LOS LAVADORES: DISCOVERING PLACE IN THE ANDES

CASEY D. ALLEN
2012 Geographical Review  
Nearly two decades have passed since my first professional experience, and upon reflectionand with more time and advanced studyI have reasoned that gaining a deeper understanding of our own, individual sense of place remains paramount to our well-being as individuals and groups as well as to our discipline. This train of thought aligns well with tenets of humanistic geography, for it is through individual eyes that we make sense of the world, of our place in it. A major component of
more » ... ponent of humanistic geography focuses on individual perception of place and space, of our being in the environment (Tuan ). In fact, regardless of location and scale, people are, without fail, invariably linked to place via the spaceand timethey occupy (Massey , b, ; Murdoch ; Thrift a, b; Thrift and Dewsbury ; Kirsch and Mitchell ; Allen ). Yet, although studying the landscape via its inherent actors is repeatedly seen as a "humanist" endeavor, the practice actually transcends geography's traditional disciplinary divide and can infuse new life into physical geography theory as well (for specific examples, see Inkpen ; Inkpen, Collier, and Riley ; Allen and Lukinbeal ). In short, instead of being relegated to a purely humanist enterprise, a humanistic geographical framework could be better utilized (and expressed) by all geographersand all people who study place and/or landscaperegardless of specialty (Massey a, b; Allen ). In humanistic style, I present the following personal anecdote as an illustration of place's power to shape our being in space (and time), culminating with connections between the experiences outlined herein and the classic hallmark of geography: fieldwork. Prologue Dr. Allen is an assistant professor of geography at
doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2012.00157.x fatcat:ui6mchdeevahpghng4ezpblsbu