Women inspect pigeonpea at flowering time in East Africa
(Source: ICRISAT, Flickr)

My name is Daniel Hartley and I’m an Assistant Professor in World Literatures at Durham University. This website is intended to gather material for an ongoing research project, provisionally entitled “Peasant Modernism: The Cultural Logic of Post-Capitalism,” on the figure of the peasant and contemporary re-peasantization movements. (For an account of how the project came about, see this post). Where modernity is usually associated with depeasantization – in which the peasant belongs to a pre-modern past that is overcome in the course of modern capitalist development – contemporary repeasantization movements (e.g., La Via Campesina) challenge this view of history. In their rejection of capitalist industrial agriculture, their fight for food sovereignty and land, peasants are fully contemporary global subjects. Accordingly, this project develops a theory of “peasant modernism.” It identifies the impasses of dominant discourses of modernity (on left and right), explores old and new modes of (aesthetic and political) peasant representation, and studies the grassroots decolonization of intellectual production. Peasant imaginaries, I claim, will be key to any “Green New Deal”.