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Development Sociology

Prof. Shelley Feldman
Cornell University, USA


Prof. Eva Gerharz
Sociology of Development and Internationalization

November 2015

The first visit to campus was in November 2015 where Eva Gerharz organized a workshop for graduate students to introduce Shelley Feldman and make her available to those whose intellectual interests could draw on her expertise. Included among the students were those who were yet to begin their fieldwork, those who recently returned from the field, and those who recently completed their dissertations and wished to strategize about next steps in publishing or finding their way on the job market. The workshop was held for a collective discussion on the first day followed by individual meetings with participants on subsequent days. These were productive exchanges that led to sustained interaction amongst us. I have since read and commented on various written contributions of the participants, written letters of recommendation for them, and hosted the visit of Corinna Lund to Cornell while she was undertaking fieldwork in the U.S.

The workshop included the following participants:

  • Corinna Lund
  • Maruf Lutfer
  • Hari Tripura
  • Raphael Susewind
  • Loubna Abi Khalil
  • Johanna Lauber
  • Giulia Gortanutti

Shelley also had the opportunity to meet with Sabrina Zajak whose students were active participants in the workshop and Estrid Sorensen for exchange and discussion about possible collaboration.

May 2016

Shelley visited campus again in May 2016 and participated in a seminar on gender issues as well as held a second workshop for graduate students, many of whom were part of the 2015 workshop. The emphasis of this second workshop was to serve as an external critic of students’ work as we had an opportunity to read what each participant was required to share for the groups to read before we met. Thus, the conversation at this workshop served to both encourage participants’ continued movement through the dissertation process, from the analysis to the analysis and writing up of their findings. The conversation also served to reveal where and how participants might further elaborate on the issues and conceptualizations they deployed in their shared texts.

Shelley also met with Sandrine Gukelberger, lecturer at the Sociology Section of the Faculty of Social Science, to discuss her post-doc project on youth movements and urban space in the Global South. This meeting offered new perspectives which also greatly benefited the research proposal developed by Eva Gerharz, Sandrine Gukelberger and Christian Meyer (Konstanz) which will be submitted soon.

Following these visits to Bochum University, specifically to engage with the rich student body there, Eva and Shelley organized two panels for the ECSAS 2016: 24th European Conference on South Asian Studies. The conference, held in Poland in July, included a number of participants from the Bochum workshops, where we again had the occasion to work with students as they moved toward the completion of their dissertations. The conference offered these students a way to present their work and gain feedback from those working on cognate issues, help them meet and begin to develop a network of colleagues beyond their home institution with whom they shared interests, and, as we hope to combine some of the best papers with those of an upcoming workshop this April, the conference will give graduate students an opportunity to contribute to an edited journal issue. Noteworthy, too about the conference was that we were able to include scholars from Europe, the U.S., Australia, and South Asia to participate in a rich exchange among all in attendance.

Upcoming in 2017

Eva and Shelley will continue to collaborate and Shelley will have the pleasure of continuing her engagement with Bochum students as they near the completion of their dissertation. Shelley also looks forward to participating in the Cross-Movement Mobilisation conference to be hosted by Bochum University in April 2017, where we have shared responsibility for a joint panel. This occasion will also offer students another opportunity for students to engage Shelley’s expertise and for her to have a chance to reconnect with them.