And What if One Spoke of the Land? Labour, Food and the Making of Space in Modern South Lebanon.

FAFS Seminar, October 29, American University of Beirut


Speaking to the work of the project ‘The Palimpsest of Agrarian Change’, the researchers first briefly chart a history of property and agrarian relations since the early 19th century.  Distinct property forms, landlord and villager, led to contrasting landscapes within an internally comparable ecological zone of South Lebanon.  The history of property, labour and contestation spans Ottoman to French Mandate rule and forms the background to what, from the Lebanese Republic, the project can chart graphically, first in shifts in forms of food production, and later with war and labour migration, in the political ecology of urban sprawl.  The methodology articulates techniques of social history with those of geographical analysis so as to explore the relation of forms of property and of food production over time; to critique and yet to contribute to the historiography of South Lebanon; and to develop a social and political history of landscape grounded in the materiality of land, labour, food and the making of space. 


The researchers presenting are Saker ElNour, Cynthia Gharios, Martha Mundy and Rami Zurayk of the LSE/AUB project ‘The Palimpsest of Agrarian Change’.

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