Call for Papers

The Call for Paper Abstracts for the XIV World Congress of Rural Sociology 2016 in Toronto is open. Please take a look at our submission guidelines and Congress Sessions and consider submitting an abstract of no more than 300 words (see below and attached) by November 1st, 2015.
XIV World Congress of Rural Sociology
August 10-14, 2016 Toronto, Canada
Call for Paper Abstracts
Open May 19 – November 1, 2015
Sustainable and Just Rural Transactions: Connections and Complexities
Global environmental changes, shifting resource scarcities, deepening social inequalities, both innovation and crisis in urban centers, and new patterns of voluntary and involuntary migrations are among the conditions and dynamics now shaping the futures of rural places and people. Intensifying and intertwining forces of commodification, industrialization, neoliberalization and globalization over the last several decades have produced uneven and arguably illusory gains, given evidence of the increasingly precarious position of labor and livelihoods throughout the rural world and the widespread distribution of environmental harm and ecological degradation. Within these general patterns and trends, circumstances can vary greatly across rural contexts within and between continents.
Rigorous analysis of the interconnected challenges now experienced by rural people and places, as well as comprehensive assessment of the proposed solutions and diverse experiments now underway will increase our understanding of the pathways which may be open, blocked or yet to be created for movement towards more sustainable and just rural futures. Sociologists and other social scientists addressing rural concerns play indispensable roles in identifying, analyzing and assessing the forms and consequences – both intended and unintended – of the diverse transition aspirations and experiences of rural people and places.
We invite you to submit a paper for presentation at the Congress. Abstracts (in English and limited to 300 words) must be submitted to one specific session. Session organizers will be responsible for selecting papers that fit their topic, and reassigning others to the conference ‘open paper’ sessions. The program committee will work to ensure disciplinary diversity and content compatibility when assigning individual papers within the ‘open paper’ sessions.
Congress guidelines and a link to the abstract submission system can be found on the IRSA Congress 2016 website.
The XIV World Congress of Rural Sociology encourages interdisciplinary dialogue, exchange and collaboration in order to enhance the contributions and applications of sociological inquiry for understanding and improving the life conditions and experiences of people located in, identified with, and concerned about, rural places and communities worldwide. The program for the Congress will include keynote lectures by invited speakers providing fresh, integrative insights and challenges for rural sociological inquiry and practice. It will also include varied opportunities and venues for participants to present results of their research and engage with other scholars and practitioners from around the world, within traditional paper sessions, thematic panel discussions or debates, roundtables, workshops or performances.

Life & Law in Rural America: Cows, Cars, and Criminals
Princeton University Program in American Studies 
 Graduate Student Conference
March 25-26, 2016
Rural America has become an increasingly productive space for critical inquiry and exploration for scholars in many disciplines. From school reform to policing, from healthcare to popular television shows, and everything in between, the rural United States is continually being explored from new vantage points. Current research suggests that rural communities share many of the same kinds of challenges in education, policing, poverty, and healthcare found in urban and suburban communities, disrupting long-standing assumptions about rural America. At the same time, academics and non-academics alike recognize that rural spaces and experiences are distinct.
This conference, sponsored by the Program in American Studies at Princeton University, will explore rural spaces, people, and the law throughout American history and the present. With this conference, we seek to bring together an interdisciplinary group of graduate student researchers and faculty respondents to ask interdisciplinary questions of the social, cultural, legal, religious, and intellectual experiences of rural life. What is “rural”, and how does law constitute a distinctly rural experience for those who live there? How do law, lived experience, and geography interact in distinct ways in rural places?
Alongside keynote speakers Angela Garcia and Lisa Pruitt, we expect participants may explore more specific questions such as, how has rural America changed over time and developed into what we know as rural today? How is policing understood socially by rural residents? What does employment mean when opportunities are dramatically limited because of geography? What is the place of religious commitment in the rural U.S.? In what ways are rural spaces “urban”? How is civic engagement—such as protests and boycotts—changed when anonymity is not possible?
We invite graduate students working in the fields of American Studies, Anthropology, History, Law, English, Political Science, Musicology, Geography, Sociology, Art History, and related fields to submit papers on topics including but not limited to law and:

  • Policing in rural communities
  • Economic opportunity
  • Religious commitment
  • Regional rural identity
  • Gender in rural spaces
  • Race in rural America—both within, and outside of, the South
  • Class and poverty in rural places
  • Local government law and rural politics
  • Federal policies impacting rural America
  • Farming and farm laborers
  • Hinterlands & Rural-Urban Relationships
  • Activism & Civic Engagement
  • Cultural stereotypes of rural America
  • Environmental studies
  • Rural research methods
  • Socio-legal studies

Please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words, a short biographical description, and your contact information by November 15, 2015. Proposals and questions should be sent to conference organizers Heath Pearson and Emily Prifogle at
Please circulate widely.
More information can be found at
The Wastes of Governance
A call for papers to present at a session called “The Wastes of Governance” at the Annual Association of Geographers conference in San Francisco in 2016:
This session picks up on work that posits an understanding of waste as emergent, or as co-emerging alongside certain configurations (of governance) (e.g., Gille 2007, 2010; Gregson et al 2007; Hird 2012; Lepawsky and Mather 2011). As Brian Wynne points out, “waste exist[s] in the twilight zone where no clear, ‘natural’ definition of [it] can be given, within wide margins of uncertainty and variation” (1987: 1). Rather than being something that “just is” (Gregson and Crang 2010), waste must be made, brought into being, either materially or conceptually. Importantly, this bringing into being is far from linear and permanent. Rather, it is provisional, always subject to error and spatial and temporal variability, such as through global material flows of e-wastes and the ensuing micro-economies (Lepawsky and Mather 2011) or to changes in political leadership and “waste regimes” (Gille 2007, 2010).
This session would be an exploration of the idea that certain forms of governance can be materially and conceptually generative of waste. This particular line of reasoning is in contrast (though not in opposition) to other work that examines waste as pre-existing and in need of governing or management (e.g., Barr and Gilg 2007; Bulkeley et al, 2005, 2007; Davies 2008; Hird, Lougheed, Rowe and Kuyvenhoven 2014; Lougheed, Hird, and Rowe 2015). The ambition of this session is not to deny waste’s immense productive potential, but rather to move forward and invigorate theoretical and empirical exploration of waste’s (co)emergence with governance.
Ideally the session would consist of papers that provide unique case studies of the “wastes of governance”. Papers could take up different perspectives of governance, different types of wasting, different spatial or temporal contexts, and so on. Papers are welcomed that cover diverse topics including, but not limited to:
– Communism
– Capitalism
– Liberalism
– Neo-liberalism
– Historical governance (E.g., feudalism)
– Aboriginal/indigenous governance or encounters with colonial/settler governance
– “non-western” governing structures
– Food waste
– e-waste
– Municipal solid waste
– Industrial wastes
– Hazardous wastes
Although the hope is for a diverse set of papers, two or more papers overlapping in one area or another would be acceptable
If you would like to participate please email with your abstract, and include your AAG 2016 Pin # if you are already registered.