Rural Issues Workshop

The workshop runs Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 in Fredericton, New Brunswick from 4:00 to 5:30 pm on scheduled Thursdays.

The series addresses the topic of rural issues, broadly conceived.

Our theme is rural issues from distinct thematic, theoretical, temporal, geographic, and disciplinary perspectives. Our interests include work on resource development and questions of energy and mining, on agrarian issues and farming and food production, on explorations of forestry and forest issues, on the challenges of transportation, communication, and infrastructure, on changing land use and the impact of climate change, on human and non-human relations, on communities living in forests, on rivers, and in coastal areas, on settler and First Nations issues, and on other topics, from contemporary, historical, and archaeological perspectives.

Our hope is for papers that are good to think with for an audience from diverse disciplinary backgrounds on topics relevant to those interested in rural issues either in New Brunswick or around the world. Our ultimate quarry is building a community of scholars (faculty, visiting fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students) from across the social sciences, humanities, and sciences at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton and Saint Thomas University, alongside interested members of the broader Fredericton and wider New Brunswick communities.

Workshop Format

Rather than give a traditional 45-minute talk followed by a Q and A, we ask that presenters circulate a paper of up to 10,000 words ten days before their workshop. Workshop attendees will have access to the papers through this website and a password protected link. Email for the password.

Rather than orally present the paper, we ask that each presenter take five-minutes to introduce and contextualize their contribution. Following this, a discussant will give their appreciation, critique, and commentary on the paper with the aim of raising issues and asking questions. From here, we will ask the presenter to remain silent, and listen as the workshop participants make their own interventions on the paper. Finally, the presenter will given the floor once again to answer the questions they found most compelling and to make further comments.

Workshop Location

All faculty, students, and interested members of the Fredericton and wider New Brunswick communities are invited. The workshop will now take place in the Forestry and Geology building, Room 202 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. After the workshop, a light dinner will be served in the second floor of the UNB Grad House.

Workshop Papers

Papers are posted below, with a password. If you need the password, email

Fall 2017 Schedule

September 14

Tom Beckley

Forestry, UNB Fredericton

“Energy and the rural sociological imagination”

September 28

Ramona Nicholas

Anthropology, UNB Fredericton

“Nokmosok Kikahan Skitkomiq: Grandmothers Healing the Land”

There is no paper this week, as Ramona Nicholas will be presenting. However, for those unfamiliar with the Sisson Project, come prepared by reading this compilation of media reports.

October 12

Matthew Hayes

Sociology, Saint Thomas University

“Into the universe of the Hacienda: Lifestyle migration, individualism and social dislocation in Vilcabamba, Ecuador”

October 26

Tracy Glynn

Interdisciplinary Studies, UNB Fredericton

“‘No one can say we were not here’: A photovoice study of women’s resistance to mining in Indonesia”

November 9

Mallory Moran

Visiting Fulbright Fellow, Anthropology, UNB Fredericton and The College of William & Mary

“Understanding the Cultural Landscape of Movement of Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) Peoples of the Maritime Peninsula”

November 23

Phil Taber

Librarian, UNB Fredericton & Farmer 

“‘Walk the rocky hillside’: A place for rhetoric and poetry in rural revival”

December 7

Tia Dafnos

Sociology, UNB Fredericton

“Pacification logics’ of critical infrastructure ‘resilience’ in Canada”

Winter 2018 Schedule

January 11

Daniel Tubb

Anthropology, UNB Fredericton

“Oil Fields: Oil palm, biofuel plantations, and energy politics in Colombia”

January 25

Ian J. Jesse

Visiting Fulbright Fellow, History, UNB Fredericton and the University of Maine

“The Farmer and the Fox: Life, Death, and Profit(?) on New Brunswick Fox Farms”

February 8

Xiomara Sanchez

Civil Engineering, UNB Fredericton

“Infrastructure asset management systems for rural communities”

February 22

William Parenteau 

History, UNB Fredericton

“Fanning the Embers:  Incendiarism and the Capitalist Transformation of the Countryside in New Brunswick, 1880–1940”

March 15

Brad Cross

History, Saint Thomas University

“The afterlife of bauxite Mines: Caribbean and Australian experiences”

March 22

Sasha Mullally

History, UNB Fredericton

“‘Muskeg Metropoles’: Recruiting Doctors for Northern Canadian Resource Towns, 1957–1975”

April 5

Grad Student Workshop