In the last two decades the social sciences have become increasingly urban-biased. While cities, slums, skyscrapers and urban dwellers have crowded the stage, peasants and agricultural life have vanished from it. This course aims to bring agrarian societies back into scholarly attention. It examines agrarian societies in the modern era from a comparative historical and theoretical perspective. Topics to be investigated include : approaches to agrarian history and sociology; typologies of peasant societies and economies; ways in which forces of commercialization, industrialization and urbanization have been imprinting themselves on agrarian lives; systems of land tenure, moral economy debates, migration, peasant resistance and agency, and representations of agrarian societies or peasants in literature, film and other art.