1st Edition

Conflict Landscapes Materiality and Meaning in Contested Places

Edited By Nicholas J. Saunders, Paul Cornish Copyright 2021
    420 Pages 126 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    420 Pages 126 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Conflict Landscapes explores the long under-acknowledged and under-investigated aspects of where and how modern conflict landscapes interact and conjoin with pre-twentieth-century places, activities, and beliefs, as well as with individuals and groups.

    Investigating and understanding the often unpredictable power and legacies of landscapes that have seen (and often still viscerally embody) the consequences of mass death and destruction, the book shows, through these landscapes, the power of destruction to preserve, refocus, and often reconfigure the past. Responding to the complexity of modern conflict, the book offers a coherent, integrated, and sensitized hybrid approach, which calls on different disciplines where they overlap in a shared common terrain. Dealing with issues such as memory, identity, emotion, and wellbeing, the chapters tease out the human experience of modern conflict and its relationship to landscape.

    Conflict Landscapes will appeal to a wide range of disciplines involved in studying conflict, such as archaeology, anthropology, material culture studies, art history, cultural history, cultural geography, military history, and heritage and museum studies.

    Part I The First World War 1

    1 The Dead and their Spaces: Origins and Meanings in Modern Conflict Landscapes

    Nicholas J. Saunders

    2 Cutting the Landscape: Investigating the 1917 Battlefield of the Messines Ridge

    Simon Verdegem

    3 Garden Landscapes of the Great War

    Jeffrey S. Reznick

    4 Conflict Gas-Scape: Chemical Weapons on the Eastern Front, January 1915

    Anna Izabella Zalewska and Jacek Czarnecki

    5 Controversy in the Julian Alps: Erwin Rommel, Landscape, and the 12th Battle of the Soča/Isonzo

    Alexander J. Potočnik

    6 First World War Landscapes on the Alpine Front Line: New Technologies between Wish and (Augmented) Reality

    Alessandro Bezzi, Luca Bezzi, Rupert Gietl, and Giuseppe Naponiello

    7 Engaging Military Heritage: The Conflict Landscape of Val Canale, Italy

    Anita Pinagli, Volker Pachauer, and Alexander J. Potočnik

    8 Conflict, Mobility, and Landscapes: The Arab Revolt in Southern Jordan, 1916–1918

    John B. Winterburn

    9 Life and Death in a Conflict Landscape: Visitor and Local Perspectives from the Western Front

    Paola Filippucci

    Part II The Second World War

    10 Who Owns the ‘Wilderness’? Indigenous Second World War Landscapes in Sápmi, Finnish Lapland

    Oula Seitsonen and Gabriel Moshenska

    11 Operation Northern Light: Remote Sensing a Second World War Conflict Landscape in Northern Finland

    Birger Stichelbaut, Suzie Thomas, Oula Seitsonen, Wouter Gheyle, Guy De Mulder, Ville Hemminki, and Gertjan Plets

    12 Power of Place and Landscape: The US 10th Mountain Division, from Colorado to the Apennines

    John M. Scott

    13 War in the Normandy Bocage: British Perceptions and Memory of a Militarized Landscape

    Paul Cornish

    14 Archaeology, D-Day, and the Battle of Normandy: ‘The Longest Day’, a Landscape of Myth and Materiality

    Vincent Carpentier, Emmanuel Ghesquière, Benoît Labbey, and Cyril Marcigny

    15 ‘An Example of Nazi Kultur’: Paradigmatic and Contested Materiality at Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp

    Caroline Sturdy Colls and William Mitchell

    16 Campscapes and Homescapes of the Mind’s Eye: A Methodology for Analyzing the Landscapes of Internment Camps

    Gilly Carr

    Part III Beyond World Wars

    17 Imagining Maritime Conflict Landscapes: Reactive Exhibitions, Sovereignty, and Representation in Vietnam

    Graeme Were

    18 People, Barriers, Movement, and Art: Contested Sandscapes of Western Sahara

    Salvatore Garfi

    19 A Parthian City in the Iran–Iraq War: Incorporating the Ancient Site of Charax Spasinou into a Modern Conflict Landscape

    Mary Shepperson

    20 Abstract Landscapes: Learning to Operate in Conflict Space

    Mark A. Burchell


    Nicholas J. Saunders is Professor of Material Culture at Bristol University, UK, and co-director of the Great Arab Revolt Project. Between 1998 and 2004, he was British Academy Senior Research Fellow at University College London, making the first anthropological study of the material culture of the First World War.

    Paul Cornish is a Senior Curator at the Imperial War Museum. He is currently working on the creation of a new permanent Second World War gallery to open in 2021, having previously been involved with the construction of the First World War gallery, which opened in 2014.