Sunday, October 9, 2011
Landscapes of Privilege by James and Nancy Duncan has been on our reading list for a while now. A book about "how the aesthetics of physical landscapes are fully enmeshed in producing the American class system" that shows "how the physical presentation of a place carries with it a range of markers of inclusion and exclusion" is hard for us to resist! We finally had a chance to read it recently and we weren't disappointed. There's a lot we could say about it, but for now, we'd like to point out at least one new entry in the Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion that was inspired by it: WETLAND. Writing about Bedford, NY, the Duncans write that "The anti-development activists found that by the 1970s their best arsenal came from the environmental movement and its vocabulary of wetlands and biodiversity." According to the Duncans, as the town started experiencing development pressure, residents suddenly became concerned about wetlands: by essentially feigning an interest in the health of the earth, residents could be exclusionary while seeming progressive.