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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Rebecca M. Torres

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of California at Davis

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment
Rebecca M. Torres

Contact

Interests

migration; rural development; agriculture; gender; tourism; activist scholarship

LAS 330 • Global Food, Farming, & Hunger

40595 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm CLA 1.102
(also listed as GRG 344K )
show description

Examination of contemporary transformations in global agro-food systems, with emphasis on the current paradox of epidemic obesity in some parts of the world and enduring hunger in others. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

LAS 388 • Gender And Migration

40785 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 100pm-400pm CLA 3.710
(also listed as GRG 396T, WGS 393 )
show description

After many decades of scholarship that virtually ignored gender, scholars increasingly have come to recognize the highly gendered nature of migration and its multiple outcomes.  Gender analysis is critical to migration studies, not only because of the gendered nature of mobility and labor, but also because it is the key social construct upon which we organize our lives and society.  Men and women experience, negotiate, reconstitute, enact and respond to migration in deeply different ways, even within the same family and community. Understanding these differences, across multiple scales in diverse places, is important to gauge the uneven impacts of migration.  In this course we seek to:  1) discern the distinct forms  in which men and women experience, negotiate, resist, enact and adapt to migration and current neoliberal practices often underlying (im)mobilities, as well as the sources of these differences; 2) comprehend how migration has unevenly reshaped various facets of life for immigrants and their families –  such as material accumulation and consumption, desires, aspirations, division of labor, mobility,  power relations, responsibilities, inclusion, exclusion and identity across gender, place and scale; 4) To examine, critically, current migration and development discourse and policy in light of the  specificities and differences of  place, scale, gender and race/ethnicity in envisaging future alternatives.

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global gender and  migration from an interdisciplinary social science perspective, but with a strong emphasis on the work of feminist geographers.  In particular feminist geographies of migration pay close attention to dimensions such as the spatialities and social constructions of power; the politics of scale; gender divisions of mobility and labor; geographies of responsibility and care; critical theorizations of space and place; indentities; emotion and affect; situated knowledges, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class and  student research paper presentations.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe, however the course will have a heavy Latin America/US migration orientation.

LAS 330 • Global Food, Farming, & Hunger

40795 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 1.102
(also listed as GRG 344K )
show description

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global agro-food systems from a social science perspective. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, we will explore recent changes in agricultural production, markets, networks and consumption in both industrialized and developing nations. We will seek to unravel the current paradox of growing global disparities, that is, why more people are going hungry in the world while obesity has reached a historical high – threatening to shorten life expectancies (unprecedented in the era of modern medical science).  Globalization, particularly the tensions between the “global” and “local” will be an overarching theme threaded throughout the course.  In particular, we will examine the contentious nature and contradictions embedded within “agricultural development,” – particularly processes of “modernization” and the neoliberalization of agricultural policy, development, trade, consumption and desires.  We seek to comprehend these global processes, but also to explore them at a local level to understand the “real life” human dimensions of transformation in agricultural and food systems.  We will also examine new alternative approaches to addressing some of the challenges and contradictions in agro-food systems including – organic farming, local food movements, community supported agriculture, fair trade, ethical consumption, producer organization and alternative sustainable development.  

In our analysis of agro-food restructuring we will examine key current issues and debates from a variety of perspectives and points of view.  Topics will include:  the “green revolution” and its socio-economic impacts; the genetic engineering debate; hunger and inequality; biofuels and global food crisis; food safety and nutrition; the politics of food aid; neoliberal agrarian policies and smallholders; farm labor and social justice; land reform; the sustainable agriculture movement; agriculture and the environment; gender and agriculture; farm labor issues; and vertical integration and the loss of the family farm, among others.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe including: southeastern US, California, Iowa, Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and China, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class projects & activities; invited guest speakers; films and student research paper presentations.

LAS 388 • Gender And Migration

41000 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 500pm-800pm CLA 4.106
(also listed as GRG 396T, WGS 393 )
show description

After many decades of scholarship that virtually ignored gender, scholars increasingly have come to recognize the highly gendered nature of migration and its multiple outcomes.  Gender analysis is critical to migration studies, not only because of the gendered nature of mobility and labor, but also because it is the key social construct upon which we organize our lives and society.  Men and women experience, negotiate, reconstitute, enact and respond to migration in deeply different ways, even within the same family and community. Understanding these differences, across multiple scales in diverse places, is important to gauge the uneven impacts of migration.  In this course we seek to:  1) discern the distinct forms  in which men and women experience, negotiate, resist, enact and adapt to migration and current neoliberal practices often underlying (im)mobilities, as well as the sources of these differences; 2) comprehend how migration has unevenly reshaped various facets of life for immigrants and their families –  such as material accumulation and consumption, desires, aspirations, division of labor, mobility,  power relations, responsibilities, inclusion, exclusion and identity across gender, place and scale; 4) To examine, critically, current migration and development discourse and policy in light of the  specificities and differences of  place, scale, gender and race/ethnicity in envisaging future alternatives.

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global gender and  migration from an interdisciplinary social science perspective, but with a strong emphasis on the work of feminist geographers.  In particular feminist geographies of migration pay close attention to dimensions such as the spatialities and social constructions of power; the politics of scale; gender divisions of mobility and labor; geographies of responsibility and care; critical theorizations of space and place; indentities; emotion and affect; situated knowledges, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class and  student research paper presentations.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe, however the course will have a heavy Latin America/US migration orientation.

LAS 330 • Global Food, Farming, & Hunger

40250 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BEN 1.104
(also listed as GRG 344K )
show description

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global agro-food systems from a social science perspective. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, we will explore recent changes in agricultural production, markets, networks and consumption in both industrialized and developing nations. We will seek to unravel the current paradox of growing global disparities, that is, why more people are going hungry in the world while obesity has reached a historical high – threatening to shorten life expectancies (unprecedented in the era of modern medical science).  Globalization, particularly the tensions between the “global” and “local” will be an overarching theme threaded throughout the course.  In particular, we will examine the contentious nature and contradictions embedded within “agricultural development,” – particularly processes of “modernization” and the neoliberalization of agricultural policy, development, trade, consumption and desires.  We seek to comprehend these global processes, but also to explore them at a local level to understand the “real life” human dimensions of transformation in agricultural and food systems.  We will also examine new alternative approaches to addressing some of the challenges and contradictions in agro-food systems including – organic farming, local food movements, community supported agriculture, fair trade, ethical consumption, producer organization and alternative sustainable development.  

In our analysis of agro-food restructuring we will examine key current issues and debates from a variety of perspectives and points of view.  Topics will include:  the “green revolution” and its socio-economic impacts; the genetic engineering debate; hunger and inequality; biofuels and global food crisis; food safety and nutrition; the politics of food aid; neoliberal agrarian policies and smallholders; farm labor and social justice; land reform; the sustainable agriculture movement; agriculture and the environment; gender and agriculture; farm labor issues; and vertical integration and the loss of the family farm, among others.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe including: southeastern US, California, Iowa, Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and China, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class projects & activities; invited guest speakers; films and student research paper presentations.

LAS 388 • Gender And Migration

40470 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 500pm-800pm GRG 408
(also listed as GRG 396T, WGS 393 )
show description

After many decades of scholarship that virtually ignored gender, scholars increasingly have come to recognize the highly gendered nature of migration and its multiple outcomes.  Gender analysis is critical to migration studies, not only because of the gendered nature of mobility and labor, but also because it is the key social construct upon which we organize our lives and society.  Men and women experience, negotiate, reconstitute, enact and respond to migration in deeply different ways, even within the same family and community. Understanding these differences, across multiple scales in diverse places, is important to gauge the uneven impacts of migration.  In this course we seek to:  1) discern the distinct forms  in which men and women experience, negotiate, resist, enact and adapt to migration and current neoliberal practices often underlying (im)mobilities, as well as the sources of these differences; 2) comprehend how migration has unevenly reshaped various facets of life for immigrants and their families –  such as material accumulation and consumption, desires, aspirations, division of labor, mobility,  power relations, responsibilities, inclusion, exclusion and identity across gender, place and scale; 4) To examine, critically, current migration and development discourse and policy in light of the  specificities and differences of  place, scale, gender and race/ethnicity in envisaging future alternatives.

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global gender and  migration from an interdisciplinary social science perspective, but with a strong emphasis on the work of feminist geographers.  In particular feminist geographies of migration pay close attention to dimensions such as the spatialities and social constructions of power; the politics of scale; gender divisions of mobility and labor; geographies of responsibility and care; critical theorizations of space and place; indentities; emotion and affect; situated knowledges, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class and  student research paper presentations.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe, however the course will have a heavy Latin America/US migration orientation.

LAS 388 • Gender And Migration

40810 • Spring 2011
Meets TH 400pm-700pm GRG 408
(also listed as GRG 396T, WGS 393 )
show description

After many decades of scholarship that virtually ignored gender, scholars increasingly have come to recognize the highly gendered nature of migration and its multiple outcomes.  Gender analysis is critical to migration studies, not only because of the gendered nature of mobility and labor, but also because it is the key social construct upon which we organize our lives and society.  Men and women experience, negotiate, reconstitute, enact and respond to migration in deeply different ways, even within the same family and community. Understanding these differences, across multiple scales in diverse places, is important to gauge the uneven impacts of migration.  In this course we seek to:  1) discern the distinct forms  in which men and women experience, negotiate, resist, enact and adapt to migration and current neoliberal practices often underlying (im)mobilities, as well as the sources of these differences; 2) comprehend how migration has unevenly reshaped various facets of life for immigrants and their families –  such as material accumulation and consumption, desires, aspirations, division of labor, mobility,  power relations, responsibilities, inclusion, exclusion and identity across gender, place and scale; 4) To examine, critically, current migration and development discourse and policy in light of the  specificities and differences of  place, scale, gender and race/ethnicity in envisaging future alternatives.

 

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global gender and  migration from an interdisciplinary social science perspective, but with a strong emphasis on the work of feminist geographers.  In particular feminist geographies of migration pay close attention to dimensions such as the spatialities and social constructions of power; the politics of scale; gender divisions of mobility and labor; geographies of responsibility and care; critical theorizations of space and place; indentities; emotion and affect; situated knowledges, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class and  student research paper presentations.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe, however the course will have a heavy Latin America/US migration orientation. 

Migration Courses

UGS 302 - Latina/o Migration Narratives (Undergraduate)

This course explores the Latino migration experience through migrant stories, or narratives, as documented through testimonial literature, (auto)-biography, ethnography, novels, film, photography and art. We will examine both individual and collective representations of the lived experience of migrants, and situate them within broader current social, political, cultural and economic immigration debates.

Migration is among the most pressing and controversial issues of our time. Examining migration through stories, which are expressions of everyday life experiences by the actors themselves, places a human face on the highly contested issue that is prominent in the public arena. This approach enables students to understand how international, domestic and local policy and practice reshape the life experiences of migrants, and how they in turn respond, negotiate, resist and attempt to access opportunities. 

GRG 396T/WGS 393/LAS 388 - Gender and Migration (Graduate)

After many decades of scholarship that virtually ignored gender, scholars increasingly have come to recognize the highly gendered nature of migration and its multiple outcomes.  Gender analysis is critical to migration studies, not only because of the gendered nature of mobility and labor, but also because it is the key social construct upon which we organize our lives and society.  Men and women experience, negotiate, reconstitute, enact and respond to migration in deeply different ways, even within the same family and community. Understanding these differences, across multiple scales in diverse places, is important to gauge the uneven impacts of migration.  In this course we seek to:  1) discern the distinct forms  in which men and women experience, negotiate, resist, enact and adapt to migration and current neoliberal practices often underlying (im)mobilities, as well as the sources of these differences; 2) comprehend how migration has unevenly reshaped various facets of life for immigrants and their families –  such as material accumulation and consumption, desires, aspirations, division of labor, mobility,  power relations, responsibilities, inclusion, exclusion and identity across gender, place and scale; 4) To examine, critically, current migration and development discourse and policy in light of the  specificities and differences of  place, scale, gender and race/ethnicity in envisaging future alternatives.

This course focuses on contemporary transformations in global gender and  migration from an interdisciplinary social science perspective, but with a strong emphasis on the work of feminist geographers.  In particular feminist geographies of migration pay close attention to dimensions such as the spatialities and social constructions of power; the politics of scale; gender divisions of mobility and labor; geographies of responsibility and care; critical theorizations of space and place; indentities; emotion and affect; situated knowledges, among others.  We will approach topics through a variety of methods including critical readings of academic, ethnographic and more popular texts; seminar discussions (both instructor and student facilitated); in-class and  student research paper presentations.  To illustrate current trends and processes we will examine case studies from different parts of the globe, however the course will have a heavy Latin America/US migration orientation. 

GRG 38143/LAS 388 - Mexican Migration Research Seminar (Graduate)

This course explores contemporary research on the “New Geography of Mexican Migration” to the US, with an emphasis on new origins and destinations, neoliberal restructuring and migration, rural transformation and migration, political and social citizenship,  indigenous migration, migration and development,“the left behind,” the gendered nature of migration and the relationship between internal and international migration, among other topics.  The seminar will take a “hands-on” approach, with students organizing and collaborating in 2-3 different interdisciplinary research teams.  Over the course of the semester, each team of researchers will engage in a major writing project -- specifically to analyze and prepare a publishable quality academic manuscript based on original qualitative and quantitative data from one of 2-3 different field studies.  These studies include: 1) Mexican migration from the Tierra Caliente region (Michoacán) to rural North Carolina; 2) Rural transformation & settlement in the US South; 3) Tourism-driven internal and new international migration in the Yucatan (Cancun & rural communities of Quintana Roo).  Within this context, students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of theoretical perspectives potentially relevant to their projects including:  global neoliberalization; transnationalism and transnational spaces; geographies of hope, fear and desire; feminist theory, citizenship, identity and subjectivity, actor/network theory, embodiment, subaltern studies and political ecology, as well as those identified by research teams.  In addition, we will also explore relevant methodological issues and approaches in migration research including: research design, quantitative/qualitative synergies and tensions, empirical/theoretical divisions, migrant narratives and critical ethnography,  cross-border collaborations, participatory appraisal, researcher  positionality and field work dilemmas, among others.  

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