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Call for Papers: Agrarian Reform and Resistance in an 'Age of Globalization': The Euro-American World, 1815-1914(2016-11-07)

Call for Papers for an International Conference on "Agrarian Reform and Resistance in an ‘Age of Globalization’: The Euro-American World, 1815-1914"

National University of Ireland, Galway 2-3 June 2017


The purpose of this conference is to explore the myriad experiences of agrarian reform and resistance that characterized rural regions of Europe and the Americas, whether based on either free or unfree labour, between 1815 and 1914. In this period, the economic changes associated with the influence of the Industrial Revolution transcended national boundaries, profoundly affecting rural societies by transforming patterns of demand for agricultural commodities. In response to these global processes, ‘progressive’ landowners, serfowners and slaveholders throughout the Euro-American world endeavoured to rationalize their management of land and labour while embracing scientific farming techniques and technological innovations. The resulting drives for ‘improvement’ and better market integration typically exacerbated the fundamental economic, political and social inequalities that prevailed in most agrarian regions. In all those regions, the proprietors’ efforts were often resisted by the diverse range of unfree and free labourers who produced agricultural commodities for sale on the world market, including slaves, serfs, sharecroppers, tenants and peasant proprietors. This conference welcomes scholars of rural Europe and the Americas to discuss the possibilities for comparative and transnational research within and between the different agrarian regions of the Euro-American world focusing on the above issues.

Scholars are invited to submit proposals for papers on agrarian reform and resistance, with a special emphasis on the following themes:

•Links between agricultural reformers and landed interests in the Euro-American world.
•Economic, political and social implications of agrarian modernization in local, national or international contexts.
•Strategies of resistance and radical developments among agricultural workers, free and/or unfree.
•The relationship between agricultural improvement and modernity/capitalism in free and unfree labour systems.
•Free and unfree workers’ displacement and migration.


We invite prospective speakers of all career levels to submit abstracts for 20 minute papers. Each paper proposal should include a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV. Please send to agrarianworldconference@gmail.com by 6 January 2017.


Keynote Speaker: Professor Sven Beckert (Harvard University)


This conference is a joint initiative of Cathal Smith and Joe Regan at the Centre for the Investigation of Transnational Encounters (CITE) and the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class (ICHLC) and is hosted by the Moore Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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