In case any of you have not seen this, the visiting MISA Chair Prof Bernhard Freyer () is offering a very interesting looking one-time course this spring, for graduates and undergraduates:
Title: Practicing Agri-Food Culture
AGRO 5999 001 SPECIAL TOPICS: WORKSHOP IN AGRONOMY [Spring 2011]
GLOS 5900 001 TOPICS IN GLOBAL STUDIES [Spring 2011]
Grading basis/credits: 2 credits
Prereq: Grad student or undergrad student
04:00 P.M. - 06:30 P.M. , SocSci 278 , Minneapolis
Description: The development of a sustainable agriculture and food
consumption is a result of the successful interplay among several
different societal actors. In this seminar we wish to strengthen our
understanding of the relationships between different actors coming
together in the playground of organic agriculture as well as their
personal trajectories. We are interested into the ontological and
philosophical foundations of these actors, they have and are
performing their transition into the practices of organic farming, and
how they perform and articulate their current and future future goals.
We will also explore the "networks" in and outside the organic
movement, how they play a role in establishing the organic movement.
We will draw upon several conceptual frameworks, such as Convention
Theory, Social Capital, Practice Theory and Institutional Analysis,
and Political Economy in order to describe and assess these individual
Approach: In this seminar students learn how to make social science
with concrete cases. In addition to classroom discussions, paper
reading and summarizing, we will meet and interview, or organize focus
group discussions with the key actors. Students are also expected to
participate in the 2011 Minnesota Organic Conference and Trade Show
(http://www.mda.state.mn.us/en/food/organic/conference.aspx ), January
This seminar is mainly for Graduate Students, but also for
Undergraduate Students who are already linked with the topic. You must
not know agriculture in detail, however you should be interested into
rural urban questions, social sciences, societal processes. The
seminar is for students with agricultural and food background, social
sciences, environmental sciences, political sciences, global studies.
Class Time: 10% lecture, 60% group work, 30% panel discussions
Work Load: approx. one article reading and written summarizing per
week, one interview or focus group summary, final seminar work approx.
10 pages, one final short oral presentation.
Grade: 50% written papers, 40% class participation, 10% presentation
Time: Tuesdays or Thursdays: 2h in the afternoon, for interviews or
focus group discussions also block mode; 04:00 P.M. - 06:30 P.M.
Building: Social Science 278 , Minneapolis
Start: 18. January 2011 - 5. Mai 2011
Instructors: Freyer, Bernhard (University of Natural Resources and
Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria), Bingen, Jim (Michigan State
sent by Guillermo Narvaez