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Journal of Peasant Studies Writeshop Workshop

The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS), College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) of China Agricultural University (Beijing), and Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) jointly organized a new initiative: JPS Annual Summer Writeshop-Workshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar-Activism for PhD students and young researchers (up to 5 years from PhD completion) who are based in or are originally from the Global South.

The JPS-COHD-FAC Writeshop-Workshop aims to improve young researchers’ strategic knowledge about and practical skills on matters related to international journal publication and impact (including choosing journals; building ideas about, preparation and submission of journal manuscripts; dealing with peer review reports, and so on). It included sessions on key debates and literature in critical agrarians studies, as well as concepts in and practice of scholar-activism. The 7-day workshop-writeshop included peer review discussions on participants’ draft journal manuscripts.

After the workshop, participants are in a better position to frame their work in relation to critical agrarian studies and think about international journal publications in the long-term, and finalize journal manuscripts in the short term. Several participants would be be invited to submit manuscripts to JPS, and/or encouraged to submit to other major international journals.

Writeshop-Workshop date: 1-7 July 2019
Venue: COHD, China Agricultural University, Beijing


For further queries, please contact:

Jun Borras, JPS Editor: [email protected]
Ruth Hall, JPS Editorial Collective member: [email protected]
Chunyu Wang, COHD, Beijing: [email protected]
Cyriaque Hakizimana: PLAAS, South Africa: [email protected]

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Group of students reading

After the writeshop, the attendees formed the Global South Young Critical Agrarian Scholars and drafted “Towards a solidarity-based network of agrarian studies global-south scholars: A manifesto"

Testimonials from attendees...

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Text Testimonials:

"One week in Beijing with more than forty researchers and activists from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The JPS 2019 Summer Writeshop-Workshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar-Activism for young scholars from the Global South was an inspiring event. We met people, perspectives, and questions surrounding different agrarian realities in our world. We also had classes about the theoretical strands in Critical Agrarian Studies and the processes of academic publication. The discussion of our works was very meaningful. We had valuable lessons on writing for publishing and got to read each other’s papers. Finally, we are now working on the creation of a Global South scholars network. This initiative aims to strengthen the bonds we made along the Writeshop. It also intends to decolonize knowledge and to build forms of mutual support and exchange. Thanks to JPS and CAU/COHD for this great experience."

Dibe Ayoub
PPGAS/Museu Nacional
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

"Journal of Peasant Studies's Summer 2019 Writeshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar Activism has connected me with other scholar-activists from the Global South and enabled me to learn and exchange more information and ideas from each of our works. I found a peer and support group who shares the same passion and enthusiasm and is very inspirational for my PhD study. Furthermore, I obtain substantial inputs for my work from my peer group discussion. The materials presented by the fasilitators also effectively worked as a refresher course. There was one session that gave tips to publish-with-a-purpose, and I think this is one of the main characteristics that differentiate scholar-activists with other regular scholars. Meanwhile, the work hard - play hard setting made me feeling fully energized and motivated again after participating in the workshop. Above all, our batch has started a Global South scholar-activists network that is committed to social and environmental justice. My greatest appreciation for the workshop organizers and the students who have assisted us since our arrival in Beijing and during the course of our activities. I would certainly recommend my other colleagues to participate in the upcoming workshop in 2020 and would want to participate again myself, if it was allowed."

Julia - Indonesia, PhD student at University of Bonn

"The Writeshop surpassed all my expectations. From day one, you get the sense that it is much more than an academic activity. There you have the chance to meet not simply ‘peers’ but comrades as a shared commitment to work towards a socially just world guides the entire endeavour. Sessions were extremely useful, particularly to grasp the inner-workings of academic publishing and the challenges scholars from ‘the south’ face. I also received very detailed comments on my manuscript allowing me to identify shortcomings as well as possible avenues for improvement. Indeed, the feedback has been far more generous than what one normally gets in conferences. It’s truly been an enriching and inspiring experience!"

Enrique Castañón Ballivián (Bolivia)
PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London

"My name is Bosman Batubara. I am an Indonesian. Right now, I am doing PhD at Water System Science and Governance Department, UNESCO, Institute for Water Education, Delft, and Human Geography, Planning, and International Relations Department, University of Amsterdam. I was a participant at the Journal of Peasant Studies scholar-activist writeshop-workshop in Beijing this summer. For several reasons, I really like the writeshop-workshop. First of all, I am not purely an agrarian scholar; my PhD is mostly about urbanization, more about using rural-urban connection to understand the persistent flooding in the capital city of Jakarta. In that sense, the writeshop-workshop was really a great chance for me to get into the discussion within the bubble of critical agrarian scholar-activists. Secondly, I like the outdoor sessions. The visit to the countryside gave me insights on what is actually happening in there, which I knew little before. And I love the part of walking and climbing the Great Wall, it tested my physical fitness. Imagine, walking and climbing the Great Wall, around 10 km! My feeling, what organizers had in mind when they decided to include Great Wall climbing in the writeshop-workshop was something like this. You can be a critical agrarian scholar-activist in the way you think about something, but you need also to be pragmatic in everyday life. Walking and climbing the Great Wall was a kind of testing that pragmatism. To know how far, how high actually you can go... In sum, I will personally recommend all agrarian scholar(-activists) that I know to apply for the coming 2020 writeshop-workshop in Cape Town, South Africa."

Bosman Batubara, PhD at Water System Science and Governance Department, UNESCO, Institute for Water Education, Delft, and Human Geography, Planning, and International Relations Department, University of Amsterdam

"I was a participant of writeshop, organized by Journal of Peasant Studies in Beijing in 2019. It was the best organization that I have ever attended. I learned a lot about the theoretical debates on critical agrarian studies as well as scholar activism. It was also particularly helpful to know how to deal with the problems in the publication process. It is a great opportunity for meeting with the scholars from Global South."

Deniz Pelek
Institutional affiliation: Bogazici University and the University of Paris-8

"The JPS write-shop was the best research-related gathering that I have ever attended in the last 10 years or so that I have been involved in academia. Professionally-speaking, it was a game-changer. Never before have I received in-depth and practical advice about things like paper-writing and professional development from senior scholar-activists. The “icing on the cake” was the instant camaraderie between all those who attended, which allowed creative ideas to flow and to have deep and meaningful discussions about the challenges that scholars from the South often struggle with alone. And the conversations have not stopped: since the workshop, a community has been created to support one another wherever we are. In a nutshell, this workshop is a must-attend for any early-career academic/researcher who is interested in scholar-activism."

Tsilavo Ralandison (Madagascar), Lecturer, Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University, Japan

"First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to organizers of the Writeshop in Beijing in 2019 for giving me this great opportunity to be part of the first workshop.

I am really impressed by the way of this workshop was organized. The workshop combined of rich and interesting elements. Although it was an intensive seven days workshop, I did not feel tired or bored at all because I learned new things each day. The workshop provided lecture on theories relating to critical agrarian studies, then explained rules and tips for publications, and also gave opportunities for students to work in group to learn about research of other students across continents. I also learn from different roles relating to publishing process including author, reviewer and observer. I think it is difficult to find this inclusive opportunity elsewhere.

Finally, I strongly encourage young researchers from Global South to apply for this Writeshop to gain these important experiences."

Vong Nanhthavong, (Laos)
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Country Office in the Lao PDR
University of Bern, Switzerland

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Pictures from the Workshop...

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Student talking in class with microphone
Meeting in white room
Group of hikers smiling for camera
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Student speaks in class with microphoneWriteshop 73

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A leading journal in the field of rural politics and development, The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) provokes and promotes critical thinking about social structures, institutions, actors and processes of change in and in relation to the rural world. It fosters inquiry into how agrarian power relations between classes and other social groups are created, understood, contested and transformed. JPS pays special attention to questions of ‘agency’ of marginalized groups in agrarian societies, particularly their autonomy and capacity to interpret – and change – their conditions.
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