Keynote speakers

We are very pleased to announce our keynote speakers for the Development Days 2018 conference: Jesse RibotSian Sullivan and Jun Borras. You can read abstracts of their keynote speeches here.

JESSE RIBOT is Professor of Geography, Anthropology and Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois, where he is affiliated with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Women and Gender in Global Perspective program, and he directs the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy Program. Before 2008, he worked at the World Resources Institute, taught in the Urban Studies and Planning department at MIT and was a fellow at the Department of Politics of The New School for Social Research, Agrarian Studies at Yale University, the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture at Rutgers, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Woodrow Wilson Center and Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Most recently, he has been a fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences and an affiliate of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University and of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. Ribot is an Africanist studying local democracy, resource access and social vulnerability.


JUN BORRAS is Professor of Agrarian Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague and a fellow of the Transnational Institute (TNI), Amsterdam. He used to be part of the international peasant and farmers’ movement, La Via Campesina, during the earlier years of formation of the movement. He continues to engage with various progressive transnational agrarian, environmental and food sovereignty movements. He is currently the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Peasant Studies. He has helped in initiating the formation of international networks of engaged researchers on a number of themes, including the Emancipatory Rural Politics InitiativesInitiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies BRICS Initiatives for Critical Agrarian Studies and Land Deal Politics Initiatives . He coordinates an NWO/DFID-funded research project (2014-2018) that brings together academic researchers and grassroots activists exploring the intersection of climate change mitigation politics, land grabbing and resource conflict in Myanmar and Cambodia.


SIAN SULLIVAN is an environmental anthropologist and political ecologist working at the intersections between culture, nature and finance, with the objective of supporting just and equitable environmental policies. Since 1992, and through a longstanding collaboration with the Namibian NGO Save the Rhino Trust, she has conducted ethnographic and ecological research in north-west Namibia. Currently she is Professor of Environment and Culture in the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University and Principal Investigator for two UK Arts and Humanities Research Council projects (Future Pasts and Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts).