Against the Grain: Rural and Emancipatory Politics Speaker Series

This spring, the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development will host  “Against the Grain: Rural and Emancipatory Politics,” a semester-long speaker series.  The series brings scholars and practitioners to campus to consider and discuss agrarian studies as a site of emancipatory politics. All events are free and open to the public.

Monday, February 26: Public Lecture, “40 Acres and Justice: The John Boyd Story”
5:30-7 p.m.  |  Turchin Lecture Hall

Dr. John Boyd, Jr. is a fourth-generation black farmer, businessman and civil rights activist and the founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association. Traveling the country, he realized African American farmers needed a platform so their voices could be heard. He founded the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) in the early 1990’s. Boyd will discuss his road from farmer to farm activist and his work to get legislation passed to provide relief and protection for minority and small scale family farmers. Today the NBFA has more than 110,000 members nationwide and is focusing on helping small farmers and getting more young people interested in farming and agriculture. 


Tuesday, February 27: Dr. John Boyd, Jr. Community Event, “Keeping NC Farmers Growing”
9:30-11 a.m.  |  Plemmons Student Union 201AB (Blue Ridge Ballroom)

An informal conversation about the NBFA’s Keeping NC/VA Farmers Growing Project and possibilities for collaboration with Dr. John and Kara Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association.

This event is co-sponsored by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.

Tuesday, March 27: Dr. Amber Huff Public Lecture, “Entangled in the ‘Blue Forest’: Nature, Labor, and Value in Making Mangrove-Based Carbon Offsets”
5:30-7 p.m.  |  Turchin Lecture Hall

Dr. Amber Huff is a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, Resource Politics Cluster, and STEPS Centre at the University of Sussex. Her work engages resource politics broadly, examining the new politics of scarcity and resource grabbing in Kenya and Madagascar.


Monday, April 16: Arts of Resistance: A Generous Conversation with James Scott
12-1:30 p.m.  |  HOW Space (182 Howard St)

Dr. James Scott is an influential transdisciplinary scholar and professor of political science and anthropology and director of the agrarian studies program at Yale University. His works include The Moral Economy of the Peasant, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, and, most recently, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. We invite faculty and students that have engaged with James Scott’s work to join us for an intimate conversation with Dr. Scott. Participants are asked to bring questions to facilitate the conversation. Please RSVP to Dr. Jacqui Ignatova or Dr. Rebecca Witter by February 28. 


Monday, April 16: Public Lecture with Dr. James Scott

 5:30-7 p.m.  |  Plemmons Student Union, Linville Falls Room, 226