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Who Owns Rural America?

Interdisciplinary Land & Water Workshop

8:00 am–5:00 pm
Great Plains Art Museum at the Center for Great Plains Studies
1155 Q St., Hewit Place
The central question of this workshop is how land, water, and other natural resources are being reshaped – and their ownership reimagined – in a time of rapid climate change, growing inequality, and shifting racial and other demographics across rural spaces. Important recent scholarship has documented growing “land grab” dynamics across North America, including not only the financialization of farmland but also related changes in housing, water, and other resource markets. This workshop will probe the causes, consequences, and potential responses to the growing divide between local resources and local livelihoods. Although this workshop is directed principally toward these landscape changes as they are encountered across rural America, we actively invite and encourage related work on commodification, concentration, and other changes in land and natural-resource relations in other contexts and spaces.

A range of research methodologies and approaches could be deployed to address these land and resource dynamics. A primary object of this workshop is to uniquely connect in direct conversation social scientists working in related disciplines (such as geography, anthropology, sociology, history, political science, and economics) with critical legal scholars working in property, land use, water law, natural resources, and related disciplines. To that end, confirmed participants include:

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