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A Geographer's Perspective on the American West and the World
MRIC 2012/13

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"A Geographer's Perspective on the American West and the World"

Gundars Rudzitis
Professor of Geography
December 4
Whitewater Room, Idaho Commons- 12:30 p.m.

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the initial formation of the role of amenities and associated migration in the American West as a counterpoint to neoclassical and other development models that are rooted within a framework privileging economic materialism and consumerism.The significance of the amenity/quality-of-life approach is that it broke out of a reductionistic, algorithmic and economic view of life. It aims at providing an alternative to our increasingly economistic way of viewing life. The quality-of-life approach points towards place, community, and, as importantly, democracy rooted in people living in real places. It is a place-based approach that recognizes a geography-of-limits, specific to places and regions worldwide.The presentation also addresses why and how we have to experiment with new institutions to develop alternatives to current development trends worldwide, to create and transform spaces and global networks of production and consumption. The author concludes by calling on scholars and others add new dimensions of theoretical inquiry that will provide new insights on the diverse forms taken by the process of development.

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