There were thirteen participants from around the world, including Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Peru and the United States, and they were joined at various times by Community Economies Research Network (CERN) members Christian Anderson, Jenny Cameron, Gay Hawkins and Anisah Madden.
The six-day course started with an exploration of different reading techniques (genealogy, deconstruction and queering), and moved on to consider ways of reframing the economy, and theorising subjects and community.
Commoning was also a theme for one of the days, and this included fieldwork on various commons sites adjacent to the Parramatta venue where the Summer School was held.
On the final day, participants presented on what the Summer School had contributed to how they were thinking about their research projects, and there were presentations on diverse topics including household plastic politics in Australia; seed-saving in Japan; the intersection of discourses and practices of water in the everyday lives of communities around Barrick's Pierina gold mine in the Peruvian Andes; and precarity and adaptation strategies in the lives of small-scale fishers in Western contexts.
Participants from the Summer School also joined in the one-day launch of the Beyond Business as Usual research report; and four scholars from the Summer School (Verónica Jiménez, Rishika Mukhopadhyay, Dan Santos and Matthew Scobie) were part of the concluding panel on The Feral MBA with Kate Rich.
One participant said “It was a great privilege to be part of the Summer School. The different ideas and theories we discussed will definitely have an impact on my own research, and I feel I’m taking home with me thinking tools that will be valuable for life.”
Others noted how the Summer School was “a great space to find and build a researcher community.” This researcher community was put to good use on the final day when the temperature hit 41° Celsius and the group headed to the beach to celebrate the conclusion of the Summer School.
For more information contact Dr Stephen Healy at Stephen.Healy@westernsydney.edu.au.