Contested Global Landscapes

A Multidisciplinary Initiative of the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences


April 5-6, 2013
Agrarian Crisis in India?
ISS Co-Sponsored Event
Annual Conference of the Cornell/Syracuse Title VI South Asia Center presents: Agrarian Crisis in India? There have always been agrarian crises in India — for individuals, for whole classes, sectors, districts, for some crops, in some years. This conference investigates current characterizations of crisis in both media and political circles.

April 10, 2013
Kick-off Lecture: Contested Global Landscapes
4:30 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. 423 ILR Conference Center
Please join us for this lecture introducing the 2012-2015 theme project. The team’s faculty co-leaders, Charles Geisler and Wendy Wolford, both from Development Sociology, will discuss the team’s key research questions, specific research projects, and public activities. Team members will be on hand for Q & A following the lecture. Refreshments will be provided. For any accessibility accommodations, please contact

April 22, 2013
Overcoming Dogma and Prophecies of Doom to Save Nature
5:00 p.m.- 6:30p.m. David L. Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall
Lecturer: Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy, Chief Scientist
Conservation is on the defensive. One way forward is to embrace the potential for recovery, restoration, and even rewilding, while realizing that nature never stands still. New messages, new science, new alliances, and a new nature are conservation’s best hope.

April 23, 2013
Roundtable Discussion on Land Conservation Themes
3:30 p.m. – 5:00pm, 225 ILR Conference Center (King-Shaw Hall)
An in-depth look at current conservation themes – moderated by Drew Harvell (EEB), and featuring Peter Kareiva, Andy Zepp (Finger Lakes Land Trust), Aaron Sachs (HIST), Sara Pritchard (STS), and Sunny Power (EEB)

April 29, 2013
Changing Crops for a Changing Climate: What Can Biotechnology Contribute?
2:00 p.m.- 6:00p.m. Statler Auditorium
Lecturer: Mark Lynas, Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment
Following his presentation Mark Lynas will join a panel discussion with Ron Herring, Professor, Government (moderator); Peter Davies, Professor, Plant Biology; Mary-Howell Martens, Owner, Martens Farm and Lakeview Organic Grains; Margaret Smith, Professor, Plant Breeding and Genetics; David Wolfe, Professor, Horticulture; and Wendy Wolford, Associate Professor, Development Sociology.

May 13-17, 2013
Institute on Contested Landscapes

12 applications were selected to attend the inaugural Summer Institute on Contested Landscapes. Focused on property, this week-long session seeks to develop and apply critical analyses to important questions. What is property, who and what is eligible for ownership, and who decides? What is the relationship between changing property forms and sustainability, development, and democracy? The Institute on Contested Landscapes is sponsored by Cornell’s Institute for the Social Sciences, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and the Social Science Research Council.

May 14, 2013
ISS Land Institute Event
What is Property and Does it Matter?
Stuart Banner, UCLA Law
4:00-5:30 PM: 423 ILR Conference Center

May 16, 2013 
ISS’ Land Institute’s Event
Global and Local Commons: Emergent Institutions with Residual Property Forms
Kathryn Milun, Sociology & Anthropology, University of Minnesota- Duluth
4:30-6:00 p.m.; 423 ILR Conf. Center

May 17, 2013
ISS’ Land Institute’s Event
Messy Hectare: Questions about the Epistemology of Land Grabbing Data
Marc Edelman, Anthropology, Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York
2:00-3:30 p.m. Guerlac Room, AD White House

September 6, 2013
What is Land? (Public Panel and Reception)
Panel 3:00-5:00 p.m. & Reception 5:00-6:00 p.m.; 423 ILR Conference Center. ‘”Land’ as an Indigenous Category: Pacific Insights,” Aletta Biersack, Anthropology, University of Oregon, What is Whenua? Considering Maori Conceptions of Land-Human Relationships before the Waitangi Tribunal,” Andie Diane Palmer, Anthropology, University of Alberta

September 13, 2013
Paper Discussion: Imposing Territoriality: First Nation Land Claims and the Transformation of Human-Environment Relations in the Yukon
Paul Nadasdy, Anthropology, Cornell University
3:00-4:30 p.m.; 229 ILR Conference Center

September 20, 2013
The Challenge of Representing Competing Demands for Land
John Reilly, Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change; Center for Environmental Policy Research, MIT Sloan School of Management
3:00-4:30 p.m.; 225 ILR Conference Center

September 24, 2013
Foodopololy: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch, discusses her new book.
3:15-4:15 PM; Statler Auditorium
Cosponsored by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

September 27, 2013
Diminished Dominion: The Loss of the Global Land Endowments
Charles Geisler, Development Sociology, Cornell University
3:00-4:30 p.m.; 225 ILR Conference Center

October 1, 2013
Social Movements & Sustainability: Contributions, Debates & Outreach 
Wendy Wolford and Shorna Allred
12:00-1:00 p.m.; 300 Rice Hall
Lunch will be provided. Please reply to Pat Hoyt at  
if you would like to attend.
This topical lunch event is sponsored by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

October 4, 2013
Property for Human Flourishing
Greg Alexander, Cornell Law School
3:00-4:30 p.m.; 225 ILR Conference Center

Friday, October 18, 2013
How Do We Market Land? (Presentation and Reception)
“Cultivating Profit: Finance Discovers Global Land Markets,” Madeleine Fairbairn, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Financialization, Distance and Global Food Politics,” Jennifer Clapp, Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Full Professor, Environment and Resource Studies Department, University of Waterloo
Presentation: 3:00-5:00 p.m. & Reception 5:00-6:00 p.m.; 225 ILR Conference Center. This event is cosponsored by the Department of Development Sociology and the Polson Institute for Global Development.

Friday, October 25, 2013
Property Rights in Transition: Land and Power in Postwar South Sudan
David Deng, South Sudan Law Society
3:00-4:30 p.m.; 225 ILR Conference Center
This event is cosponsored by the Institute for African Development, Development Sociology and the Polson Institute for Global Development.

Friday, November 1, 2013
Anti-Biotech Movements in the European Union
Franz Seifert, University of Vienna, Austria
3:00-4:30 p.m. 225 ILR Conference Center
This event is cosponsored by the Department of European Studies, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Development Sociology, and the Polson Institute for Global Development.

Monday, November 4, 2013
Public Trust Policy: Implications for State Wildlife Professionals
12-1 PM, 300 Rice Hall
Christian Smith, Wildlife Management Institute, offers a perspective on public trust policy grounded in practice. This lunch meeting is sponsored by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Thursday, November 7, 2013
Food Security and Sociopolitical Stability
Join us at Mann Library for a Chats in the Stacks book talk
With Chris Barrett, Wendy Wolford, Joanna Upton, and Samuel Crowell
4:00 p.m. Stern Seminar Room, 160 Mann Library

Friday, November 8, 2013
Violence and the Land Panel
3:00-5:00 p.m. 225 ILR Conference Center

  • The Agrarian Violence within Brazil since the Redemocratization — Note: Please read the discussion paperbeforehand. Artur Zimerman, Visiting Scholar at Cornell University from Federal University of ABC Region, São Paulo, Brazil (UFABC)
  • Rediscovering Africa? The Role of Brazilian Experts and Expertise in Mozambican Agriculture. Wendy Wolford, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Cayuga Land Claims
Peter Whitely, Curator, American Museum of Natural History
1:25-2:40 PM; 100 Caldwell Hall

Friday & Saturday, November 22-23, 2013
Ecosystem Services as Simplification: Knowledge Production in Practice (Workshop)
Steven Wolf, Natural Resources, Cornell University
Sara Pritchard, Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University
November 22, 2013: 1:00 PM -5:30 PM; 423 ILR Conference Center
November 23, 2013: 8:30 AM -1:00 PM; 423 ILR Conference Center. Lunch served on Nov 23.

Friday, December 6, 2013
Property, Power and Freedom
Eduardo Peñalver, University of Chicago Law School
3:00-4:30 PM; 225 ILR Conference Center