Place, Art, and Self

Front Cover
Center for American Places, 2004 - Art - 86 pages

"What do place, art, and self have in common? To what extent do place and art define who we are?" In Place, Art, and Self, the renowned humanistic geographer Yi-Fu Tuan tackles this large question in a small, accessible, beautifully illustrated book. Through memoir and the insights gained from a peripatetic life as an international scholar, Tuan explores the idea of attachment through place and art and the role of attachment in shaping, defining, and expanding the self.

Inasmuch as a place contains sources of "nurture and identity," Tuan writes, so, too, does a painting, photograph, poem, novel, motion picture, dance, or piece of music. "The arts are likewise emblematic and revelatory. The ones I strongly like and dislike expose me, make me feel naked before the public eye, which is why I am guarded in my confessions."

Drawing from a lifetime spent thinking and writing about the connection between geography and our spiritual needs, Tuan presents a compelling and meditative foray into how place, home, and homelessness condition us as humans. Complementing his essay is a gallery of fine-art black-and-white and color plates by four emerging contemporary photographers, whose work accords with Tuan’s message.

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Proceedings, Volume 1

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About the author (2004)

YI-FU TUAN is among the most decorated geographers of all time. A Fellow of both the American Academy and British Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in 2012 he received the Vautrin Lud International Geography Prize, the highest award given in the field of geography and modeled after the Nobel Prize. For many years he taught at the University of Minnesota, and, from 1984 until his 'official' retirement in 1998, he held two endowed chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving as the John K. Wright Professor of Geography and the Vilas Research Professor of Geography. Professor Tuan has written twenty-two acclaimed and influential books since 1968, most recently "Romantic Geography: In Search of the Sublime Landscape, Humanist Geography: An Individual's Search for Meaning", and, with Martha A. Strawn, "Religion: From Place to Placelessness". Awards for Professor Yi-Fu Tuan: Award for Meritorious Contribution to the Association of American Geographers, Bracken Award in Landscape Architecture, Bush Sabbatical Fellow, Cullum Geographical Medal of the American Geographical Society, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the British Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fulbright-Hays Senior Scholar, John K. Wright Endowed Professor of Geography, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, Journal of Geography Award from the National Council for Geographic Education, Laureat d'Honneur of the International Geographical Union, Phi Beta Kappa/Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar, Rowman and Littlefield Author Laureate, Stanley Brunn Award in Creativity from the Association of American Geographers, Vautrin Lud International Geography Prize (the 'Nobel Prize' in geography), Vilas Research Endowed Professor of Geography

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