Skip to content

Visiting Scholar Seminar | Assembling the Global Countryside


A seminar by Michael Woods, Professor of Human Geography at Aberystwyth University, Wales

Start Date

6 Jun 2018 2:00 pm

End Date

6 Jun 2018 3:00 pm


Harvard Room 2, Centenary building, Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact

No RSVPs necessary.

Assembling the Global Countryside: An assemblage approach to globalisation and rural localities

Globalisation is reshaping rural localities across the world, producing a dynamic, interconnected yet differentiated global countryside. In order to understand how rural localities experience globalisation in different ways, with different outcomes, this presentation adopts a relational perspective recognising globalisation as being reproduced through localities, not imposed from above.

In particular, the presentation draws upon the Deleuzian-inspired assemblage thinking of Manuel DeLanda to construct an analytical framework that emphasises the heterogeneous composition of places, corporations, markets, commodity chains and other socio-economic formations as ‘assemblages’, with human and non-human components performing material and expressive roles, shaped by processes of territorialisation and deterritorialisation,and regulated by coding and decoding.

As dynamic entities, assemblages are constantly changing, with potential shapes and trajectories conceptualised as ‘possibility spaces’. By examining how interactions between assemblages, the exchange of components and patterns of reterritorialisation and recoding give rise to multiple possibility spaces for rural localities one can identify the mechanisms by which globalisation modifies place and certain outcomes are achieved over others.

To illustrate this argument, the presentation draws on evidence from the European Research Council GLOBAL-RURAL project, which has involved fieldwork in 14 countries over five years, and discusses brief case studies of agricultural restructuring and land use change in Dom Pedrito, Brazil; the transformation of the former fishing village of Trepassey in Newfoundland, Canada; and out-migration and rural development in Xinxian county, China.

Michael Woods is Professor of Human Geography at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK, and Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD). His research interests revolve around rural change, globalization, political geography and civil society. He holds an ERC Advanced Grant, GLOBAL-RURAL, studying globalization and rural localities; coordinates the EU Horizon 2020 project IMAJINE, investigating territorial inequalities and spatial justice; and co-leads the ESRC WISERD/Civil Society research centre. Michael is Editor of the Journal of Rural Studies and author of several books including Rural (Routledge, 2011), Rural Geography (Sage, 2005) and An Introduction to Political Geography (Routledge, second edition 2014).

This seminar is presented by the Institute for the Study of Social Change. All welcome.


Institute for Social Change
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 44


Follow the Institute for Social Change on Facebook  Follow the Institute for Social Change on Twitter