Universität Wien FIND

240116 SE VM5 / VM2 - Working the Land (2021W)

Labour, Technology and the Environment in Global Agriculture

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

You'll find the link to the first zoom session on this seminar's moodle page.

*** A Seminar in Times of Covid-19 ***

I decided to teach this seminar online. This was not an easy decision since I absolutely prefer teaching in a classroom. However, the (once again!) increasing covid-19 cases and the difficulties with planning a seminar in the context of constantly changing covid-19 regulations, led me to make this decision.

Thus, you will be able to complete this seminar without being physically present at Vienna University. This allows those of you who currently cannot travel to Vienna or those who are part of a corona high-risk group to attend this seminar without any disadvantages.

Moodle will serve as our central platform of communication. We will replace the physical attendance in classrooms with a weekly live video conference (see dates below). Attendance to these videoconferences is mandatory. You can miss max. 3 sessions.

You will receive all the materials needed for this seminar via moodle. For your seminar paper you will need to access online sources via u:search.

Thursday 07.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 14.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 21.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 28.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 04.11. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 11.11. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 18.11. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 25.11. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 02.12. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 09.12. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 16.12. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 13.01. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 20.01. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 27.01. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Agriculture is a coproduction of society and nature. Agricultural work, e.g. growing crops or raising cattle, differs from other forms of work in many ways, most importantly due to its natural embedment. Weather, soil fertility and many other natural factors not only have an impact on the choice of crops or animals, but also on the organisation of labour, the application of technology or even the composition of households. At the same time agriculture shares fundamental features with other branches of work, as it is part of larger political and economic systems. Issues like free and un-free labour, gender relations or migration are as relevant in agriculture as they are in all other social and economic spheres. This seminar is primarily based on a recent academic conference on agricultural work (ITH 2019) and an on-going book project. It thus aims at providing the students with both an introduction to various academic approaches to agricultural work and a selection of state-of-the-art research. We discuss topics such as slavery on American cotton plantations, Indian peasant households producing opium for the colonial state and migrant workers on today’s palm oil plantations in South-East Asia.

For a detailed schedule follow this link: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/rolf.bauer/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Schedule_Se_Working_the_Land.pdf

Assessment and permitted materials

// Requirements:

- Reading: Read the texts provided for each session in weeks 2–8.

- Writing: You have to write 3 essays (2 pages) based on our readings.

- Proposal: Write a proposal (2 pages, excluding bibliography) and upload until 29 Nov.

- Presentation: Present the draft of your seminar paper in weeks 11–13.

- Seminar Paper: min. 15 pages, excluding bibliography. Upload until 28 February 2022.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

You can miss class max. 3 times.

// Grading:

1) Active participation in videoconferences // 15%
2) Essays // 25%
3) Presentation // 10%
4) Final Seminar paper, 15 pages // 50%

>= 87,5% very good (1)
>= 75% good (2)
>= 62,5% satisfactory (3)
>= 50% sufficient (4)
< 50% deficient (5)

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory

VM5 / VM2

Last modified: We 15.09.2021 14:28