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‘The Political Ecology of Pandemics’ – Call for applications, Ph.D. course

Call for applications, Ph.D. course: ‘The Political Ecology of Pandemics’ 

Date: 9 – 11 August, 2021 

Venue: Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, Norway 

Organised by:  Centre for Development and the Environment, The Norwegian Political Ecology Network (POLLEN-Norway) and the Norwegian Researcher School in Environmental Humanities (NoRS-EH),  

Application deadline: 15 March, 2021 (Application form). 

The objective of this interdisciplinary PhD course is to critically approach the relationship between food production and food consumption and pandemics in an environmental perspective. This involves addressing issues like the links between global food and fodder production and the transformation of rural areas. Against this backdrop the course will address questions such as:  

  • What are the relations between the global food system and pandemics? 
  • How can perspectives from political ecology and environmental humanities contribute to new ways of thinking about non-humans in the relationship between food production and pandemic entanglements? 
  • How have local and national environmental histories shaped and been shaped by industrial systems for food production (and meat in particular), and what are the consequences for animal and human health, welfare and wellbeing at large? 
  • How are food production systems organized in terms of labor and how do workers in industrial food production cope with pandemic outbreaks and their aftermaths?    

Students will 

  • Obtain a nuanced understanding of the links between food production and -consumption and pandemics both empirically and theoretically;     
  • Be well acquainted with the major theoretical and empirical approaches to studying food production and consumption at local, national and global levels;     
  • Engage in critical discussion, become acquainted with the work of others on food production and food consumption and build networks within their chosen field of research.     


Who may apply? 

The interdisciplinary nature of the course will be most suitable for doctoral students engaging with different disciplines within the social sciences – such as anthropology, sociology, political science, geography, and development studies, as well as doctoral students working within the various branches of environmental humanities. 

Doctoral students will be prioritized, although other applicants may be considered if space permits.     

Application procedures and funding 

Please visit our website or consult the attached course document for information about application procedures and funding. Course applications are accepted from 11 January until 15 March, 2021.  

An early application is highly recommended due to space constraints. Should you have any practical enquiries, please do not hesitate to email the course secretariat at

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