Category Archives: Blog

Professor and Chair of Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles (f/m), 0.8-1 FTE

We are looking for

We are looking for a full professor who will lead the new chair group of ‘Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles’ at Wageningen University & Research (0.8 – 1.0 fte), one of the leading universities on food, health and environment. The new group will be part of the Department of Social Science and embedded in one administrative unit together with the chair group ‘Health and Society’. As head of a new group, the chair holder will have the exciting opportunity to develop an innovative new line of research on the social organisation of consumption with specific attention for consumption practices and lifestyles, that promote human and environmental health and wellbeing. The aim is to produce knowledge and insight on the meso level of analysis (social groups, households and organisations) and to build on knowledge and insights from different social sciences. Moreover, attention should be paid to how the consumption contexts can be influenced and redesigned to enable healthy (and sustainable) consumption patterns and lifestyles.

You will strengthen the group’s innovative research and education programme and you will effectively and constructively manage the group’s internal processes, in collaboration with the chair of ‘Health and Society’. You will ensure the group provides a supportive working environment to young and senior academics. Consolidating the acquisition of external funding for research and attracting PhD candidates are key elements of your responsibility. You will strengthen the profile of the group in national and international networks, and you will further enhance the group’s scientific and societal impact.

We ask

As a successful candidate, you:

  • Are a scholar with a PhD degree in social sciences and a proven scientific track record of recognised international quality in the field of consumption and healthy lifestyles;
  • Have excellent knowledge in qualitative and in particular quantitative research methods relevant to the field and the experience and ambition to combine quantitative and qualitative research;
  • Have the experience in managing professionals and have an inspiring and collegial leadership style, characterized by a passion to develop people and to build teams;
  • Have a demonstrated ability to lead disciplinary and interdisciplinary research across social and natural sciences;
  • Are experienced in transdisciplinary collaboration and redesign with stakeholders in society at large and have a large relevant network;
  • Possess a proven capacity of acquiring, leading and managing externally-funded (international) research projects;
  • Are an inspiring teacher and supervisor for students of diverse backgrounds, with proven ability to develop courses at Bachelor, Master, and PhD level, and an interest, vision and capacity to innovate teaching methods;
  • Have an inspiring vision for future research and education on healthy and sustainable consumption and lifestyles;
  • Are able to establish synergies and enthusiast about collaboration with the ‘Health and Society’ group and other groups in WUR in general.

We offer

You will be working for an inspiring international organisation with a large number of interdisciplinary projects all over the world. A strong commitment to teaching and fundamental research, combined with innovative applied research, creates a rich learning environment. Our students – the innovators of tomorrow – also benefit from first-class research and educational facilities.

The scientific quality of Wageningen University is affirmed by the prominent position we occupy in international rankings and citation indexes. Dutch students voted Wageningen University & Research as the best university in the Netherlands for thirteen years in a row.

We offer you a challenging position as full professor and Chair of ‘Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles’. Besides a competitive salary, we offer a number of additional benefits, such as an end-of-year extra month’s salary, a holiday allowance and a pension plan with the Dutch pension fund for government and education.

Coming from abroad 
Wageningen is a centre for research and entrepreneurship. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. It is a historic university town of about 36,000 residents in the central Netherlands. The academic community hails from more than 100 countries, giving the town a lively, international feel.

Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, by which 30% of their salary is exempt from tax.

Our highly qualified team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. A specialized staffing agency will help your partner to find a job.

The Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page (https://www.wur.nl/en/International-students-and-staff.htm) contains practical information about what we do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen.

More information

A more detailed description of the profile of the chair group for Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles is available upon request (via john.tenbohmer@wur.nl). Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Dr Bettina Bock, Chair of the Appointment Advisory Committee (Email: bettina.bock@wur.nl Tel: +31317483275).

Application 
You are invited to send your complete application to John ten Böhmer, john.tenbohmer@wur.nl. Please include an application letter with curriculum vitae and a separate list of publications. The deadline for applications is 20 October 2018.

The Appointment Advisory Committee will interview selected candidates for this position on 9 November 2018. The Committee will thereafter invite short-listed candidates for a second interview and a trial lecture on 19 December 2018. An assessment may be part of the selection procedure as well as the contacting of reference persons to be proposed by the candidate. References will only be contacted after consent by the candidate.

Equal opportunities employer 
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

We are

Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 5500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at www.wur.nl/career.

CSPS PhD Course: Critical Perspectives on Social Theory

Introduction

This PhD course gives participants an opportunity to intensively engage with some of the major foundational movements in critical social theory, so that they can continue to explore contemporary expansions of those movements in their own research. It is organized as an intensive discussion seminar over the course of four weeks (with two 3-hour sessions/week). With different specialized teachers for each session, from the chair groups RSO, SDC, GEO, SCH and beyond.

Learning Goals
After successful completion of this course, participants are expected to be able to:

  • Distinguish a range of positions in social theory
  • Critique understandings of the social world by contrasting different theoretical positions
  • Compose a coherent position with regard to multiple theoretical positions relevant to an issue

Programme

Critical social theoretical perspectives are a well-established and essential part of academic debate. For researchers entering into these debates, it is necessary to have at least basic understandings of many branches of theory, both to effectively carry out new research and to recognize subtle references to specific theories while engaging in dialogue with international audiences. Moreover, theoretical development is a cumulative process: as new theories come to the fore, they build on historical waves of previous development. To engage with new developments, it is therefore vital to have working knowledge of what preceded them.

This course intends to help researchers situate themselves in relation to different interpretations and lineages of major theoretical perspectives. The main objective is to give participants a brief opportunity to engage with some of the major foundational movements in critical social theory, so that they can continue to explore different expansions of those movements in their own research. To do so, the course is organised as an intensive discussion seminar over the course of four weeks, exploring 7 core theoretical topics. Each seminar will have its own set of required readings, which include both foundational literature and new research perspectives. Completing these readings is necessary for all students to contribute to discussion during the seminar meeting. These readings will require a substantial time commitment outside of the meeting hours, so participants will need to budget time accordingly in order to fully participate in the course.

In order to have enough time to complete the readings required for the first day of the course, registration is required by October 22. No registrations later than that date will be accepted.

From the 7 seminars, participants should take with them new understandings about the foundations of their own theoretical perspectives. These will include the following key topics in social theory, with some of the key authors we will read, introduced and guided by these associated experts:

Schedule

Session 1 2018-11-05 14.00-17.00 Introduction to the course; Marx: Karl Marx Bram Buscher
Session 2 2018-11-06 14.00-17.00 Marxisms: David Harvey, Neil Smith Robert Coates
Session 3 2018-11-08 14.00-17.00 Governmentality and Psychoanalysis: Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zizek Robert Fletcher
Session 4 2018-11-09 14.00-17.00 Governmentality and biopolitics: Michel Foucault, Paul Rabinow Stefan Wahlen
Session 5 2018-11-12 14.00-17.00 Posthumanism: Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing, Sarah Whatmore Clemens Driessen
Session 6 2018-11-13 14.00-17.00 Feminisms: Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, Gibson-Graham Oona Morrow
Session 7 2018-11-14 14.00-17.00 (Post-) Colonialisms: Edward Said, Arundhati Roy, Gyatri Spivak Joost Jongerden

For more info and to register, click here.

 

 

Contested Biodiversities: Unpacking power and privilege in KwaZulu-Natal’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme, South Africa, by Shirley Brooks

Monday 15 October, 12:00 – 13:00

Leeuwenborch, C62

Professor Shirley Brooks is Head of the Department of Geography, Environmental Studies & Tourism at the University of the Western Cape.

Impression seminar

Protected area expansion in South Africa has taken a new turn. The aim of the recently instituted Biodiversity Stewardship Programme (BSP) is to expand the conservation estate by incorporating land held outside of state control, through various levels of conservation agreement. As implementers of this programme, provincial conservation authorities encourage landowners to voluntarily commit their properties to safeguarding the biodiversity found on their land. In KwaZulu-Natal province, targeted land includes not only freehold (private) land, but also land held under communal ownership as well as land regained through the state land reform (restitution) process. Focusing on the latter two categories, we explore the practices of the BSP on land owned or occupied by local Zulu-speaking communities. Biodiversity itself is, it turns out, a contested notion. Drawing on insights from poststructuralist political ecology, the paper explores the power relations between the various actors, paying particular attention to the role of language in the construction of environmental meanings. The findings suggest that land access remains a critical bone of contention in a context where postcolonial conservation practices often render meaningless the concept of communities exercising ‘stewardship’ over their land. We call for the critical interrogation of land restitution and environmental justice in this context.

Key words: biodiversity, community, land reform, stewardship, environmental discourse, postcolonial conservation, KwaZulu-Natal

Critical food studies workshop and seminar series: Foodscapes of the sharing economy

Critical food studies workshop and seminar series

Organized by the Foodscapes cluster of the Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS)

Foodscapes of the sharing economy

25 September 2018 – 13.45-17.00

Room C 62 in de Leeuwenborch (Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen)

During the recent decade, new modes of food provisioning have emerged under the guise of the sharing economy. A dominant picture of initiatives in the sharing economy is associated with platform capitalism and the gig economy. Yet, a variety of initiatives are using the tools of the sharing economy to promote sustainable consumption, thereby reducing our dependence on commercial activity and reducing the use and reliance on material possessions. This seminar will scrutinize the interconnections of the sharing economy and food, people and places. We are interested in food in the sharing economy, how exchanges are performed, by whom, and to what end. We want to provide an embodied understanding of food and place in the sharing economy. We are interested in issues of social, spatial and environmental justice, health and well-being in the sharing economy.

Program

13.45 – 14.00   Walking in

14.00 – 14.15   Introduction

14.15 – 15.00   Karin Dobernig and Karin Schanes: Collective Action Around Food Waste: Investigating the determinants and characteristics of participation in food sharing initiatives

15.00 – 15.15   Discussion

15.15 – 15.30   Coffee break

15.30-16.30     Roundtable discussion

With Karin Dobernig, Karin Schanes, Esther Veen, Oona Morrow, Stefan Wahlen

16.30-17.00     Drinks

About the foodscapes cluster:

The Foodscapes cluster brings together a variety of academic researchers and PhD candidates at Wageningen University, who are engaged in the multi-disciplinary domain of critical food studies.

 

Writing Retreat of CSPS and WCSG PhD candidates

On the 29st of May to 1st of June 2018, 30 PhD candidates from CSPS and the WCSG (Wageningen Centre of Sustainability Governance) participated in a “Writing Retreat” at the Monastery of Huissen. The retreat offered a great opportunity to make progress with individual writing as well as to share and discuss work and get to know fellow PhD candidates.

The theme of the writing retreat was well-being during the PhD. Dr. Rob Fletcher (SDC) shared his insights on maintaining a healthy and productive writing process. Dr. Joke de Vries held a workshop on ‘How to stay healthy while working in a stressful environment’. The sessions were very interactive and offered a lot of great insights and exchange between the clusters.

Many of the PhDs achieved the writing goals they had set for themselves. Teaming up with someone who is in the same writing phase helped us to reflect on our process and to reach our goal. Aside from writing, the PhDs also went on a guided silent walk, swam in the nearby lake, and ate, exercised and relaxed together. In other words, the retreat was both productive and enjoyable. Some responses of participants:

The location and the food were excellent. It genuinely felt like a retreat. It was nice to hear each other’s trouble.

I liked all the group and workout exercises, and also the silent walk.

I was able to achieve more in the last 3 days than in the last month!

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