International and Global Studies Colloquium presentation by Peter Nelson, Professor of Geography. Lunch is free for current Middlebury College students/faculty/staff; suggested $5 donation for others; RSVP by 4/10 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the last decade or so, the field of rural studies has become increasingly concerned with illuminating the myriad webs of connectivity continuously producing and reproducing rural space. This relational perspective emphasizes the ways in rural space is situated within complex webs composed of political, economic, demographic, social, and cultural networks, flows, and actors which serve to continuously (re)constitute rural space and places. This paper illustrates the ways in which these complex networks operating across scales drive rural gentrification in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Neoliberal trade arrangements such as NAFTA and the European Union devalorize rural production spaces in specific locales generating a rent gap between the productive uses of rural lands (e.g. agriculture) and consumptive uses of rural lands (e.g. housing/recreation). At the same time, surplus capital accumulated at national and global scales continuously seeks out new spaces for investment in the form of potentially profitable rent gaps. These parallel forces have resulted in a significant re-purposing of rural industrial spaces from agricultural to residential uses in much the same way as occurred in former manufacturing neighborhoods in many urban centers. Using Jackson Hole, Wyoming as a case study, this paper illustrates these processes through a framework based largely on theorizations of gentrification based in urban contexts. In doing so, the case study brings supply side explanations of gentrification more explicitly into the rural gentrification literature and further highlights how contemporary processes of rural gentrification represent new geographies of capital accumulation operating at a global scale.
- Sponsored by:
- Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs