural events.Yale has a remarkable diversity of resources on South Asia. The University offers regular instruction in modern and ancient South Asian languages: Sanskrit, Hindi, and Tamil. Yale faculty specialize in all periods and many regions of South Asia with particular expertise in languages, literatures, religions, economics, music, political science, women and gender, art, and history. Faculty on the Council, teach in several professional schools at Yale including Architecture, Medicine, the School of Management, the School of Forestry and Environment Studies and Art. Other resources on South Asia are available at the Yale Library, Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art.The undergraduate program in South Asian Studies combines the requirements of a discipline-based first major with significant course work in South Asian studies. South Asian Studies can be taken only as a second major and is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of the history, culture, and languages of South Asia as well as the region’s current social, political, and economic conditions.These rich curricular offerings are merely the basis for the interdisciplinary work of the Council. Through innovative lectureships, conferences, seminars, fellowships and cultural events, the Council seeks to promote cross- disciplinary exchange and to integrate the study of the past with contemporary South Asia. It also seeks to stretch geographical borders, emphasizing the links that South Asia traditionally has had and continues to have with other Asian countries and the rest of the world. Understanding the complexity of South Asia, both past and present, can facilitate a dialogue on modernity in the global context. The Council works actively with other Councils, inter- disciplinary programs, and professional schools to address these larger issues.