The Landscape Studies Initiative (LSI), led by Beth Meyer and Michael Lee at University of Virginia, is developing an open, public platform for the trans-disciplinary teaching of landscape history. The Mellon Foundation-funded LSI takes Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’ Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History (Abrams 2002) as an underlying armature and embraces the digital connection of fieldwork, period documents, and enlarged secondary sources. As a teaching tool, the Landscape Studies platform will enable students’ discovery of novel trajectories, voices, and perspectives, as manifest in the creation, maintenance, and lived experience of cultural landscapes.
At this early stage in a multi-year project, we seek future collaborators and partners. In particular, we invite contributors to submit reading lists and topical bibliographies that will expand and update the references of Landscape Design. We welcome reading lists from curses taught in a variety of disciplines – including cultural geography, STS, cultural landscape studies, environmental history, and design history – to assist the Initiative in expanding secondary sources and incorporating recent approaches. This includes books and articles that investigate landscape in light of the cultural and spatial turn, critical visual and media studies, post-colonial and post-structural readings, and the enlarged socio-material intensities and anthropocene networks theorized in political ecology and the history of science.
For initial platform testing, the LSI team is developing pilot courses focused on landscapes and modernization across the long 18th and 19th centuries, examining the feedback between design and shifting cultural habits, socio-technical systems, and territorial frameworks. This includes considering processes of professionalization, industrialization, urbanization, agricultural rationalization, and imperial expansion, as well as the rise of capitalist (labor) markets and nation-states, with their broad bureaucratic and civic institutions. Reading lists that focus on this period are welcome; we especially encourage submission of bibliographies that develop a critical and reflective relationship between contemporary crises and their longer genealogical manifestation in designed and managed landscapes.
All contributors will be credited on the LSI Platform, with their entries including contributing researcher/educator and past course context (aside subject and landscape-specific tags). Students will be able to search the platform’s resources through these curated and topical clusters as well as collate their own, inquiry-driven materials.
Instructions for Contributors:
Reading list submissions will be accepted on an on-going basis. Contributors interested in submitting are encouraged to send an email to the LSI Box account: Syllabi.email@example.com. Please note your topical/period focus in your email title, formatted as follows: ‘Landscape Studies Bibliographic Updates: [your topical focus].
Attached to the email, please include your contact information and a short abstract (150 words max.) saved as a word doc. In the abstract, please describe the focus of the reading list, the initial context of use (research, undergraduate or graduate teaching, etc.), and key methods or approaches exemplified in the texts. All reading lists should be attached as a second, separate document, formatted (preferably) as a Zotero export or a doc/pdf bibliography with Chicago-style entries. See formatting notes below for more information.
Confirmation of receipt and incorporation (or redundancy) will be provided within six weeks. At that point, contributors will be asked to confirm their role in collecting the initial materials and their agreement to open posting, with citation of their curating role; availability of internally linked materials – article copies or book pdfs – will be subject to copyright restrictions.
Contributors will also be sent links to the Landscape Studies’ aggregated, digital bibliography and incorporated in a mailing list, for announcements on platform progress, launch dates, beta testing and course development opportunities.
Preferred digital format for reading lists and bibliographies:
Zotero collections, with notes and without files, exported as ‘Zotero RDF’. Annotations to reading lists can be submitted as notes on applicable records.
Secondary format (it is strongly encouraged to use preferred format):
Word documents (DOC or DOCX) or Adobe acrobat files (PDF) with Chicago-style bibliography entries.
Addresses for submissions:
LSI Box: Syllabi.firstname.lastname@example.org
More general info and contacts for the project can be found here: Landscape Studies Initiative.