Miaomiao Qi

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Cornell U.

Grant number

Gr. 10534

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Qi, Miaomiao (Cornell U.) "Reimagining Agrarian Futures: Gender, Labor, and Agroecology in China's Southwestern Peripheries"

Rural women from various ethnic minority groups in China’s southwestern peripheries are participating in a growing community-based agroecology network, contrasting with the region’s ongoing intensification of commercial farming and further incorporation into a broader capitalist economy. Within the network, women farmers conserve local crop varieties, establish community seed banks, and adopt agroecological practices that incorporate diverse cropping systems and restore cultural values and collective work into daily production. Given the trend of the feminization of agriculture in the region, these women’s agroecological practices are inspiring an agrarian future that conflicts with the state’s vision of agriculture modernization. This dissertation project explores rural women’s everyday lives and work and critically examines how their labor practices are shaped by and reshaping existing power relations within households and communities, and the new meanings and subjectivities formed around these practices. I thus plan to carry out multi-scalar research that explores the ways in which rural women’s labor practices intersect with local ecologies, intra-family relations, and community governance and examines the politics of possibilities in the context of China’s peripheries where there are distinct state-society dynamics. Data collection will involve participant observation, surveys, participatory visual methods, and in-depth interviews.