Conveners: Dr. Habib Ayeb (Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment & Paris 8 University) & Dr. Max Ajl (Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment & Wageningen University and Research).

Purpose: This is a three-week winter school to occur in the “winter semester” of universities, planned for January 2022, and to offer advanced BA, MA/MS, and PhD students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Tunisian economy and society, to become directly acquainted with the various archives and resources available to researchers and students in Tunis, the country’s capital city, and to gain a sense of Tunisia on the whole, including its extensive range of biomes, and the agricultural and environmental and developmental problems and particularities of those areas.

The school will have a three-part structure:

  1. One week of learning with primarily Tunisian but also North African and foreign researchers and academics on Tunisian economy and society;
  2. five days of study tours and introduction to the archival resources of the capital;
  3. ten days of travel from the North to the South of Tunisia.

The learning week will consist of daily seminars, one per day for six days, on topics directly related to the environment, colonization and decolonization, post-colonial development and neoliberalism, agriculture, food, water, and rural issues more broadly. Each topic will function as a survey of the theme, read through the prism of Tunisian/North African intellectual production. In that sense it will provide a Tunisia centric introduction to the field, while helping students orient themselves vis-à-vis the relevant scholarly and broader intellectual corpus, helping them initiate or deepen their ongoing projects.

The study tours and introduction to the archival resources will lean on OSAE’s official partnerships with the Tunisian National Institute for Agronomy, the relationship with the Institute for the Study of the National Movement in Manouba, the partnership with the National Archives, and the partnership with the 9 April FSHS campus for the study of history and society. These contain the major intellectual resources available in Tunisia, in the form of periodicals, dissertations, books, and document collections unavailable outside the country. Furthermore, the school will facilitate or bring students to the other relevant major repositories: the National Documentation Center in Centre Ville, the Institute des Belles Lettres Arabes in the Medina, the National Library abutting the National Archive, the sublibraries of INAT at the Institut National de la Recherché en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts and INRAT. Furthermore, we can facilitate letters of introduction or affiliation to make use of those resources as well as those of other major agricultural research institutions which span the country. In this way, the students will gain immediate acquaintance with and access to the major intellectual and archival resources of Tunisia.

The third component of the trip will be a guided intellectual and thematic tour of the country’s regions. The idea of the tour is to show in the field the great diversity of landscapes, of infrastructures, and also of “situations” in order to explore and question the social, spatial and political realities, notably through organized meetings with local actors, including peasants, activists, decision-makers, associations, residents, and local leaders. In such a way, we will also show something very important yet frequently not shown clearly: the very large economic inequalities between regions and within local populations, and how those inequalities are connected to the trajectory of their political history. The trip aims to “read” and question the nature and causes of such socio-spatial inequalities and their political effects, especially since the late 2000s until today and their role in the great popular uprising, particularly in poor rural areas, which ousted the regime of the dictator Ben Ali. Thus, the tour will “ground” people in the socio-spatial and political cartography of the Tunisian revolution itself.

And, of course, it will also be a matchless opportunity to discover beautiful landscapes and cities, to meet beautiful people and, why not, to etch into peoples’ minds images, sounds, and smells of this under-known North African country.


Dr. Habib Ayeb:

Dr. Max Ajl:

Practical details:

Maximum number of participants: 20

Participation fees: $3850

This rate includes:
• Local transportation by bus;
• Accommodations during the entire period of the Winter School (3 weeks).

This rate doesn’t include:
• Personal health insurance;
• International transportation;
• Dinners during the first two weeks in Tunis;
• All extra expenses in hotels;
• Accommodation and transportation costs after winter school;
• Entry visa to Tunisia, if necessary.

To register **:

Inscription form

The payment must be made by bank transfer to:
Bank account number IBAN:
TN59 04083168005008211484
Holder of the account:
Observatoire de la Souveraineté Alimentaire et de l’Environnement (OSAE)
Name of the bank:
Address of the bank:
Attijari Bank, Agence Marsa 2, Angle Rue Abdelaaziz Chtioui et Place Moncef Bey. La Marsa 2078. Tunisie.

**Registration should be completed and paid online before end of August 2021