As I seek to expand the reach of Uprooted: A Search for Meaning and Connection in Rural Iowa, I presented last month at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Washington DC. I gained valuable feedback allowing me to refine the project's focus. I received a few questions about the title, which I share here:
Q: Who or what are you referring to as Uprooted?
A: Central to the project is the idea of sense of place, and how it forms the basis for identity. On a personal level, Uprooted refers to being pulled from a place or a set of values. It also refers to agriculture and plants, and the vanishing way of life I knew as a child in Belmond.
Q: Can you say more about connection in the context of Uprooted?
A: In the simplest sense, I am searching for connection with a place where I lost touch. In a more holistic sense, it's about people relating to one another, both within the town, and between the town and the country at large. I get the feeling there is a disconnect between rural and urban life, and I want to explore that a little more.