LANDSCAPE, ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN AGENCY IN THE CITY SINCE 1700
Distinct historical, literary, artistic, philosophical and spiritual traditions have developed in the UK dedicated to ‘the mental landscape’. This concerns the human interpretation of the environment, its representation in landscape, symbolism, and its exploration in the creative and performing arts. There is also an emerging body of research concerned with the history of the material environment itself, from air and water to gas and electricity.
Research on landscape and the urban environment are long established in urban history, historical geography, and archaeology, and interest is presently expanding across the full range of the arts and social sciences. Archival materials and artefacts are unique in their quality and scale, and a developing interest in environmental history is bringing innovative perspectives to the study of urban and landscape history.
Focussed around the themes of ‘landscape, environment and human agency in towns and cities since 1700’ the conference organisers invite papers that offer new perspectives, approaches, sources or methods. The papers might address one or more of the following questions.
What is the history of urban landscape and how might it be rewritten?
What is the history of the material infrastructure of urban life and of the technologies that have made the modern urban landscape?
How have changes in the urban environment interacted with changes in sensory perception (aural, visual, etc.)?
How might we understand the relationship between urban place and human identity over time?
How has the ‘nature’ been transformed and incorporated in urban settings, and how might the old ‘nature’/’culture’ divide be rethought in the light of this?
What do we know historically of people’s lived relationship to their environment and the particular attachments that are forged between people and place?
How has the urban landscape been imagined as utopia and dystopia and what might this tells about specific desires and fears?
Paper proposals should be a single A4 page and sent to either Bob Morris or Simon Gunn by 17 DECEMBER 2004 at the following addresses:
Professor R J Morris
School of History and Classics,
University of Edinburgh
50 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9JY
Dr Simon Gunn
Faculty of Arts and Society
Leeds Metropolitan University
Leeds LS1 3HE
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