The core of the Agrarian Studies Program’s activities is a weekly colloquium organized around an annual theme. Invited specialists send papers in advance that are the focus of an organized discussion by the faculty and graduate students associated with the colloquium.
This topic embraces, inter alia, the study of mutual perceptions between countryside and city, and patterns of cultural and material exchange, extraction, migration, credit, legal systems, and political order that link them.
It also includes an understanding of how different societies conceive of the spatial order they exhibit. What terms are meaningful and how are they related?: e.g., frontier, wilderness, arable, countryside, city, town, agriculture, commerce, “hills,” lowlands, maritime districts, inland. How have these meanings changed historically and what symbolic and material weight do they bear?
Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart (Kanaka Maoli) is Assistant Professor of Native and Indigenous Studies at Yale University. An interdisciplinary scholar, she researches and teaches on issues of settler colonialism, environment, and Indigenous sovereignty. Her first book, Cooling the Tropics: Ice, Indigeneity, and Hawaiian Refreshment (Duke University Press, 2022) is a recipient of the press’s Scholars of Color First Book Award. Her articles have appeared in refereed journals such as NAIS, Media+Environment, Food, Culture, and Society, and The Journal of Transnational American Studies, among others. She is the co-editor of the special issue “Radical Care,” for Social Text (2020), and the editor of Foodways of Hawaiʻi (Routledge, 2018). She is currently working on a project about cultural memory, commemoration, and hauntings in Hawaii State Parks. Professor Hobart holds a PhD in Food Studies from New York University, an MA in Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, and an MLS in Rare Books Librarianship and Archives Management from the Pratt Institute. She joins Yale from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was an Assistant Professor of Anthropology.