ESRS Autumn School

European Society for Rural Sociology

Postgraduate Autumn School 2016


“Researching Globalization in a Rural Context”

3rd-7th October 2016

Gregynog Hall, near Newtown, Wales


This year’s ESRS Autumn School will explore the theory and practice of researching globalization in rural context with a programme led by Michael Woods and the research team from the European Research Council GLOBAL-RURAL project at Aberystwyth University. The theme will examine key aspects of globalization as experienced in rural localities in both the global north and the global south, including agri-food globalization, global economic restructuring, international migration, transnational tourism, cultural globalization and responses to global environmental change, as well as how rural communities and individuals respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by these processes. The Autumn School is aimed at PhD students working on relevant issues in social science disciplines at universities and research institutes in Europe.

The Autumn School will discuss different theoretical perspectives and concepts that may be used to investigate globalization and consider the methodological issues involved in conducting research on globalization in a rural context. It will enable participants to develop research and professional skills, including disseminating research to scientific and non-scientific audiences. The programme will include:

  • Four key-note talks by guest speakers presenting cutting-edge research perspectives on globalization and rural economies, societies and environments (speakers to be confirmed);
  • Discussion groups exploring various theoretical approaches to studying globalization, based on set  prior readings;
  • Workshops on research practice and dissemination, including undertaking international fieldwork; research ethics; publishing in academic journals; and using the Storymap app to communicate research findings via social media; as well as on career planning.
  • Field visits in the local area.

Additionally, Autumn School participants will receive one-to-one tutoring from the resident tutors on their own research. Participants will be required to submit a relevant piece of academic writing for discussion with a tutor, and will also be required to give a 10 minute presentation on their research at the start of the week.

A full programme will be uploaded shortly.

Speakers and Tutors

The resident tutors for the Autumn School are drawn from the research team for the ERC GLOBAL-RURAL project at Aberystwyth University:

Professor Michael Woods is leader of the GLOBAL-RURAL project and has undertaken research on various aspects of globalization, including economic globalization, migration, globally-engaged farmers and rural development responses to globalization in different parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He is Editor of the Journal of Rural Studies, and author of books including Rural (Routledge) and Rural Geography (Sage).

Dr Jesse Heley is Co-investigator on GLOBAL-RURAL and a Senior Lecturer at Aberystwyth University. He is involved with GLOBAL-RURAL fieldwork on everyday globalization in Wales and his wider research interests include ‘serious leisure’ and the participation of older residents in rural civil society, rural class relations and regional governance. He has extensive experience of ethnographic research and interviewing.

Dr Francesca Fois is a researcher on GLOBAL-RURAL, where she is particularly involved with research on globalization and rural communities in Brazil and China. She has previously conducted research on eco-villages in Brazil and Italy through ethnographic methods.

Dr Laura Jones is a researcher on GLOBAL-RURAL working particularly on everyday globalization in Wales, including local and global food systems and tracing the global networks of the Welsh wool industry. She is also working with Jesse Heley on research on older people and rural civil society, and was previously a researcher on the ‘Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in an Era of Globalization’ (DERREG) project and for the Wales Rural Observatory, where her projects included studying migrant workers in rural Wales.

Dr Anthonia Onyeahialam is a GIS researcher on GLOBAL-RURAL, working on mapping and visualising data about globalization and rural economies and societies, and constructing narratives for public dissemination online and through the Storymap app.

Dr Marc Welsh is a researcher on GLOBAL-RURAL, focusing on everyday globalization in Wales and on rural responses to ‘global challenges’ such as climate change and food security. He has experience of research in Africa and the UK, and was formerly Executive Editor of Regional Studies.

Details of the key-note speakers and additional guest tutors will be added shortly.



The Venue

The Autumn School will be in the stately setting of Gregynog Hall, a late 19th century mock-Tudor country house in rural mid Wales, which was bequeathed to the University of Wales after the Second World War and is now managed as a residential education centre for universities in Wales. Set in extensive landscaped grounds, with a number of waymarked paths, and with facilities including seminar rooms, a library, lounges, bar and croquet lawn, Gregynog is a conducive environment for study and intellectual debate. The nearby town of Newtown has a direct rail link (2hrs) to Birmingham International Airport, with flight connections to many cities across Europe.

Registration for the Autumn School has now closed. All places are full

For further information or questions please contact Michael Woods,