Geography and the Environment Colloquium: Kathleen Shafer

Join the Department of Geography and the Environment as our spring 2014 colloquium series welcomes doctoral candidate Kathleen Shafer, presenting "Marfa, Texas: Land and Light."

Marfa is a town in far west Texas, three hours from the nearest commercial airport and one hour from the U.S.-Mexico border. The cultural landscape of Marfa includes a historic yet dying ranching community plagued by drought, as well as the remnants of a former military fort turned modern art museum. Marfa’s slow shift from being just another small town to the darling of the art world has taken over 20 years, and its placement on a global cultural map has contributed to the commoditization of its place.

Marfa's evolution has been the work of its full and part-time residents, specifically those who were inspired to migrate to Marfa directly or indirectly because of the artist Donald Judd. By way of the actions of old and new residents, Marfa has developed into a remarkable center of tourism that is no longer dependent on Judd’s vision. Most people note how different a visit to the town is from their idea of the town before visiting. This colloquium is a discussion of Marfa's history, its landscape, the cultural offerings that collectively define the place and space of Marfa, and what this means for its future.

For more information, email Madeline Enos at

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Liberal Arts Building (CLA), 0.128
305 23RD ST E, Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type



College of Liberal Arts

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, General Public




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