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?
Tanmoy Sharma is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology and Environmental Humanities at Yale University. His research interests include the history and anthropology of energy development in southern Asia; histories of corporations, empires, and law; science and technology studies; agrarian studies; and global environmental politics. His doctoral dissertation, based on more than three years of ethnographic and archival research, examines the intersections between extractive industries, agrarian life and regional politics, with its key ethnographic focus on the oil belt of Northeast India. His doctoral field research has been supported by Wenner-Gren Foundation and Yale Macmillan Center.