AHARON DE GRASSI
Tel: +1 8312477486
PhD, 2015, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley. Dissertation: Provisional Reconstructions: Geo-Histories of Infrastructure and Agrarian Configuration in Malanje, Angola.
MPhil, 2004, Development Studies, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Dissertation: The Poverty of New Institutional Economics: Sharecropping in Ghana, and the Problems with Economic Theories of Agrarian Institutions.
BA, 2000, Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Summa Cum Laude & Departmental Highest Distinction. Thesis: Development Struggles: How Much do Post-Development Accounts Reveal about a Green Revolution Project in Africa in the Late Twentieth Century?
Lecturer, Geography Department, San Jose State University (2019-present)
Lecturer, Geography Department, Chabot College, Hayward (2019)
Research Associate, Anthropology Department, University of California, Santa Cruz (2017-2019)
Post-Doctoral Associate, Yale University, Program in Agrarian Studies, New Haven (2015-2016)
Instructor, University of California, Berkeley, Dept. of Geography (2015)
Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, Berkeley (2007; 2013)
Research Consultant, Biological Systems Consulting, for the African Union (2019)
Research Consultant, ActionAid International, Johannesburg/Berkeley (2010)
Research Consultant, Int’l Institute for Environment and Development, London (2005-2007)
Research Consultant, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC (2006)
Research Assistant & Consultant, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton (2003-2005)
Research Consultant, Overseas Development Institute, London (2004)
Research Intern, Network of West African Peasant Organizations, Ouagadougou (2003)
Research Consultant, World Resources Institute, Accra (2001-2002)
Research Intern, World Resources Institute (Governance Program), Washington DC (2001)
Office Assistant, American Council on Voluntary Int’l Action, Washington DC (2001)
Research Intern, Institute for Food and Development Policy, Oakland (1998-2001)
Research Apprentice, Study on Globalization and Development, UC Berkeley (1999-2000)
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
(2018) ‘Beyond Gatekeeper Spatial Metaphors of the State in Africa: Relational Geo-Histories of Angola,’ Third World Thematics 3(3): 398-418.
(2018) ‘Changing Paths and Histories: Mapping Pre-Colonial Connections in Africa,’ Radical History Review 131 (May): 169-175.
(2017) ‘Trajectories of Large-Scale Land Dynamics in Angola: History, Diversity, and Policy Implications for the Political Economy of Development in Africa,’ Land Use Policy 67 (September): 115-125. [primary author, with Jesse Ovadia].
(2015) ‘Rethinking the 1961 Baixa de Kassanje Revolt: Towards a Relational Geo-History of Angola,’ Mulemba: Revista Angolana de Ciências Sociais [Angolan Journal of Social Sciences] 5(10): 53-133.
(2008) ‘ “Neopatrimonialism” and African Agricultural Development: Contributions and Limitations of a Contested Concept,’ African Studies Review 51(3): 107-133.
(2007) ‘Envisioning Futures of African Agriculture: Representation, Power and Socially Constituted Time,’ Progress in Development Studies 7(2): 79-98.
Other Journal Articles
(2018) ‘The Work of Gerald J. Bender: An Appreciation,’ LASO Newsletter [Lusophone African Studies Organization], November, pp. 5-6, 13.
(2005) ‘Transport, Poverty, and Agrarian Change in Africa: Models, Mechanisms and New Ways Forward’, IDS Bulletin 36(2): 52-57.
(2005) ‘Special Issue: New Directions for African Agriculture,’ IDS Bulletin 36(2) [Co-Editor with Ian Scoones, Stephen Devereux and Lawrence Haddad].
(2001) ‘(Mis)Understanding Agro-Environmental Change in Africa,’ Berkeley Undergraduate Journal 27: 1-55.
In progress, Amílcar Cabral: Dialectical Agronomist and African Leader, largely complete manuscript.
In progress, The Green Revolution in Africa: Agricultural Technology, Society and Development, largely complete manuscript.
(2003) ‘(Mis)Understanding Change in Agro-Environmental Technology in Africa: Charting and Refuting the Myth of Population-Induced Breakdown,’ in T. Zeleza and I. Kakoma (eds), In Search of Modernity: Science and Technology in Africa, Trenton: Africa World Press, 473-505.
(2018) ‘South Africa c.1890’ and ‘Eastern Cape c.1890’, for Elizabeth Thornberry, Colonizing Consent: Rape and Governance in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, 1820-1927, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(2018) ‘Water and African Liberation: The 1961 Kassanje Revolt,’ in Water: An Atlas, Oakland, Guerrilla Cartography.
(2017) ‘Ndongo ca.1550,’ ‘Portuguese Angola & Ndongo ca.1622,’ ‘Portuguese Angola & Ndongo ca.1649,’ and ‘Portuguese Angola & Ndongo-Matamba ca.1663,’ in Linda Heywood, Njinga of Angola: Africa’s Warrior Queen, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
(2008) ‘Mapping Corporate Connections at Cal,’ in Cal Disorientation, Oakland: Bay Area Alternative Press.
(2015) Provisional Reconstructions: Geo-Histories of Infrastructure and Agrarian Configuration in Malanje, Angola, PhD Dissertation, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, August 15, 461 pp.
(2010) HungerFree Scorecard 2010: Who’s Really Fighting Hunger, Johannesburg: ActionAid International [contributor, Jo Walker primary author].
(2008) ‘Who Runs Our University? Meet “The Regents”’ and ‘Democratizing the Regents: Past, Present & Future,’ in 2008 Dis-Orientation Guide to UC Berkeley, Oakland: Bay Area Alternative Press, pp. 11-12.
(2007) Linking Research and Policy: The Case of Ghana’s Rice Trade Policy, Draft Ghana Strategy Support Program Background Paper No. 10, Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute, 60 pp.
(2005) Feeding Tomorrow: Evaluating the Potential of Agro-Ecology, Report to the United Kingdom Food Group, London, June, 115 pp.
(2004) ‘Food Security Options in Mozambique: One Country, Two Worlds?’ London: Forum for Food Security in Southern Africa, Overseas Development Institute, Country Food Security Options Paper No. 3, 58 pp [with Steven Wiggins].
(2004) Biotechnology, Hunger and Poverty in Africa: Assessing Gains from GE Crops, in Fact Sheets on Biotechnology and Biosafety, Consumers International-Africa, Harare, pp. 6-7.
(2004) ‘Ghana: Loggers and Politicians, not Small Farmers, are to Blame for Deforestation’, World Rainforest Movement Bulletin 85: 12-13.
(2003) ‘Public Sector Crop Breeding: Which Public?’ Seedling, July: 18-21 [with Peter Rosset].
(2003) Genetically Modified Crops and Sustainable Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Assessment of Current Evidence, Accra: Third World Network-Africa, 82 pp.
(2003) ‘Constructing Subsidiarity, Consolidating Hegemony: Political Economy and Agro-Ecological Processes in Ghanaian Forestry,’ Environmental Governance in Africa Working Paper No. 13, Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 34 pp.
Other Papers & Reports
(2019) ‘Ecological Organic Agriculture in Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique,’ Background Papers for Review for Biological Systems Consulting & Research, for the African Union review of Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa, August.
(2018) ‘From Imperial Separation to Comparative Typology: Max Weber’s Epistemology and Ties with the Colonization of Africa,’ paper for discussion in the Africa Research Workshop, Center for African Studies, University of California, Berkeley, October 31.
(2016) ‘Towards a Critical Geography of State Power in Africa: Configuring Agrarian Angola,’ Paper for the Yale Program in Agrarian Studies Colloquium, New Haven, April 15, 54 pp
(2015) ‘Conjunctures in Angola: Praxis and Provisional Reconstruction,’ paper for the workshop Challenges & Possibilities in Contemporary Angola, Stanford University, November 16, 41 pp.
(2012) ‘Geographies of Construction and Trajectories of Agrarian Change in Oil-Boom Angola,’ paper for the International Academic Conference on Global Land Grabbing II, Ithaca, Cornell University, October 17-19, 41 pp.
(2011) Hands that Feed: Power, Accountability and the Democratic Deficit in African Agricultural Policy Processes, Draft, London: International Institute for Environment and Development, 127 pp.
(2009) The 21st Century Strong Public University: A Proposal for the Reform of the Structure of the Board of Regents of the University of California, UCdemocracy.org, December 7, 56 pp & Appendices.
(2007) ‘Sometimes they Call us To Meetings’: The Political Economy of Agricultural Research and Policy Processes in Ghana, Report Submitted to the Development Strategy and Governance Division, Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute, 104 pp.
(2005) ‘Political Studies of African Agricultural Policy Processes, 1975-2005: Review, Critique, and Recommendations,’ Background Paper for the Agriculture Learning Consortium, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, 26 pp.
(2005) ‘Beyond Blueprints: Agricultural Transformations and Growth Linkages in Asia and Africa,’ Background Paper for the Agriculture Learning Consortium, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, 20 pp.
(2004) The Poverty of New Institutional Economics: Sharecropping in Ghana, and the Problems with Economic Theories of Agrarian Institutions, Masters of Philosophy Dissertation in Development Studies, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, 100 pp.
(2004) ‘Introducing Agricultural Technologies to Reduce Hunger and Poverty in Africa: A Framework for Evaluation,’ Paper submitted at the conference Hunger, Food Aid and GMOs, 15-16 July, Maputo, 26 pp.
(2003) The Green Revolution in Africa: Myths and Realities, draft book manuscript, Oakland: Institute for Food and Development Policy, 250 pp [with Peter Rosset].
(2003) ‘Genetically Modified Crops and Sustainable Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Empirical Assessment of Current Evidence,’ Paper presented at the International Working Meeting: Improving Food Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, Yaoundé, 5-9 May, 12 pp.
(2003) ‘Relations between Peasant Organizations and Agricultural Research Institutes: A Review with Application to ROPPA,’ Background Paper for the West African Network of Peasant and Producer Organizations, Ouagadougou, 77 pp.
(2003) ‘Advantages of Smallholder Family Agriculture for West African Development: A Review of Concepts,’ Background Paper for the West African Network of Peasant and Producer Organizations, Ouagadougou, 21 pp.
(2000) Development Struggles: How Much do Post-Development Accounts Reveal about a Classical Green Revolution Project in Africa in the Late Twentieth Century? [Ghana], Honors Thesis for Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies, Berkeley: International and Area Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, 200 pp.
(2019) Producing Lombe Junction: Oil Revenues, Roads, and Patterns of Reconstruction in Rural Post-War Angola, Center for African Studies Colloquium, University of California, Berkeley, September 19.
(2016) Presentation, Cuba and the Way Forward: USA, Angola, Latin America and Beyond Roundtable, African American Studies Department, Boston University, April 26.
(2012) A 21st Century African Neo-Geography Seen from a Malanje Furrow [in Portuguese, A Neo-Geografia Africana do Seculo XXI Vista desde uma Mubanga Malanjina], Friday Debate, Development Workshop, Luanda, April 27.
(2011) Agricultural Trade in Africa and Angola [in Portuguese, Comércio Agrário em Àfrica e Angola], Development Workshop, Luanda, January 18.
Panels & Events Organized
(2015) New Considerations of Labour, Power, and Resistance in Angolan History, with Contemporary Resonances in Africa (Co-Organizer), 6th European Conference of African Studies, July 8-10, University of Paris, Sorbonne.
(2012) Building Angola: Post-Conflict Reconstruction Beyond Luanda, African Studies Association 55th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, November 29 – December 2.
(2001) Assistant Organizer, International Conference on Land Reform, International Land Coalition, San Cristóbal, Mexico, February.
Participation in Workshops & Colloquiums
(2018) Africa Research Workshop, Center for African Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Fall.
(2016) Agrarian Studies Seminar, MacMillan Center, Yale University, September 2015 – May 2016.
(2016) ‘Towards a Critical Geography of State Power in Africa: Configuring Agrarian Angola,’ Paper for the Yale Program in Agrarian Studies Colloquium, New Haven, April 15.
(2015) ‘Conjunctures in Angola: Praxis and Provisional Reconstruction,’ Paper for the Challenges & Possibilities in Contemporary Angola Workshop, Stanford University, November 16.
(2013) Antipode’s 4th Institute for the Geographies of Justice, Durban, May 27 – June 1.
(1998-2000) Environmental Politics Colloquium, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
(2002) World Food Summit & Forum for Food Sovereignty, Rome, June.
(1998) Overseas Development Network Student Leadership Conference, San Francisco, July.
(2019) ‘Between Spectacle and the Everyday: Geographical Patterns of Oil-Fueled Reconstruction in Post-War Angola,’ presentation for the panel Spectacle and Speculation: Global Investments and their Spectacular Failures, Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, Washington, DC, April 3-7.
(2019) ‘Amílcar Cabral’s Contributions to Dialectics,’ for the African American Intellectual History Society’s 4th Annual Conference, Black Internationalism – Then and Now, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 22-23.
(2018) ‘Cassava Capitalism? Gendered Land, Space, and States in Rural Angola’s Pasts and Futures,’ Presentation for the panel Land Access and Property Rights in Angola, Mozambique, and Brazil, 61st Annual Meeting of African Studies Association, Atlanta, November 30.
(2018) ‘‘Dust in the Wind’? Frontiers as Recursive Spaces in the Hinterland Constructions of Oil-Boom Angola,’ Presentation for the Panel ‘A Geography of the Edge: Frontiers in the Contemporary Moment,’ Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, New Orleans, April 13.
(2018) ‘Amílcar Cabral as an Early Engaged Political Ecologist: Relational Studies of Lusophone Land, Production, and Capital Circulation, 1948-61,’ Presentation for the Conference ‘Amílcar Cabral: O “Combatente Anónimo” pelos Direitos Fundamentais da Humanidade,’ Instituto de História Contemporânea, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, March 1-3.
(2017) ‘Oil and Extraction in Angola 1956-86: Expenditure, Infrastructure and Institutional Changes,’ Presentation at the 60th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Chicago, November 17.
(2017) ‘History, Geography and Institutional Change in Angola: Insights from Malanje, 19th Century to the Present,’ Presentation at the International Congress “Angola: Legacies of the Past, Challenges of the Present,” History Center, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, November 14.
(2017) ‘Infrastructure as Archive: Reading Colonial Road Maps for Histories of Forced Labor,’ in panel Geographies of Infrastructure, State-Making and Political Subjectivity, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston, April 5-9.
(2016) ‘Spatialities of Power in Africa: Cartographic Constructions of Continuity and Change,’ Poster, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, March 31.
(2016) ‘Livelihood and Hunger in Angola during Oil Gluts,’ Visiting Scholars Academic Exchange, Yale University, New Haven, January 29.
(2015) ‘Beyond Gatekeeping Spatial Metaphors of the State in Africa: Spatiality and Infrastructure Reconstruction in Post-War Oil-Boom Angola,’ African Studies Association 58th Annual Meeting, San Diego, November.
(2015) ‘How to Create Rural Employment from Oil: Nationalist Agrarian Revolts, Mechanization, and the Roots of Angola’s Contemporary Tractor Modernism,’ 6th European Conference of African Studies, July 8-10, Sorbonne University, Paris.
(2015) ‘Oil for Rural Development in Angola? Two Mbaka Questions in Geo-Historical Perspective,’ PhD Exit Talk, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, May 6.
(2014) ‘O Caminho Seguro: A Geo-Historical Ethnography of the Luanda-Malanje Road and its Reconstruction,’ African Studies Association 57th Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, November 20-23.
(2014) ‘Theory and Practice of Regional Connections Research: Space and Power in Angola,’ II International Conference on Angola: New Directions in Angolan Research, St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, 17-18 March.
(2013) ‘Between Rocks, Rivers and Reordenamento: Agrarian Transformations and Strategies of Rural Development in Malanje, Angola, 1950-2012,’ 5th European Conference on African Studies, Lisbon, 27-29 June.
(2012) ‘Re-spatializing African Political Economy: Infrastructure and Agrarian Transitions and Differentiation in the Hinterlands of Oil-Boom Angola,’ African Studies Association 55th Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 29 November – 2 December.
(2012) ‘Geographies of Construction and Trajectories of Agrarian Change in Oil-Boom Angola,’ International Academic Conference on Global Land Grabbing II, Ithaca: Cornell University, 17-19 October.
(2011) ‘Geography and the Politics of Method in the Study of Angola,’ The Study of Angola: Towards a New Research Agenda, St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, July 1-2.
(2007) ‘Power, Accountability and the Democratic Deficit in African Agricultural Policy Processes,’ Paper Presented to the 2007 Breslauer Graduate Student Symposium Rule of Experts: Development, Knowledge, and the Politics of Global Poverty, 13-14 April, Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley.
(2006) ‘Rethinking Agrarian Mobilization in Africa: A Century of Theory and History,’ African Studies Association’s 49th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 18 November [Panel Chair].
(2001) ‘(Mis)Understanding Change in Agro-Environmental Technology in Africa: Charting and Refuting the Myth of Population Growth-Induced Breakdown,’ 27th Annual Symposium, Technology and Development in Africa, African Studies Center, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 25-28 April.
(1999) ‘Energy, Technology Dissemination, and the Green Revolution in Africa: Lessons and Linkages’, paper for the Sasakawa Youth Leadership Foundation Forum on Distributed Electricity Services, Cape Town, South Africa, 6-9 June, 11 pp.
2019 Travel Grant, Department of Geography, San José State University
2015-6 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University
2013 Graduate Division Travel Grant, UC Berkeley
2012 Graduate Division Summer Research Fellowship, UC Berkeley
2012 Center for African Studies Rocca Scholarship, UC Berkeley
2010 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship
2009 Foreign Languages and Area Studies Summer Fellowship – Kimbundu
2008-9 Foreign Languages and Area Studies Year Fellowship – Swahili
2008 Foreign Languages and Area Studies Summer Fellowship – Kimbundu
2008 Rocca Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship, UC Berkeley
2007-8 Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowship – Portuguese
2006-8 Stipend from Department of Geography, UC Berkeley
2003 Gordon White Scholarship, Institute of Development Studies
2000 Summa Cum Laude, UC Berkeley
2000 Departmental Citation, Development Studies, UC Berkeley
2000 Highest Honors, International Area Studies, UC Berkeley
2000 Best Essay Prize, Berkeley Undergraduate Journal
1999 Phi Beta Kappa Member
1996-9 Dean’s Honors List, UC Berkeley
1997 Edward Frank Kraft Scholarship, UC Berkeley
1996 Co-Valedictorian, Harbor High School
San José State University, San José
2019, Geography of Africa, Upper-Division (Geography 168)
2019, Geography of International Development, Upper-Division (Geography 115)
Chabot College, Hayward
2019, Introduction to Physical Geography, Lower-Division (Geography 1, two sections)
University of California, Berkeley
2015, Global Environmental Politics, Upper-Division (Geography 138)
University of California, Berkeley
Instructor, International and Area Studies Department
2007, Development in Theory and History, Upper Division (Development Studies 100)
2007, Introduction to Development, Lower Division (Development Studies 10)
2013, Development in Theory and History, Upper Division (Development Studies 100)
Courses Prepared to Teach:
Geography of Africa
Africa, Geography and Power
Introduction to International Development
International Development Theory
Resources and Development
Political Economy of African Development
SERVICE TO PROFESSION
Peer-review of articles and reports (2001-2017): African Affairs, Agriculture and Human Values, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Focaal-Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, Fudan Journal of Social Sciences, Human Ecology, Science and Public Policy, and the Environmental Accountability in Africa project (WRI), The Panos Institute, The Responsive Forest Governance Initiative (CODESRIA, IUCN, Univ. of Illinois), and the Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa project (IDS).
Contributor, UC Berkeley Department of Geography Professor Hiring Process (2013)
Graduate Student Representative, Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation, UC Berkeley Academic Senate (03/2009-08/2010)
Chair, International Student Affairs Committee, UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly (09/2008-06/2009)
Graduate Student Assembly Representative, Department of Geography, UC Berkeley (09/2007-06/2009)
Member, External Affairs and Budget Committees, UC Berkeley Graduate Student Assembly (09/2007-06/2008)
(from date of initial membership)
(2005) African Studies Association
(2006) Association of American Geographers
(2006) American Anthropological Association
Angola December 2015-January 2016
Angola July 2013
Angola November 2010-November 2012
Angola June-September 2009
Angola June-September 2008
Ghana July-August 2006
Burkina Faso June-August 2004
Ghana October 2001-July 2002
Mexico January 2001
Costa Rica June-August 1999
French intermediate reading; basic written, spoken, & listening
Twi some basic
Swahili some basic
Office: MS Office, LibreOffice, Google Docs, Google Calendar
Mapping: QGIS, ArcGIS, Google Earth
Reference: EndNote, Zotero, Google Scholar, WorldCat, Jstor, Factiva, LexisNexis, Mendeley, ProCite and some Reference Manager
Email: Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird
Statistical: Excel, SPSS, some STATA and R
Database: Access, Filemaker
Graphics: Adobe Photophop & Illustrator (and some Gimp & Inkscape), IrfanView, Paint.Net
E-books: Adobe Digital Editions, Acrobat Pro, Kindle, GoogleBooks, Calibre, ABBYY FineReader OCR
Social Media: Twitter, WordPress, RSS-Feedly, FeedDemon, YouTube, GoogleAnalytics, PressDisplay, Skype, Pidgin
Coding: Some html and CSS.
Mobile: Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows
Other: DropBox, VPN, Filezilla
The Guardian (UK), Parliament of the United Kingdom, Voice of America, Agence France Presse, The New Scientist, Novo Jornal (Angola), Seminário Económico (Angola), Australian Public Radio, Xinhua (China), The Business Times (Singapore), Agence de Presse Africaine, The Daily Cal (Berkeley), The Mail & Guardian (South Africa), The Financial Mail (South Africa), The Nation (Kenya), The New Times (Kigali), The Observer (Uganda), The Daily Star (Bangladesh), Ghana News Agency, Der Spiegel (Germany), and numerous others.
Available upon request.