On September 10th, 2013, Eric Vanhaute of Ghent University will give a lecture at Wageningen University, entitled: ‘Into their labors. Peasant regimes of land and labor - towards a comparative and global research agenda’
The rise of historical capitalism has subjugated and (re)created peasant societies for centuries now. Different concepts such as de-ruralization, de-agrarianization and de-peasantization have been utilized to define and understand this process, albeit in an ultimately unsatisfactory manner. The position of the rural zones in the modern world cannot be understood in a singular manner. Peasantries over the world have followed different trajectories of change and have developed divergent repertoires of adaptation and resistance. The expansion of the global division of labor triggered different paths of both de-peasantization and re-peasantization. This presentation presents an ongoing collective research program that aims to understand the divergent paths of peasant transformation in modern world history. We focus on a/ the organization of regimes of (access to) land and labor and b/ the diversification of work and income strategies (individual, in the household and in the village). The presentation serves a triple goal. It questions the concept of peasantry as a social category, it introduces the analytical notion of peasantries as a social frontier and it formulates some the strategies to research the divergent strategies that peasant populations have developed to secure access to their essential means of production: land, labor, capital and knowledge.
You can register for this lecture by sending an e-mail to the Rural and Environmental History Group.