Online Workshop for Early Career Agrifood Researchers: MENA edition

Online Workshop for Early Career Agrifood Researchers: MENA edition

Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC40)
Takes place
From - Until
30.10.2022 - 20.01.2023
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

The Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC40) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) invites early-career researchers from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab World (or whose studies focus on this region) for an online workshop aiming to produce high-quality articles for publication in international agri-food journals.

Online Workshop for Early Career Agrifood Researchers: MENA edition

The aim of this workshop is to support early-career agri-food researchers in moving their papers for successful publication in international journals. The objective is to provide feedback on the works-in-progress (i.e., constructive feedback on draft papers), and advise the authors on some strategies to adopt for publishing.

This is NOT a traditional research seminar with a presentations/questions structure. Rather, participants will submit their papers, and receive individually written comments on them before the workshop by advisors and peers. During the workshop, the conversation will cover specific issues/problems/difficulties raised by the paper, and will discuss in more depth topics regarding journals selections, and steps to finalizing the paper for submission.

The workshop will follow 5 steps:

- We will receive the applications: short bio (up to 200 words), a CV (including published work), and abstract (up to 400 words) of a paper proposition focusing on contemporary agri-food issues: Deadline October 30th, 2022

- The project team will select 6-8 papers to be carefully revised and commented by specialists (advisors) in the field. Notification of acceptance by November 5th, 2022

- The authors of the selected abstracts will prepare and send draft versions of their paper (in English) (6,000 – 9,000 words) to be commented by the advisors. Deadline January 6th, 2023

- Authors will be organized in groups of 3, and will need to comment on the papers from their group members. Authors will also receive written comments from advisors. Deadline for comments is January 15th, 2023

- An online workshop will take place with all early-careers and advisors on January 20th 2023

- Finally, participants will prepare the final versions (in English) of their articles for submitting to an international agri-food journal.

We welcome applications from RC40 members and people interested in learning more about this interdisciplinary, international, inclusive network.
Early-career agri-food researchers: PhD candidates or researchers within five years since achieving PhD
Priority will be given to those who have not yet managed to publish a paper in high-impact international journals.
Priority will be given to non-native English language researchers and researchers from the region.
Participants are pre-registered and disclose their identity.
Abstracts and draft versions of the papers can be submitted in English.

Workshop organisers:

Hilde Bjørkhaug is Professor in sociology within the area of sociological theory. She has her specialization in sociology of agriculture and food. She has through her career been involved in research on different aspects of rural development, diffusion of innovations, agricultural restructuring and financialization, land use and land use conflicts, ethics, sustainable development, climate change challenges, policy analysis, food systems analysis, power relations and organizational change. Gender perspectives have been employed in many projects. She has followed Norwegian legislation on gender balance in boardrooms through research projects and public debate. She holds a particular interest in advancing sociological theory and methods.

Cynthia Gharios is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School Global and Area Studies at the University of Leipzig. Her research interests revolve around the topics of food, agriculture, and the global food system. She is particularly interested in political ecology and cultural geography, with an emphasis on the financialization of agriculture, land grabs and foreign direct investment, technology and smart farming, and the imaginary of agrarian future(s) in the MENA region. Her current research examines the UAE’s food system and addresses the changing practices and visions used to tackle food security at a national level, and the key role of technology and innovation in it. She has previously worked on agrarian transformation in Lebanon, and was involved in projects on agricultural war damage in Yemen, and on agricultural investments in Morocco.


Max Ajl is an associated researcher with the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment and a postdoctoral fellow with the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University. He has written for Monthly Review, Jacobin and Viewpoint. He has contributed to a number of journals, including the Journal of Peasant Studies, Review of African Political Economy and Globalizations, and is an associate editor at Agrarian South & Journal of Labor and Society.

Atakan Büke is a Philipp Schwartz Initiative Fellow at the Research Center Global Dynamics at Leipzig University. Informed by critical agrifood studies, he works especially on the contemporary agrarian/peasant question, food regime analysis, and the emerging alternative socio-ecological agrifood movements. He has participated in various research projects focusing on different aspects of agrifood relations in Turkey, ranging from the analysis of neoliberal restructuring processes in terms of small-scale agricultural producers to Istanbul’s food provision systems under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, he is working on his book tentatively titled The Agrarian/Peasant Question in the 21st Century: Rethinking Capitalism as a Food Regime, which is expected to be published in 2023 as part of Brill’s New Scholarship in Political Economy Series.

To apply:
Please email your abstract and bio to by October 30th.


October 30th: deadline for application (Abstracts, CVs and Bios)
November 5th: notification of acceptance
January 6th: deadline for the draft papers (participants submit full-paper-draft);
January 15th: All the participants and senior scholar commentators review the drafts and send written comments to authors.
January 20th: Online workshop via Zoom (length around 3hours with a 15 min break)

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