Dying in droves from colony collapse disorder, honey bees are a canary in the coal mine... or are they? My research draws together theories of learning, political ecology, and science studies to understand how beekeeping has become embroiled in debates over sustainable agriculture, science wars, and the definition of "sustainability."
Amit's dissertation research primarily focuses on the connections between men's access to rural off-farm employment and women's relative autonomy in central India. Substantively, his research spans the fields of rural sociology, development economics and anthropology of labor.
Ian’s Master’s research focused on the struggles over agriculture in development discourse and practice, focusing on the emergence of food sovereignty as a substantive alternative to dominant development models and as political rallying point for diverse agrarian communities. Ian’s research also spans the food crisis, biofuels, the contemporary agrarian question, the ‘new’ Green Revolution in Africa, and urban food justice movements.
Alice Beban is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Her research addresses land rights, agricultural production and gender concerns to understand people's changing relationships with land. She recently completed two years of fieldwork in Cambodia, funded by Fulbright-Hays, the Tokyo Foundation and Asia Rice Foundation USA. She is currently completing her dissertation on the politics of recent state efforts to carry out redistributive land reform within agribusiness concessions in Cambodia.
Paul is a demographer with substantive research and teaching interests in social theory, public policy, population & environment, and quantitative methods. He specializes in applying a demographic lens to contemporary public policy, and challenges himself to interpret the results within the wider lens of political economy and social theory.
Isha is interested in couple decision-making regarding fertility preferences and the changing value of daughters in India. Previously, she worked with the Population Council, New Delhi on projects related to reproductive, maternal and child health and behavior change communication in rural north India.
Ashon's research examines the interconnections between power, political dynamics and subjective understandings of success and how these factors shape the economic and social outcomes of low-income rural African Americans in the southern US.
Holly Jean’s work looks at climate change, energy system transformation, and human-environment interactions. Her dissertation work looks at social dimensions of climate engineering in landscapes on the front lines of climate change.
Hilary's current research focuses on gender, land, and environmental justice movements in Myanmar/Burma within her broader study of political economy of development, feminist political ecology, agrarian change and state formation in South and Southeast Asia. Before coming to Cornell, she worked with local NGOs and activist networks in both Myanmar and Bhutan, and her master's project at Yale examined conservation advocacy and nascent democracy in Bhutan.
Fernando is a first year student whose current research interests are in knowledge formation and property rights drawing on literature from the political economy of development, political ecology, and critical cartography.
Delilah's research is contextually focused on climate-smart agriculture policy in Fiji, where contingencies of ethnically-ordered land access and environmental exigencies inflect agriculture policy and practice.
Sneha’s research interests include fertility in late and post transitional societies, population aging, intergenerational caregiving and family well-being, and population policy in Southeast and South Asia.
Justine's research examines the ways in which spatially underprivileged and marginalized urban citizens make claims to rights through their participation in urban food production and food system work that rebuilds, remakes, and re-imagines city spaces.
Daniel’s research revolves around rural farming systems and agrarian transitions, globalization, and state civil society relations. His dissertation, “When Labor Becomes a Problem: Distress and Agrarian Transitions in Buyengo, Eastern Uganda”, uses two years worth of ethnographic research in rural Eastern Uganda to examine transformation of communal labor practices and norms of reciprocity and how these transformations in turn reshape Buyengo’s farming system.
Rebakah is currently in Indonesia conducting dissertation research on land tenure change for customary law communities, especially those living on "state land" and in conservation zones. Her research explores gender, traditional and national laws regarding forest use, agricultural/forest interactions, and perceptions of rights. Her methods include a mix of ethnography, surveys, participatory mapping, and participatory photography.
Ryan’s professional and academic research interest center on the politics of food systems and agricultural research primarily in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil. His primary fields of interest are: Science and Technology Studies (STS), the Sociology of Development and Critical Agrarian Studies.
Kasia is a PhD Candidate whose research focuses on development and agrarian change in rural Bangladesh. She is currently conducting dissertation research on the use of shrimp farming as a climate change adaptation strategy in coastal communities in Bangladesh's southwestern Khulna district.
Karla Peña's research is in Ecuador where she studies indigenous-peasant movements and their struggle for land and territorial rights. Broadly, she is interested in food sovereignty, agrarian change and state-society relations in Latin America.
Tess' MS project focused on socio-economic, political, and institutional changes resulting from water-intensive agricultural development in rural New Zealand. Her research broadly has explored community relations and local democracy dynamics within environmental crises. Tess' dissertation work considers race, class, and power issues related to water governance and environmental/public health in urban spaces in the Eastern United States.
Shoshana is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow who has field research experience in tropical ecology, agroecological farming with peer-to-peer family farmers, and youth education opportunities. Her master’s thesis work investigates the transitions in agrobiodiversity, seed conservation and links to traditional culinary knowledge in indigenous communities of the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico. In Ithaca, NY, she is the Chef of Liberation Supper Club, a farm-to-table and wild foods catering company that cultivates a sense of place by telling the story of where food comes from.
Ewan’s research focuses on how relationships between development organizations, government agencies, and private sector institutions shape the implementation of agricultural development programs and policies in East Africa.
Aubryn is interested in the impact of soft skills programs on girls' educational and health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa and how these programs are being shaped by the new SDG regime. Aubryn has served as the Executive Director of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa (AGE Africa) where she designed and implemented high-impact programs serving adolescent girls in Malawi.
Bobby's work focuses on the food justice movement in the United States. More specifically, his current research seeks to understand the ways in which food justice activism rises in response to race and class-based inequalities embedded in the social, economic, cultural, and political contexts of both the local food and corporate industrial agriculture movements.
Janet’s research focuses on the political and economic implications of Arab development assistance to West Africa. More specifically, her masters research documents the emergence of Islamic NGOs in Burkina Faso. For her dissertation, Janet plans to explore Arab aid as an alternative development actor and the opportunities opened for both recipient and donor through ‘South-South collaboration’.
George A. Spisak's research examines the multiple, and competing, intersections of D/development, sovereignty, and non-state configurations of power. Of particular interest is the material and abstract deployment of violence outside of the limits of traditional statehood. His projects are based in the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia.
Based on fieldwork in Ghana, Jumoke traces the historical development of African print textiles as a lens into capitalist development and social change in West Africa. Her work foregrounds the textiles industry to illustrate and analyze (de)industrialization, expanding consumer markets, and market hegemony in Ghana and the global economy. She is interested in the articulation of economic and cultural development, as well as production and consumption.