The 19th annual Harrisonburg International Festival is this Saturday, 9/24, from 12 – 6 pm at Hillendale Park. The fest is among our favorite happenings in Harrisonburg, one that celebrates the extraordinary cultural diversity of this vibrant town.
Its a great chance to see and meet friends, and enjoy international cuisine and music. Come enjoy 20 musical acts and 20+ food vendors. I encourage everyone in the area to attend, and if you’re in my gen-ed Global Geography course, you’re required to attend as your weekly assignment!
The conference was a real treat, both in terms of its lovely location in Gelderland province and the opportunity to connect with many inspiring scholars from around the world working to empower social and environmental justice. I reconnected with colleagues and made many new friends, and was reminded how beneficial such intimate, interdisciplinary conferences can be!
The meeting also afforded me occasion to visit the lovely city of Amsterdam.
Highlights there included a wonderful meal of raw oysters and cerviche at Brut de Mer in Oude Pijp (thanks, Mike!), and a visit to the Rijksmuseum, which houses countless masterpieces and these days a stunning temporary exhibition of Modern Japanese art. I particularly enjoyed finding two original landscapes by Dutch painter Frans Post.
In 1636 Post traveled to Northeastern Brazil where he joined the Dutch royal party led by Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen camped in Pernambuco. There he sketched and painted several Brazilian landscapes still studied by geographers, historians, and others interested in Brazil’s early colonial period. His paintings represent important documents of Brazilian biota and environments, Luso-Afro-Atlantic forms of architecture, and early social, cultural, and ecological relations in the colony. Using online repositories that reproduce his work, I studied many of his paintings while researching my dissertation. It was a great pleasure to take in an original!
Cheers, Netherlands! Next time I’m sleeping in a boat!
The John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize is awarded to a serious but popular book about the human geography of the contemporary United States that conveys the insights of professional geography in language that is interesting and attractive to a lay audience.
The four authors of this book seamlessly combined their expertise and varied perspectives to produce a well-written account of a little-known aspect of New Orleans’ cultural and historical geography. Thanks to their careful study of census records, archival research, interviews, and other sources, we now know that Hispanic and Latino individuals and communities have been part of the city throughout its history. Previous assumptions about the basic similarities of Latino and Hispanic immigrants become much more nuanced in this study, as the authors explain the diversity of Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico, Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean – people who made distinct impressions on their respective neighborhoods and contributions to the city’s rich culture. These immigrants’ experiences also varied significantly depending on many factors, not least when they came. The book also contributes to the emerging literature on Hispanics in the South and the cultural diversity of Hispanic and Latino immigration from the period of early European contact up to the present.