Department of Geography and the Environment

Colloquium: Kathleen Shafer

Fri, April 4, 2014 | CLA 0.128

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Colloquium: Kathleen Shafer

Please join the Department of Geography and the Environment for our Spring 2014 colloquium series. We will be hosting a presentation by Ph.D. Candidate Kathleen Shafer, who will speak on the topic of Marfa, TX-

Marfa, Texas: Land and Light

Marfa is a town in far west Texas, three hours to 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 twenty 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 Donald Judd’s vision. If you've heard of Marfa, you probably have some idea of what kind of place it is, based on media and word of mouth, and often its vast landscape and incredible light are touted as reasons to live and visit. Most people note, however, 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.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, email Madeline Enos at

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  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street
    CLA building, main office- CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712