Annual Lecture 2011

Landscape Research Group decided recently to start a periodic Lecture programme, which, if well recived and successful, is intended to develop into an annual event. The inaugural lecture was given in December 2011, by Professor David Lowenthal who spoke on the subject, From Eden to Earth Day: Landscape Restoration as Mission and Metaphor.

David Lowenthal, born 1923, is Emeritus Professor for UCL Geography and is a past Chairman and Director of the Landscape Research Group.

The theme of his lecture is that the concept of landscape is enjoying a period of scholarly development in contemporary geography that has spread to and enriched disciplines ranging from anthropology, archaeology and sociology, to history and philosophy. This is despite the fact the concept of landscape was once effectively dismissed by an influential geographical theorist as being of ‘little or no value as a technical or scientific term’ in geography. David argued that the contemporary analytical power of landscape derives in important measure from the ability to turn this critique of landscape on end. He did this by transforming the very contradictions embodied by landscape which made it a liability as technical or scientific term, into a phenomenon for epistemological inquiry.

The lecture was hosted by the Architectural Association in London, and the Group acknowledges its thanks to the AA for its support.

The video of David’s lecture is available for viewing at or, alternatively, by clicking here.

A written version of the paper has subsequently been published in Landscape Research, in Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 5-31. The following link will take interested readers to the Table of Contents for that issue.

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