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Agrarian Studio expands with Future of Work fellowship

Looking for community after the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Associate Professor Sarah Besky established the Agrarian Studio in the ILR School to foster a collective approach to training anthropology graduate students.

“It’s a mash-up of a creative writing seminar and the labs of natural scientists,” said Besky, who serves as the director of the South Asia Program at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and is a member of the Anthropology (Arts & Sciences) and Development Studies (Agriculture and Life Sciences) Graduate Fields.

Besky’s Agrarian Studio, which is growing with the help of a Future of Work grant, emphasizes the importance of training that fosters critical thinking and refining ideas through collective engagement.

The studio is propelled by the research of the graduate students Besky works with. Each week, a different student circulates something they’ve written, such as a chapter of their dissertation or a grant proposal, and then receives feedback from their peers and Besky.

Now in its third year, the studio is expanding through the work of post-doctoral associate Hadia Akhtar Khan, whose two-year appointment is funded by a Future of Work grant. Khan, who recently completed a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Toronto, studies how transnational families have become upwardly mobile by running convenience stores in Malaysia and accumulating land in rural Pakistan. 

In addition to collaborating and running the studio alongside Besky, Khan is organizing the Graduate Conference on Agrarian Studies, Climate Change, and the Future of Work on April 19, as well a larger conference on Agrarian Studies, Climate Change, and the Future of Work, to be held on April 26-27.

Read the full story on the ILR website
Julie Greco is a senior communications specialist in the ILR School. 


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