Rural transformations, social vulnerability, and visions for the future in the shadow of COVID-19: I

Type: Virtual Paper
Theme: Geographers and COVID-19: Setting Our Direction for the Future
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 6:25 AM / 7:40 AM (PST)
Room: Virtual 17
Organizers: Harry Fischer, Carly Nichols, Falak Jalali
Chairs: Falak Jalali


COVID-19 and associated disease control measures have brought unprecedented disruptions to life around the world. While much media coverage has focused on infection rates in disease hotspots, particularly in densely settled urban areas, the impacts on rural localities have been no less profound. In addition to the burden of disease, widespread urban to rural migration, diminished income generating opportunities, disruptions in basic social services, broken supply chains, and more have brought about significant changes to rural lives and livelihoods. While there is broad understanding that COVID-19 has deepened social, political, and economic inequities on multiple fronts, there is still much to be understood about the impacts of pandemic shocks. Geographers, long interested in spatial processes of uneven development, social vulnerability, and agrarian transformations can play a central role in unpacking socially differentiated effects and responses.
Importantly, the pandemic's effects have not always been negative. Emerging evidence shows that the experience of shock has also, at times, brought about new collective responses to shared challenges, renewed desires for food and resource sovereignty, and a reinvigorated ethics of care and mutual aid. Pandemic experiences in many communities have also shaped aspirations and orientations to the future and modernity in profound, if subtle, ways. These changes have important implications for a range of objectives, from human welfare, to developmental aspirations, to environmental use and management.

This session invites abstracts for paper presentations that will explore the varied effects COVID-19 has had on rural lives, livelihoods, and environments in the Global South. We are particularly interested in empirically grounded and theoretically rich accounts of how people have experienced these impacts and their responses to them in their daily lives as well as the ways in which these impacts may transform rural contexts in the intermediate and longer-term. What unique role do geographic perspectives and concepts have for helping us to understand the present moment? Novel methodologies that have been able to utilize remote data collection are particularly welcome.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Falak Jalali 10 6:25 AM
Presenter Shreya Sinha*, University of Cambridge, Nivedita Narain*, PRADAN, Resilience as process: The case of rural migrants in eastern India 15 6:35 AM
Presenter Divya Gupta*, , Harry Fischer, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala. Sweden, Pandemic as a lens: Assessing impacts of the lockdown on rural livelihoods 15 6:50 AM
Presenter Anika Rice*, UW Madison Geography, Nathan Einbinder, ECOSUR , Claudia Calderon, UW Madison Horticulture, Lived experiences of struggle, transformation and resilience of agricultural producers in Guatemala during COVID-19 15 7:05 AM
Presenter Eva Kiss*, Geographical Institute, RCAES, Industry in rural transformation in connection with the fourth industrial revolution and COVID-19 pandemic, the case of Hungary 15 7:20 AM

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