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

The Meanings of Landscape

Essays on Place, Space, Environment and Justice, 1st Edition

By Kenneth R. Olwig


258 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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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.


"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

Table of Contents

Foreword by Tim Ingold. Introduction. 1. Recovering the Substantive Nature of Landscape2. 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

About the Author

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

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