Annotated Bibliography- Heidi Korsavong

1. Cahill, Caitlin.  2006. “At Risk”? The Fed Up Honeys Re-present the Gentrification of the Lower East side.  WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 34.1&2:334-63

In, “At Risk? The Fed Up Honeys Re-Present the Gentrification of the Lower East Side,” Caitlin Cahill addresses the nature of economic progress and real estate expansion as it relates to the transformation of ethnically rich neighborhoods and its effects on its people, in particular young working class women of color.  As space is such a limited commodity in New York City, there is a constant tension between progress and exclusion.  Gentrification is defined by its boundaries.  The physical manifestation of this is in the geography: low-income housing projects are placed next to luxury high-rise condos.  In addition to the changed physical landscape brought on by gentrification, Cahill’s research focuses on its effects on the psychology of those displaced, particularly young women of color living in the Lower East Side in the 1990s.  By conducting personal interviews from a group known as the Fed Up Honeys, their experience reveals these women have three options: to assimilate, to be displaced, or to render themselves invisible. Systems are set up to promote failure.  One salient example of this is the education system.  School is promoted as the way out of the poverty cycle, yet as told from a student’s point of view, the work is not stimulating, leading to less engagement in completing assignments, and subsequent failure of courses.  There is a complex emotional system exhibited by those affected that appears to oscillate between guilt and anger and confusion about what they believe they deserve and what they receive.  Cahill’s research confirms stereotypes of young people of color need to be challenged and open discourse about the economic value versus personal well being, rights to property, and exclusion of certain communities is necessary.

2. Cooper- Marcus, C. 1992 “Environmental Memories” in Place Attachment, edited by Ian Altman and Setha Low.  NY: Plenum Press

In “Environmental Memories,” Clare Cooper Marcus explores how powerful memories often revolve around a place.  Furthermore, she goes on to reveal how control over one’s physical environment is critical to the development of self-identity.  We shape our spaces to reflect who we believe we are.  Our ideas about the past are often captured through memories of places, as time is often otherwise too abstract to measure.  What stood out most was her research of remembered childhood places, which she gathered through interviews from subjects around the country.  She categorizes childhood places into three types:  purpose built adult places taken over by children for their own use, hiding places “molded” out of the natural landscape, and places constructed specifically for play.  Her research revealed that adults remembered their childhood surroundings differently from their actual physical representations.  Cooper Marcus’ research illustrates the significance of emotions embedded within memory of a physical place.  Memory and emotion of a place are continually linked and are powerful in their uniqueness to the individual as these memories continue to influence identity into adulthood.

3. Katz, Cindi, 2001. “On the Grounds of Globalization: A topography for Feminist Political Engagement: Signs, 26(4): 1213-34

In “On the Grounds of Globalization: A topography for Feminist Political Engagement,” Katz uses the concept of typography to analyze the effects of globalization.  In doing so, she seeks to reveal the processes that produced the political and social landscape.  While globalization is often thought to cause homogenization in communities, Katz counters that globalization alters spatial relationships by expanding the scale in which traditional activities such as work and play occur, resulting in further fragmentation and differentiation among communities.  The author uses ethnography to examine the effects of development on children in the Sudanese village of Howa and in Harlem, New York.  Her research reveals parallels in the experience that the youth of both cultures face.  In Sudan, young adults were being trained for agriculturally based work through a state sponsored initiative that was training them for work that was quickly becoming obsolete.  Additionally, the type of work that they were required to do was being moved further and further outside of their villages, which reduced the time they were able to attend school. In a related vein, the youth of Harlem were negatively affected by development as manufacturing jobs were moved further away and replaced with more work requiring a higher skill set.  Given the lack of education available to these communities, young adults were faced with bleak employment prospects.  Katz uses the term counter-typographies to compare these related situations across greater locations.  Her research reveals that those most negatively impacted are the youth in communities where industrialization is introduced.

4. Proshansky, Harold M., et al. 1983.  “Place-Identity: Physical World Socialization of the Self,” Journal of Environmental Psychology, 3: 57-83

In “Place-Identity: Physical World Socialization of the Self”, Proshansky defines place identity as a cluster of cognitions about the physical world.  Place identity is one facet of self-identity.  It is a complex system that involves multiple layers that occur on conscious and unconscious levels.  At its core, place identity encapsulates an individual’s memories, ideas, feelings, attitudes and values towards a particular physical setting that holds meaning and significance.  Proshansky uses the term “environmental past” to describe places and spaces where individuals have had their biological, psychological, social and cultural needs fulfilled.  In addition, place identity is situated in a greater context of social definitions, norms, cues and behaviors defined by the group or community associated with or occupying that physical setting.  This has to first with the usage of the space and secondly, the larger social and cultural implications of the activities that happen within it.  To further add to its dynamic and multifaceted nature, place identity should be considered at once in flux as well as a permanent structure.  This is a direct reflection on how the nature of self- identity is constantly changing and evolving.   Understanding an individual’s environmental past becomes a crucial and powerful tool because it is the perspective in which all future spaces and places are viewed, judged, and contextualized.

5.  Said, Edward W.  2000. Invention, Memory, and Place, Critical Inquiry 26.2: 175-92.

In “Invention, Memory, and Place,” Edward Said defines the concept of imagined geographies as a perception of space and place whose boundaries are conceived through text and ideologies.  Imagined geographies draw on memory and history and are a tool to assert power and control while establishing national identity.   Said’s research looks at the diverging narrative histories of Israel vs. Palestine to show how the same recollected event can be understood by two cultures in a completely different way.  Israel has been able to successfully mobilize and reconnect its people with its “homeland.” By contrast, Said posits that Palestine has not taken as active a role in shaping its historical presence.  The creation of collective memory is an active process infused with political meaning and significance.   Traditionally, imaginary geographies have been constructed with the intention of conquest and domination.  However, rather than using this knowledge for exclusionary purposes, Said states that “sustained reconciliation” must occur especially in cases where competing communities and cultures share borders, meaning both parties must rethink how they can coexist and evolve together through mutual recognition and acknowledgement.

6. Beatty, Bronwyn and Lorena Gibson, 2009, “Culture and Development: New Paradigms.” Knowledge Notes, Synexe 2009/02

In “Culture and Development: New Paradigms”, Bronwyn Beatty and Lorena Gibson discuss how neoliberalism has given rise to thinking about culture as an asset in development.  This is in stark contrast to more traditional economic and policy models, which tended to view culture as an impediment to progress.  The term creative economy is the concept is used to describe the creativity and learned knowledge to culturally distinctive produce goods and services.  They look to incorporate culture into development as an institution.  By doing this they recommend tapping into existing local networks and structures.  By infusing stakeholders with a familiar and existing framework, they encourage ownership and participation.  Secondly, using culture as a resource isolates what is unique and distinctive about objects or materials coming out of the culture.  These traditional goods and services become products and commodities, which are a sustainable and viable economic option to decrease poverty.

7. Conaway, Janelle.  2012. “A Peruvian Textile Tradition and the Challenges of the Marketplace” Grassroots Development, v33 n1 p29-33 2012

In, “A Peruvian Textile Tradition and the Challenges of the Marketplace” the author provides an overview of the efforts of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), a non profit organization that supports the local textile weaving industry in Chinchero, Peru.  The organization provides economic means for approximately 700 weavers in 10 communities.   They have made commitments to their weavers to purchase their goods in advance of sales. Each community sets its own standards for pricing and quality control. The article addresses the challenges the organization faces.   First, it is difficult to charge high prices on the textiles because consumers do not understand the high level of skilled labor and time involved in the weaving process.  Secondly, the system is reliant primarily on a local tourist market and a few buyers, which is in keeping with the communal way of life, but does not reach the amount of buyers needed to keep the system sustainable.  Finally, the organization also addresses the balance of keeping traditional textiles alive and adapting their products to appeal to a contemporary marketplace.  From the facts, the article points to the importance of educating tourists and other consumers on the high quality, rich tradition, and cultural value of purchasing the textiles produced by the indigenous Peruvian communities.

8. Eyong, Charles Takoyoh, 2007. ” Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development in Africa: Case Study on Central Africa.” Tribes and Tribals, Special Volume No. 1: 121-139 (2007)

In “Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development in Africa: Case Study on Central Africa,” Charles Eyong presents an outline for understanding indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and how it is integral to the success of sustainable development.  He focuses his paper on Central Africa, a region he sees as having high sustainability potential.  Initially, Eyong defines key terms to understanding this:

–        Indigenous People: culturally distinct ethnic group with a different identity from the national society.  Their cultural distinctive identity is both self defined and requires recognition from outside groups.

–        Indigenous Knowledge is what indigenous people know and their actions.  It is understood as a practice that has been done over generations and has been collected through trial and error as well as experience.

–        Sustainable Development is the idea that development “meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.”  In order to implement this on a practical level, context and local considerations need to be made in relation to community involvement, production, and consumption.

In order to gather this data, Eyong uses mainly interviews to understand why indigenous knowledge is selective and elders are reluctant to pass along information to younger generations.  Additionally, he looks at statistics to understand the effects of modern economic practices on indigenous people.

Using Africa as a case study, Eyong looks to the various indigenous knowledge systems including: ethnobotany, conservation techniques, and cultivation habits.  From his research, he proposes that integration of indigenous systems into modern ones, not to champion one over the other.  This will require the cooperation of policy makers and suggests making indigenous people stake holders.  Furthermore, regulations must be put in place to ensure fair compensation to indigenous people, those who have the knowledge to make the revitalization efforts of communities possible.

9. Farmelo, Martha, 1995 “A Classroom on the Mall: Indigenous Women and the Culture on Development” Grassroots Development, v19 n1 p35-38 1995

In this article, Martha Farmelo highlights the role of the indigenous women of Mapuche, a small rural community in southern Chile and the effects development programs have on the community.  The Mapuche people are a surviving indigenous population who historically fended off Inca and Spaniard conquest for over 300 years.  Surviving is central to their cultural identity and textile production is one method of preserving this heritage.  Women in the Mapuche community are integral in this process.  While their responsibilities are diverse ranging from caring for the home and resources in the community, it is their role to pass along the skill sets to the young girls in the community.   For the Mapuche, textile production is both an economic necessity and a socialization process.   Through first hand accounts from women attending the Folklife Festival, the author learns that women are largely marginalized in the decision making process.  The impacts of development programs need to provide a better division of labor and provide women with a greater access to resources.  With the introduction of programs such as Casa de La Mujer Mapuche, women within the community are able to provide for their families and maintain their heritage.  They are managed by their own and through education in quality control, marketing, and competitive pricing they are able to gain control of their products to sell at regional fairs within Chile.  The Mapuche women highlighted in this article are able to make as much as 60% of their family’s income through this program and re-invest it back into education of their children.

10. Radcliffe S A, Laurie N, 2006, “Culture and development: taking culture seriously in development for Andean indigenous people. ” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24(2) 231 – 248

In this article, Sarah Radcliffe and Nina Laurie discuss the shift in contemporary development strategy, which sees culture as a tool and a significant factor to be integrated into projects and programs.  While culture is considered an asset, defining it is difficult as it encompasses a broad spectrum ranging from goods to social organization.  The authors propose that culture can be used as a resource, an institution, and a source for creative solutions.  Several factors that limit the success of culturally appropriate indigenous development, as applied to the case study of the Andean people, are first, the romanticized notions of Indian culture, existing social capital models, and state multiculturalism.  While the article states further research is needed to analyze the implications of culturally appropriate development strategies, the authors’ research implies that all measures towards implementation lie in specific consideration of the cultural distinctiveness of the indigenous people in focus.

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About heidi.korsavong

Heidi Korsavong is an interior designer at Aero Studios, a Thomas O'Brien Company, who specializes in high end residential interiors. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Art History from New York University. She has lived abroad studying art and architecture in Madrid, Spain and Florence, Italy. Her varied work experience includes positions at the New Museum, Alexander and Bonin Gallery, and Sills Huniford Associates Interior Design. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Sustainable Interior Environments at The Fashion Institute of Technology with a focus in textile design and production as it relates to indigenous cultures.

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