Rural Issues Workshop

The Rural Issues Workshop runs Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This workshop series addresses the topic of rural issues, broadly conceived.

Thematically, our focus is on 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 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 the paper through this website, and the password protected link below.

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

Meetings are held irregular Thursday evenings from 4:00 to 5:30 pm in the Second Floor of the UNB Fredericton Grad House (Windsor Castle Bar) located at 676 Windsor St, Fredericton, New Brunswick.

After the workshop, a light dinner will be served.

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

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
“‘Learned like a lesson’: Ways of knowing Maine-New Brunswick waterscapes through First Nations travel routes and navigation techniques”

November 23
Phil Taber
Librarian, UNB Fredericton & Farmer 
“‘Walk the rocky hillside’: The place of 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
Carolyn Basset and Allyson Fradella
Political Science, UNB Fredericton
“Copper Economics and Local Entrepreneurs in Zambia: Accumulation by Dispossession and the Possibility of Dependent Development”

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