Rethinking the Rural: Henri Lefebvre and the Global Transformation of Agrarian Society
In this colloquium, we will focus on the newly-published collection of Lefebvre’s essays, “On the Rural: Economy, Sociology, Geography.”
Time & Location
Jul 28, 2022, 1:00 PM – 7:30 PM PDT
Holy Cross Center, Berkeley, 2597 Virginia St, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
About the Event
In Western democracies including the United States, most people live in cities. These metropoles are the focus of most conversations about economic policy, the health of political institutions, and civic life. For scholars invested in these topics, the rural can appear more abstract and less familiar, and can sometimes be cast in opposition to the virtues (or vices) of the nation's cities. This seminar proposes to examine rural life on its own terms through the recently-translated work of the 20th century French theorist, Henri Lefebvre. Lefebvre provides a rich analysis of the features of agrarian societies - including ritual, social structure, and relationship to natural resources - as well as a critique of new kinds of urbanism in the 20th century that are still with us. We will engage questions of property and ownership, the relationship of communities to natural resources, and the relationships of members of a community to one another. What can we learn from the study of agricultural societies and their transformations throughout Latin America, Europe, and Africa?
The Colloquium will feature comments by Rahul Oka, Research Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology and the Keough School for International Global studies at the University of Notre Dame and Fr. Aaron Michka, CSC, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame.
We will focus on the newly-published collection of Lefebvre’s essays, “On the Rural: Economy, Sociology, Geography.”
The discussions are followed by a social and dinner.
Please sign up by July 21st if you wish to attend and RSVP for the dinner.
We will use this text, please purchase a copy. Dinner will be provided.
1:00 - 2:30pm Discussion with short presentations from invited discussants
2:30 - 2:45 Coffee Break
2:45 - 4:00 Discussion
4:30 - 5:30 Social
5:30 - 7:30 Dinner
Michael Thomas, CSC is a newly-admitted PhD student in Stanford's Political Science Department. He studies 18th and 19th century political theory, especially Latin American and French thought. He is also interested in political theology, theories of popular sovereignty, and contemporary questions of democracy and populism.
Image taken from here.