Kenneth Olwig

I was brought up in Staten Island, New York, but with a San Francisco, California mother and as a child of mid-20th century America, my interest in landscape is very much tied to the various autos that have motored through my life. The various family excursions took me to California, the American South, Michigan, New England and Canada as well as the ‘American grand tour’ focus on the landscapes of the great national parks (Grand Canyon, Yosemite, etc). And as a young adult, I then travelled extensively in Europe. As a result, I have gained an abiding interest in maps, geology, landscapes, places, European lands and history, so almost automatically had to become a landscape geographer, with a particular interest in words and literature.

After a junior year abroad in Denmark, I did a Masters in what might properly be called “Scandinavian philology” (language, literature, history and geography) at the University of Minnesota, before transferring to geography, where I was lucky enough to study with Yi-Fu Tuan (my thesis supervisor) and David Lowenthal (a former Chairman of Landscape Research Group). Given the wanderlust that had spread my family across several continents, it is also understandable that I have then lived and worked in places as varied as Washington DC, Leeds, Nevis, Stockholm and Trondheim. I now live in Copenhagen, Denmark and commute daily to Lund, Sweden where I am a Professor in the Department of Landscape Planning at the Swedish Life Sciences University (SLU).

I was appointed as a Director of Landscape Research Group in 2005. I have been an overseas Associate Editor of Landscape Research from 2006 to the present, and have also have contributed to organising various events.


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