CEFO Archive


cefo-spring2014-212x300Ecophilosophy to change the world?
Subtitle: Ecophilosophies and sustainability
11-18 May 2014, Gdansk, Poland
CEFO/Baltic University/Global Environmental History

Subject: Eco-philosophy.
Credits: 7.5
Language: English
LEVEL: PhD from all academic disciplines and Master students.

The course examines philosophical ideas underlying the ways in which we have, and could in the future, confront environmental challenges. The students will examine the ontological and epistemological assumptions that influence perceptions and praxis of environmental and sustainability issues. The course is held in the marine research centre near Gdansk, Poland, where the students will be able to analyse ecophilosophical perspectives in general and in connection to their own research with a particular focus concerning the ocean and the Baltic Sea.
At the end of the course, the students will critically reflect on the course material in relation to their own research.

Main themes:
1. Historical overview of environmental thought and research.
2. Philosophical perspectives of the intersection between society and nature.
3. Normativity, power and agency of the nature-society intersection.
4. Views and realities of the ocean.
5. Integrating eco-philosophy in our own research.

To apply, email courseinfo@csduppsala.uu.se

The location for the course is the Hel Marine Station (Gdansk University). It is a collaboration with the Baltic Teachers Sailing course from the Baltic University Program (starting May 17) and the Global Environmental History Program.You can join the Teachers Sailing course. Also some of the teachers and PhD students participating in the Sailing course can participate in the CEFO course. You get separate certificate for each course.

Methodological Approaches to Interdisciplinary Research

CEFO-MAIR2013-Tatiana-212x3007.5 ECTS PhD course (Master students are welcome to participate)

27-31 May 2013

  • How does academia address the scientific and practical questions of sustainability?
  • What is the nature of science at the age of antropocene?
  • What are the ways to integrate multiple perspectives and insights without losing the depth and quality of scientific research?

The course aims to explore the nature of interdisciplinary research, its strategies, outcomes and implications, and to give students an opportunity to reflect on application of interdisciplinarity in their projects or fields of study.

To register for the course and for additional information, send an e-mail to tatiana.sokolova@csduppsala.uu.se and/or kristina.boreback@edu.su.se.

Master level students are welcome but will not receive credits for this course.

Cefo course autumn 2011

Critical Studies in the Development of Capitalism

Main Subject: Analysis, conceptualization and interpretation of Capitalism
University Credits: 7,5 ECTS
Level of Education: Doctorate
Other Levels: Open for C-D and Master Students in case that there is place
Grade: Passed/Failed
Language: English
Requiered Qualification: PhD students from Natural, Social or Human Sciences. C-D and MA students may be accepted (120 points)
Place: Centre for Environmental and Development Studies, Uppsala University, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16




Course’s background: The current developments of converging crises regarding labour, the financial system and the global ecology have meant new inquiries into and concerns about the historical development of capitalism. In this PhD course we will study and discuss current critical theoretical approaches to capitalism and its crises. Course participants will read, discuss and critically examine both old and new theoretical developments aimed at problematizing the specific and historical characteristics of the capitalist system.


Course timeframe:

October 1 – October 14: online part of the course (two weeks). Reading and discussion of course literature.

October 17 – October 20: in Uppsala (1 week of lectures and discussions in Uppsala)
Lectures and discussions include the following themes and speakers:

  • Media, Internet and Capitalism – Christian  Fuchs, Uppsala University
  • Capital Accumulation: Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,
  • The international Food Regime and the world System: Philip McMichael, Cornell University, USA
  • Capitalism, Ecology and Crises: Jason Moore, Umeå University Sweden
  • Gender and capitalism – Seema Arora Jonsson , Swedish University of agricultural sciences
  • Patterns of capitalist accumulation in southern Latin America 1950-1985, Gloria Gallardo. CEFO
  • Conceptualizing capitalism, Cristian Alarcón, SLU and CEFO


21 October: land grabbing workshop (part of the course)

24 October- 15 November: online part of the course (3 weeks)

Total: 6 weeks


Aims of the course:

The aims of the course are:

  • To expose students from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities conceptual and theoretical approaches to capitalism in order to understand the current interactions between capitalism and crises. Within this context a first goal of the course is to discuss different definitions and conceptualization of capitalism. This will be done through readings and discussion of a selection of texts by both proponents and critics of capitalism.
  • To give students the possibility of gaining a comprehensive overview to historical and current interdisciplinary critical approaches to capitalism. In this regard the course will also examine different views on capitalism and so students will be able to compare and discuss such views with the critical views dealt with in the course.
  • To give students analytical tools in the understanding of capitalism from a critical point of view. Therefore, during the course lectures will give several approaches to science, power structures and political formations with a focus on how are those understood under capitalism. One important objective of the course is to discuss what makes capitalism a historically specific different form of organizing production and consumption.
  • An additional aim is to assemble researchers and doctoral students from various areas and create a network of researchers interested in the socio-ecological dimensions of capitalism.


The course is divided into three parts.

  • The first part consists of students’ individual readings of the course’s literature.
  • The second part consists of online and distance work to be organised at Cemus web page. In this part of the course students will comments and discuss the course’s readings and deal with conceptual issues regarding the analysis and interpretations of capitalism in general and specific themes within the analysis of capitalism.
  • The third part consists of an intensive week of lectures, seminars and workshops held at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS), Uppsala. These lectures will address among others issues the following issues associated wit the understanding of capitalism: Ecology, Labour, Uneven Development, Gender Issues.
  • Students will write their own individual papers linking the knowledge obtained during the course to their own research projects. The papers will be submitted by students in the final part of the course. The course participants will be examined by their participation in lectures, seminars and workshops and by the evaluation of their papers. Examiners are PhDs from CEFO research forum.

Expected results and learning outcomes:

The course is expected to provide students critical, theoretical and practical understandings of key concepts and issues regarding the analysis of capitalism from a critical point of view. Furthermore, such a conceptual background is expected to be used in order to bridge disciplinary differences and to create a common base/ language that facilitate interdisciplinary research through interaction, shared learning, and problem discussion. By acquiring knowledge about different concepts and theories used in the critical approach to capitalism students are expected to discuss current crises in the world and to be able to get own positions regarding the usefulness and relevance of critical approaches to capitalism.


The course has been designed as an interdisciplinary PhD course for PhD and Master students.

Form of study:

The course is designed in a form that students will have individual reading days from October 1 2011. Class lectures, discussions and seminars will take place between October 17 and October 21 in Uppsala.


Students have to write and deliver an essay or paper related to the student own research or interests with a focus on capitalism. Such essays or papers should be presented in a seminar where other students can formulate questions and comments. Students have to comment and present another paper or essay. The paper should be written in the form of a dissertation chapter or article for publication in a scientific journal.

Course coordinator:
PhD Candidate, Cristián Alarcón Ferrari,
cristian-alarcon.ferrari@slu.se, Phone: 018-471 7213

Literature: to be given to students participants

Cefo course autumn 2010

Human-Animal Studies: Representations and Practices

Doctoral course, 7, 5 ECTS/hp, Uppsala 6/12-10/12 2010.

Place: Cemus, CSD, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, and Center for Gender Research,
Thunbergsv 3 H, Uppsala

The course aims to introduce the growing interdisciplinary field of Human-Animal Studies – for short, Animal Studies – that explores human-animal relations in society, science, theory and culture. The course emphasis is on representations, understandings and practices. How are animals represented in visual culture, science and media, and what implications do these representations have for our understanding of and relation to other animals, ourselves and to the world? What kind of categorization, inclusion and exclusion do images, narratives and practices do? How do we project norms and ideas about sex, gender, mind, race, nation and family on other animals? How do we classify, make hierarchies, include and exclude different species in different places and spaces? What kinds of societal structures, ideas, values and ethical frameworks guide our
relations to other species and what are the relations between theory and practice, when it comes to the question of “animal welfare” in agri/aquaculture and laboratory life? One overarching theme is the problematization of the traditional nature/culture dualism – and the corresponding animal/human – that has dominated, and still dominates western thought. Discourses on environment and sustainable development and discourses on animals have traditionally been relatively separated in academic disciplines and politics, and the course also aims to reflect on the connections between these discourses. The lecturers represent a diversity of disciplines – sociology, geography, evolutionary biology, educational science, ethics, philosophy – and the course aims at encouraging discussion and communication between students and teachers from different

Form: One week with full-time activities: Lectures, seminars, individual reading and writing, excursion, joint film analysis and workshop. The students are expected to take part actively in the lectures and seminars. The last day the students present their ideas for an individually or co-written paper and comment on each other’s ideas. The students choose their subjects in relation to the course content and, optional, to their own doctoral thesis. The participants will be assessed by their active participation in lectures, seminars and workshops and by their paper, which will be handed in within four weeks (January 10).

Qualifications: PhD students from all disciplines. Master students may be accepted.

Course plan, schedule, literature 2010-12-03

For more information, please contact course coordinator Anna Samuelsson

CEFO course spring 2010

Action Research Action Learning- Social Learning in Nature-Society Relations

Doctoral Course, spring 2009 (May/June)
(Credits: 4 ECTS)

ARALIG is a Nordic network of PhD researchers, academics and others with an interested in Action Research in the context of Social Learning in Nature-Society Relations. Following the success of the last three course/workshops held by the network in Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands, the fourth PhD course/workshop is being planned for Uppsala Sweden in Spring 2010.

Read more

Contact the course coordinator: Christian Alarcon Ferrari

CEFO course autumn 2009

Representing Animals, Nature and Environment in Visual Culture

Doctoral course. 7,5 ECTS

September 28th to October 2nd, 2009

Images both shape and mirror our relation to the world. The aim of this course is to analyze representations of “nature” in visual media and their possible implications for sustainable development. What kind of categorisation, inclusion and exclusion do images do? How are the connections between people and other species represented? What does it mean to have our relationships to animals mediated by representations? In recent theory representations often have been criticised for conveying “the white man’s gaze”, i.e that it always has been the western man who has defined and framed “them” – the Other. Is this critique still relevant? Can the concept of stereotyping also be applied to species and entities other than human, and if so, what are the implications regarding human-animal relations and sustainability? The course draws on the fields of Animal Studies, Visual Culture and Environmental Studies.

The theoretical point of departure is that we all, also scientists, understand, interpret and
analyse the world trough values, concepts, categories and metaphors that change culturally and historically. The nature/culture-dualism as well as related dualisms such as animal/human, nature/society and ecology/economy will be discussed, drawing on the fields of animal studies, visual culture and environmental studies.

Aim of the course:

• To give the students theoretical and conceptual tools for critically analyzing and reflect
on representations of animals, nature and environment in visual culture, with focus on
nature-film, photography and exhibitions, drawing on the interdisciplinary fields of
Animal Studies, Environmental Studies and Visual Culture.
• To increase the understanding of how visual media shape and mirror our relation to
nature and to sustainable development.
• To combine “animal” and “environmental” perspectives – two discourses that have been
relatively separated so far both in theory and practice. This is a process within the course.
• To introduce students in recent discussions and concepts in animal-, environmental- and
visual studies, like representation and antro- and andropocentric stereotyping.

The course includes a public panel discussion with photographer Mattias Klum on October 1st 2009: “Nature through a Photographer’s lens – Perspectives on Images, Animals and Environment” 16-18, Hambergsalen, CSD, Geocentrum. Discussants: Måns Andersson (Evolutionary Biology, Animal Studies), Helena Pedersen (Educational Science, Animal Studies), Anna Samuelsson (Sociology, Museum Studies). Moderator: Anders Öckerman (Environmental History).

For more information, please contact course coordinator Anna SamuelssonGloria Gallardo or Margarita Cuadra.

IMPORTANT: See here the instructions for the course Seminars, updated course plan, literature list and schedule.

Courses autumn 2008

Climate Change; Science, Power and Politics 10 ECTS

Current research on climate change indicates that the social transformations required to face the coming challenges need to include approaches to science, power structures and political formations. The purpose of the course Climate Change; Science, Power and Politics is to give research students a possibility to gain a comprehensive overview to current interdisciplinary approaches to climate change. An additional aim is to assemble researchers and doctoral stu-dents from various areas and create an international network of researchers interested in the socio-ecological dimensions of climate change. The course is open for doctoral students at the faculty, from other faculties and from other universities. A joint course on climate change provides a good opportunity for the faculty to establish an interdisciplinary teaching/research profile towards issues of climate change and as far as we are aware this is the first time a doc-toral course on climate change will be given at the faculty.

The course is divided into tree parts. The first part consists of students individual preparation by the reading of the course materials. The second part consists of an intensive week of lec-tures, seminars and workshops held at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS), Uppsala. After this, students will write their own individual papers discussing current interdisciplinary research and policies and measures of climate change both at the local and global level. The papers will be ventilated in the final part of the course which is based on seminars with student paper presentations. The course participants will be examined by their participation in lectures, seminars and workshops and by the compilation of their examination paper. The paper will be assessed by using SOLO-taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome), where the level of an extended abstract response to interdisciplinary re-search and policies to climate change will be anticipated.

The background of the course participants may vary. We would like to target students with different backgrounds and research interests with the course, although it will be necessary that their research interests and projects deal with issues concerning climate. Expected students are or will be associated with CEMUS Research Forum (Cefo) which incorporates PhD students from several departments within the faculty, from other faculties within the University and from the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU), Ultuna (see http://www.cemus.uu.se/cefo/
cefokontakt.html). From experience we know that our doctoral courses attract students na-tionally and sometimes internationally. In order to allow the integration of students from vari-ous backgrounds the first part of the course will aim at developing a joint background and nomenclature by the reading of course materials.

For further information or registration, please contact:

PhD Candidate. Cristián Alarcón Ferrari (Department of Urban and Rural Development, SLU)

see schedule

Courses spring 2008

An enquiry into environmental research and analysis 3.75 ECTS

The purpose of the course is to strengthen student’s familiarity with reading and understanding major theories and debates that inspire and inform environmental research and analysis. The course is based on the reading of major works –classics as well as more recent contributions– that shape environmental research and analysis. Emphasis will be given to works addressing issues of inter-disciplinarity and sustainability. The course may attract interest from research students focusing on issues of environment and sustainability at several departments of the faculty. This is the first time the course will be given, but we plan to continue with the course on a yearly basis.

The course is based on the close-reading of prominent interdisciplinary studies on the socio-environmental interface. The discussion seminars will focus on assessing the analytical/explanatory capacity of the studies and their contribution to ongoing discussion and debate. In addition, students are demanded to select and read a book and present it by writing a short review (two pages Times New Roman, 12 p. 1 sp.) to be ventilated in a seminar. By this the student will practice in presenting a concise written synthesis of the main contributions of a study. The paper will be assessed by using SOLO-taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome), where the level of an extended abstract response to interdisciplinary research on the socio-environmental interface will be anticipated.

With this course we would like to target students with different backgrounds and research interests. Expected students are or will be associated with CEMUS Research Forum (Cefo) which incorporates PhD students from several departments within the faculty, from other faculties within the University and from the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU), Ultuna (see http://www.cemus.uu.se/cefo/cefokontakt.html). In addition we expect that the course might serve as an introduction to students that are interested in becoming associated to Cefo and want to know more about the activities at the research forum.

The main responsibility for the course will be at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS) Research Forum (Cefo) (http://www.cemus.uu.se/cefo).

For further information or registration:
Fredrik Karlsson
Gloria Gallardo

Course literature

Harvey, D. 1996. Justice, Nature & the Geography of Difference. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.

Optional (choose one)
IPCC 2007. Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
Hornborg, A. 2001. The Power of the Machine. New York: Altamira Press.

Otional for book reviews (students may suggest other literature for the book review)
Bruntland, G. (ed.) 1987. Our common future: The World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carson, R. 1962. Silent Spring. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Meadows, D. H., Meadows, D. L., Randers J. & Behrens III, W. W. 1972. The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind. New York: Signet.
Norgaard, R. N. 1994. Development Betrayed: The End of Progress and a Coevolutionary Revisioning of the Future. London: Routledge.
Schumacher, E. F. 1973. Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered. London: Blond & Briggs (republished by Hartley & Marks in 1999).


Date, time. Venue, activity, title

080509, 11-13. Cemus seminarierummet. Seminar 1, Harvey, D. 1996. Justice, Nature & the Geography of Difference. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
080520, 10.00-12. Norrland I. Seminar 2, Harvey, D. 1996. Justice, Nature & the Geography of Difference. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
080520, 13.00-16. Norrland II Lecture, Alf Hornborg on the Power of the Machine and Harvey, D. 1996. Justice, nature and the Geography of difference (see abstract)
080521, 10-12. Cemus seminarierummet. Seminar, Hornborg, A. 2001. The Power of the Machine. New York: Altamira Press.
080521, 13-15. Cemus seminarierummet. Seminar, IPCC 2007. Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
080605, 15-17. Cemus seminarierummet. Book review seminar

Previous doctoral courses

Autumn 2007

Research Methodologies and Interdisciplinarity (7.5 ECTS)
Doctoral Course, autumn 2007 (Oct. /Nov.)

Course description


Course plan


Today’s globalised societies put scientists in front of complex social and environmental problems that require to be addressed in an interdisciplinary way. What are the methods we use when we do social and natural science, and what is the philosophy behind them. What is the nature of quantitative and qualitative methodology, of natural and social sciences? What does it mean to work in an interdisciplinary way? What are the interdisciplinary methods? What are the advantages and disadvantages of interdisciplinary research?

The course Research Methodologies and Interdisciplinary seeks to expose students coming from natural, social sciences and the humanities to a common conceptual background in order to bridge disciplinary differences; to create a common base and language that facilitate interdisciplinary research through interaction, shared learning, and problem discussion; to make course participants aware of  the historical background of the modern conception of science and its basic philosophical premises as well as the difference between natural sciences and social sciences; to acquire knowledge about different quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches; to expose students to a selection of methods which are used to assess resource use, environmental impact and ecological sustainability from a natural sciences point of view and to get insight into interdisciplinary thinking, theory and practice. The course is given in English.
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Contact persons: Gloria Gallardo

Spring 2007

Political Ecology – A Critical Introduction

Political Ecology

The course, Political Ecology – a Critical Introduction, presents a critical survey of the burgeoning field of political ecology, an interdisciplinary area of research which connects politics and economy to problems of environmental control and ecological change.  Further, the course review the historical development of the field, explain what is distinctive about political ecology and considers the major challenges facing the field now and for the future.
7.5 ECTS (5p), spring 2007
The course will be given in English.
Course page 
Contact person: Erika Bjureby

Ekokritik – att läsa för en hållbar värld 
Litteraturens betydelse för förståelsen av relationen mellan människa och natur.

Ekokritik är ett nytt och tvärvetenskapligt forskningsfält. Ett centralt tema för ekokritiken är relationen mellan text, natur och kultur. Kursen fokuserar på analyser av skönlitteratur (och andra typer av texter, t.ex. film) utifrån ett ekologiskt perspektiv.
5p (7.5 ETCS), våren 2007
Kontaktpersoner: Sven SchulzPetra Hansson

Autumn 2006
Developmental theories

Course design and instructions
Invitation to workshop

Autumn 05- Spring 06 Genus, miljö och utveckling

Autumn 05 Africa and the World, SchemaKursbeskrivning

Autumn 05 Ekokritik: naturen i litteraturen

Autumn 04 Tvärvetenskapens problem och metoder

Autumn 04 Religion och ekologi

Spring 04 African environmental and development history

Spring 04 Changes in Climate and Society

Autumn 03 Ekokritik: studier i miljö- och utvecklingslitteratur

Autumn 03 Sustainable Development and the Significance of Place

Autumn 03 Naturvetenskapliga världsbilder

Spring 03: Miljö- och utvecklingsstudier. Analys och teori.

Spring 03: Miljöklassiker – studier i miljö- och utvecklingslitteratur

Autumn 02: Miljöhistoria: Narration, teori och metod med inriktning på människan och landskapet