“Berkeley School” Genius: Musings on a Feng-shui Perspective
David Nemeth, 28
Exotic feng-shui practices are an increasingly popular form of applied geography in Anglo-America today. Hardly scientific, feng-shui is, however, systematic, complex, and profound in the context of its own cosmology and symbolism. In this article, I muse on the provenance of “Berkeley School” genius at the UC Berkeley site in relation to its “power of place,” using a simplified feng-shui model. My examples introduce and elaborate on the propitious synchronicities found at the site perhaps responsible for the flowering of three prestigious “Berkeley Schools” of creative endeavor following WWI: Carl Sauer’s Berkeley School of Cultural Geography; Alfred Kroeber’s Berkeley School of Cultural Anthropology; and John Haley’s Berkeley School of American Scene Landscape Painting. I muse over some auspicious peculiarities in the common ground at the UC Berkeley site from which these three landscape schools emerge. A general feng-shui cosmological model describes how creative arrays of primal natural forces might converge at the campus site, creating a cosmic force field that generates and shapes the successful thoughts, visions, and creative output of certain of the site’s inhabitants. The founding fathers of these three Berkeley Schools, although unbeknownst to them, are perhaps beneficiaries of UC Berkeley’s excellent feng-shui site. The model provides a provocative alternative understanding of forces responsible for the longevity and continuing vitality of the “Berkeley School” tradition of cultural geography.
Musical lyrics can infuse semantic breath and cultural meaning to particular localities, helping to transform abstract environments into specific and definable places. Despite this, the literature of geography has been slow to conceptualize and systematically study musical lyrics as source material to decipher the social context for the production and consumption of music with any rigueur. To partially address this gap, this paper is theoretically underpinned first by more contemporary discourses on the “contested” nature intrinsic to cultural landscapes. Secondly, it draws on the small body of literature of music geography seeking to explore music as a means of exploring social-cultural contexts. Methodologically, this paper then employs discourse analysis to explore as case study the limited set of published lyrics of hole hole bushi, the music of Japanese plantation workers in late 19th century Hawai‘i. The imagined and constructed cultural landscapes of this immigrant group are extrapolated from their own lyrical narratives to show, in example, conceptual shifts in their constructions of “landscapes of desire” and “landscapes of despair.” Overall, this paper links the existing frameworks of cultural and music geography in applying musical lyrics as source material for teasing out historical narratives centered in the perception, construction, and interaction with the cultural landscapes of people in a highly contested place.
Los Angeles is experiencing more heat waves and also more extreme heat days. These numbers have increased by 3.09°F (1.72°C) per century and 22.8 per century occurrences, respectively. Both have more than tripled over the past 100 years as a consequence of the steady warming of Los Angeles. Our research explores the daily maximum and minimum temperatures from 1906 to 2006 recorded by the Department of Water and Power (DWP) downtown station and Pierce College, a suburban valley location. The average annual maximum temperature in Los Angeles has warmed by 5.0°F (2.8°C), while the average annual minimum temperature has warmed by 4.2°F (2.3°C). The greatest rate of change was during the summer months for both maximum and minimum temperature, with late fall and early winter having the least rates of change. There was also an increase in heat wave duration. Heat waves lasting longer than six days occurred regularly after the 1970s but were nonexistent from the start of 1906 until 1956, when the first six-day heat wave was recorded. While heat days have increased dramatically in the past century, cold days, where minimum temperature is below 45°F (7.2°C), show a slight decreasing trend.
Once the dominant location of cotton cultivation within the state of Arizona, Maricopa County has undergone significant changes during recent years, resulting in substantial shifts within the regional agricultural economy. The dramatic decline in cotton over the past nine years has prompted the question, “What have been the major driving forces resulting in the pattern of decline experienced by Maricopa County’s agricultural economy?” As singular explanations of agricultural change are often insufficient, this research employs a methodology that combines macro-scale analysis of underlying (distal) driving forces, with interviews with cotton farmers to reveal how these forces have influenced their decisions through the mediation of other significant micro-scale factors. Pressure from the expansion of Phoenix’s metropolitan region is identified as an important underlying driver of this land use change; however, fluctuations in the international price of cotton and favorable government subsidies are identified as additional key macro-scale influences on the extent of cotton cultivated. Interviews with growers highlight the importance of several micro-scale factors affecting the land use decisions of farmers, including personal perspectives, family situations, and the impact of negative externalities from sprawl on active cultivation. The recent decline in cotton cultivation in Maricopa County is determined to have resulted from a combination of factors, operating at multiple scales, resulting in the conversion of large tracts of farmland to urban developments.
The Columbia Basin Project: Seventy-Five Years Later
Gina Bloodworth and James White, 96
The Columbia Basin Project (CBP) is the largest comprehensive reclamation project in the United States. An intertwined system of water diversion, capture, storage, movement, and use for hydroelectric production and irrigation, made famous by the capstone of Grand Coulee Dam, the CBP completely transformed the arid environment of central Washington and the economy of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). As this project stretches now into 75 years of plans, actions, reactions, and potential future actions, there is a surprisingly small amount of literature examining this project and its far-reaching implications. Originally planned as a reclamation project, the CBP morphed over time as values and priorities changed; never achieving completion, approximately two-thirds of the original planned project acreage is currently irrigated, but with escalating ecologic and economic implications. The most obvious ecologic implication has fixated debates about development in the Pacific Northwest, and that is the near annihilation of historic salmon runs due to dam construction. As this question (salmon versus dams) consumes most scholarly literature related to the CBP, we chose instead to examine everything except ecologic implications. This article reviews the existing literature on the CBP from several fields, noting that many economic, social, legal, policy, and agricultural questions remain unanswered after 75 years. Those unanswered questions become particularly important in light of recent discussions within Washington State concerning completing the CBP, thus potentially increasing the size of irrigated lands by one-third in the Columbia Basin Project.
The Perceptual Northwest
James Lowry, Mark Patterson, and William Forbes, 112
Our goal is to survey cultural perceptions defining the U.S. Northwest region. As geographers, we should concern ourselves with mental constructs of regions, as they can easily impede or facilitate communication. Assumptions of others’ regional boundaries and images may be erroneous. Over the past several decades, a handful of geographers have begun to examine these perceptual (or vernacular) maps and regions. Students at 21 colleges and universities were asked to identify: (1) boundaries of the U.S. Northwest region; (2) Northwest regional characteristics and symbols; and (3) what cities or other places best represent the Northwest.
Nationally, student respondents largely followed the “official” area of the region regarding state boundaries, with Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as the core area. Student perception of characteristic cities and places followed this pattern, with referenced population centers spread across the three-state landscape. Regarding descriptive words and symbols, more emphasis is placed on Garreau’s coastal perception of the Northwest through terms such as rainy, trees, and mountainous. Regional differences showed up in perception of area, descriptive words, and symbols of the Northwest. Proximity led to different perceptions. Northwest students showed the smallest perception of the Northwest in geographic area, while those farthest away (Southeast students) mapped the largest Northwest. Difference from the home region also led to different perceptions. Students from less-forested regions emphasized trees more than students from more forested regions, who emphasized open and vast characteristics of the Northwest.
Seattle Roots: Roosevelt High School’s Class of 1957
Richard L. Nostrand, 127
In 1957, Roosevelt’s sizable senior class lived entirely in northeast Seattle— within Roosevelt’s old high school district boundaries and in Seattle’s recently annexed Shoreline district to the north. By 1967, two-thirds of the class continued to live in Seattle and its north end and Eastside suburbs. And by 2007, two-thirds still lived within a 50-mile radius of Seattle. During the past 50 years, the trend has been for class members to disperse in successively greater outer rings—a common phenomenon in American urban growth. But after 50 years, for two-thirds of the class members to remain within a 50-mile radius of their high school homes is, I speculate, uncommon in the United States. Seattle’s strong economy—and, probably more importantly, its many amenities—would seem to explain why the class was so strongly anchored in place.
The Perpetual Undoing of San Diego’s East Village
Brenda Kayzar, 135
The falloff in investment in the blocks adjacent to Petco Park, downtown San Diego’s most recently completed catalyst project, could be attributed to the current national housing market downturn. A number of proposed residential condominium projects have been placed on hold in the East Village neighborhood where the ballpark is located. The nearly one-block long homeless shelter tent erected on one of the ballpark’s surface parking lots, however, suggests an undoing rather than an interruption in investment. The tent’s location is representative of the conflicting frontier of growth and frontier outlet roles the East Village neighborhood plays within the region. This article establishes the context for various decisions made pertaining to land use and investment in the neighborhood, and demonstrates how the inability to fully recognize and reconcile the impacts of the historic frontier outlet legacy enables the perpetual undoing of investment gains within the community.
Book Review: Placing Latin America: Contemporary Themes in Human Geography by Edward L. Jackiewicz and Fernando J. Bosco
Reviewed by Benjamin F. Timms, 161
Abstracts of Papers Presented, 178