The Meanings of Landscape : Essays on Place, Space, Environment and Justice book cover
1st Edition

The Meanings of Landscape
Essays on Place, Space, Environment and Justice

ISBN 9781138483934
Published February 25, 2019 by Routledge
276 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $54.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Compiling nine authoritative essays spanning an extensive academic career, author Kenneth R. Olwig presents explorations in landscape geography and architecture from an environmental humanities perspective. With influences from art, literature, theatre staging, architecture, and garden design, landscape has come to be viewed as a form of spatial scenery, but this reading captures only a narrow representation of landscape meaning today.

This book positions landscape as a concept shaped through the centuries, evolving from place to place to provide nuanced interpretations of landscape meaning. The essays are woven together to gather an international approach to understanding the past and present importance of landscape as place and polity, as designed space, as nature, and as an influential factor in the shaping of ideas in a just social and physical environment.

Aimed at students, scholars, and researchers in landscape and beyond, this illustrated volume traces the idea of landscape from the ancient polis and theatre through to the present day.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tim Ingold.  Introduction.  1. Recovering the Substantive Nature of Landscape  2. Landscape, Place and the State of Progress  3. Choros, Place and the Spatialization of Landscape  4. Are Islanders Insular? A Personal View  5. The Case of the "Missing" Mask: Performance, Theatre, Ætherial Space and the Practice of Landscape/Architecture  6. Performing on the Landscape versus Doing Landscape: Perambulatory Practice, Sight and the Senses of Belonging  7. Heidegger, Latour and the Reification of Things: the Inversion and Spatial Enclosure of the Substantive Landscape - The Lake District Case  8. Transcendent Space, Reactionary-Modernism and the "Diabolic" Sublime: Walter Christaller, Edgar Kant, and the Landscape Origins of Modern Spatial Science and Planning  9. Geese, Elves, and the Duplicitous, "Diabolical" Landscaped Space and Wild Nature of Reactionary Modernism: Holgersson, Hägerstrand, and Lorenz

View More



Kenneth R. Olwig is Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.


"Landscape is an essential concept for our time, and Kenneth Olwig is a pioneer in the recovery of the word’s meanings. His classic essays, brought together in Meanings of Landscape, are required reading for all those who care about landscape in its many dimensions."

Anne Whiston Spirn, author of The Language of Landscape

"Wielding his philological scalpel, Olwig peels away landscape’s modern surficial layers that fixed it as spatial scenery, to expose its earlier meanings as a polity and its places that ideally form the nexus of community."

Kent Mathewson, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, USA

The AAG Review of Books, Volume 7, 2019

"This is a wonderful book that gives a clear sense of the amazing breadth of Kenneth R. Olwig’s lifelong project on the history of landscape and of his unique capacity of moving in between languages and cultural contexts. Reading this book had almost a paralyzing effect on me: What else can be said on landscape? Where to take landscape research after The Meanings of Landscape? How to teach landscape and explain the genealogy of its diabolic duplicity?"

Claudio Minca, Department of Geography and Planning, Macquarie University, Australia

The AAG Review of Books, Volume 7, 2019

 "Kenneth R. Olwig's The Meanings of Landscape is an outstanding piece of creative thinking delivered with an originality of style second to none. It weaves together a multifaceted storyline that stretches over decades of unique and consistent scholarship, time and again advancing from a place-oriented rage against space, and forever changing the way landscape used to be."

The AAG Review of Books, Volume 7, 2019