The second international PhD Summer School on Land Use and Mobile Livelihoods has come to and end this week. It was the second collaboration project between the Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy & Documentation (CEGRAD, UCC) and the Adventist University Friedensau, Germany.
With a special focus on Intersectional Perspectives, the program built on last years’ Harmattan School on Re-Activating Gender-Sensitive Research on Land which focused on land commodification and politics of gender rights and access.
The specific interest in this 2017 summer school lay in populations that are on the move such as pastoral communities, migrants and people displaced by development projects, nature or civil strife. Participants, mainly PhDs and post-docs, were from Ghana, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The facilitators were also from an equally diverse background. Participants’ research interests range from issues directly related to migrants, pastoralist and displaced persons. Others, however have interests in gender issues not directly related to mobile communities. 30 students have participated in this program for two weeks.
The topics outlined for the school are theoretical, conceptual and issue specific. Some focused on deepening understanding and skills at incorporating feminist epistemology and methodology in our research. Others addressed the application of software and new media in managing qualitative data. There was a field trip to a refugee camp to offer participants the opportunity to get acquainted with land politics and resettlement in Ghana and apply some of the theoretical knowledge attained. The studenst also practiced some qualitative methods of data gathering and became acquainted ethnography, human ecology and participatory action research during the field trip. On the afternoon Thursday 27th August there was have a public lecture where three of our resource persons, renowned feminist scholars addressed the general public on the theme Researching mobile livelihoods and the land crisis: intersectionality and feminist approaches. The event will be open to the members of the university community.
Evenings were spent with relaxation and socialising. There were wonderful cultural nights and the atmosphere among our participants altogether was delightful, genuine and cooperative. The weekend was spent visiting important sites and time at the beach. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the organizers and participants left overwhelmed and greatful to have been part of this project.
The third summer school will be hosted in 2018 will be under the theme Engendered Politics of Place and Belonging in relation to land access and ownership.