Geomedia PhD student Bianka Plüschke-Altof will publicly defend her dissertation on the 28^th of December 2017 at 13:15 at the University of Tartu (Oeconomicum, J. Liivi 4-214). Under the title “Images of the Periphery Impeding Rural Development?” the dissertation treats the peripheralization of Estonian rural areas under a new perspective. The current discussion on the administrative reform in Estonia marks the peak of debates on the question of how to maintain life in the countryside conducted since Estonia regained its independence in 1991. In recent years, image making, in the form of place marketing and branding, has been discussed as a new beacon of hope for rural development. However, against the backdrop of continuous peripheralization processes, rural areas have faced a particularly negative image as peripheries per se, which often prevail over the positive ascriptions to rurality as traditional and wholesome way of life. The dissertation, which was prepared within the framework of the RegPol^2 project and in cooperation with Geomedia, focuses precisely on this relationship between images and development by analyzing the role that images play in the peripheralization of rural areas, as well as in the attempts to overcome their peripheral status. It aims to understand the making of peripheries in Estonian public discourses by asking how peripheries are constructed, by whom and with what consequences for those areas that are labelled as peripheral.

For more information, see:
https://www.ut.ee/en/events/bianka-pluschke-altof-images-periphery-impeding-rural-development-discursive