Debates on the Social Life of Land: Launching the Land Series at Cornell University Press

Type: Virtual Panel
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 50
Organizers: Andrew Ofstehage
Chairs: Andrew Ofstehage


Struggles over access to, control, and use of land have shaped states, societies, and communities. Such struggles derive more from the abundance of values, meanings, and claims on the land than from its purported scarcity. Land constitutes promise, power, and profit. It’s a critical component of settlement, livelihoods, and identities. The search for “new” land—land that is characterized as virgin, empty, or idle—has motivated political and economic expansion and generated recurrent concerns about the availability and distribution of resources. Small holders, city dwellers, pastoralists, state bureaucrats, investors, social movement actors, and scientists all value land in different ways, many of which are incommensurable. Valuation—through affect and desire as well as economy—produces inequalities and shapes our histories of and on the land. Panelists, all authors or contributors to books in the Land Series at Cornell University Press, draw from their own work to highlight land as a site of struggle, work, and life. Panelists think through land financialization by dispossession in India; gendered relations between manioc and land in Mozambique; mobile labor and land in Java; the intersection of agrarian and climate change in Bangladesh; the global financialization of land; and the importance of soil care in Brazil. We bring together disparate research locations and analytic entry points to identify and explore the multiple faces of land. We ask, how do people live with and through land?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Panelist Michael Goldman University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 10 3:05 PM
Panelist Madeleine Fairbairn University of California - Santa Cruz 15 3:15 PM
Panelist Andrew Ofstehage Cornell University 15 3:30 PM
Panelist Kasia Paprocki London School of Economics 15 3:45 PM
Panelist Nancy Peluso University of California, Berkeley 10 4:00 PM
Panelist Wendy Wolford Cornell University 10 4:10 PM

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