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Imagining the Rural in a Globalizing World (Rural Imaginations)

Imagining the Rural in a Globalizing World (Rural Imaginations)

ERC Consolidator Project Esther Peeren (2018-2023)

Project Team

  • Esther Peeren (project leader)
  • Hanneke Stuit (postdoctoral researcher, subproject South Africa)
  • Emily Ng (postdoctoral researcher, subproject China)
  • Anke Bosma (PhD candidate, subproject Netherlands)
  • Lélia Tavakoli Farsooni (PhD candidate, subproject UK)
  • Tjalling Valdés Olmos (PhD candidate, subproject US)
  • Zaza de Ridder (research assistant)

Project Description

With globalization primarily considered an urban phenomenon, its impact on rural areas tends to be neglected. Tackling this blind spot is urgent as rural-urban divides persist and rural communities, notably in the 2016 Brexit vote and US election, claim their concerns about globalization’s effects are being ignored. This project focuses on the crucial role played by cultural imaginations in determining what aspects of contemporary rural life do and do not become visible nationally and globally, which, in turn, affects how the rural can be mobilized politically. Using a distinctive humanities approach, it examines prominent cultural imaginations of the rural in film, television and literature in the UK, US, Netherlands, China and South Africa, asking: to what extent do these imaginations render globalization’s effects on the rural (in)visible?; what role do traditional rural genres and the feelings or desires they attach to the rural play in this making (in)visible?; and how can new aesthetic repertoires highlighting the rural as a site of globalization and addressing rural-urban divides and inequalities be developed?

Rural Imaginations website