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After the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and the sanctioning of new national borders in 1920, the successor states faced the controversial task of reconceptualizing the idea of national territory. Images of historically significant landscapes played a crucial role in this process. Employing the concept of mental maps, this article explores how such images shaped the connections between place, memory, and landscape in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Hungarian revisionist publications demonstrate how Hungarian nationalists visualized the organic integrity of “Greater Hungary,” while also implicitly adapting historical memory to the new geopolitical situation. As a counterpoint, images of the Váh region produced in interwar Czechoslovakia reveal how an opposing political agenda gave rise to a different imagery, while drawing on shared cultural traditions from the imperial past. Finally, the case study of Dévény/Devín/Theben shows how the idea of being positioned “between East and West” lived on in overlapping but politically opposed mental maps in the interwar period. By examining the cracks and continuities in the picturesque landscape tradition after 1918, the article offers new insight into the similarities and differences of nation-building processes from the perspective of visual culture.
This chapter presents carefully argued accessible readings of Atwood’s poetry across five decades. It explores her poetics of metamorphosis, moving the argument beyond the “polarities” and “dualities” that preoccupied early Atwood criticism to consider how her poems continually operate in borderline territory, shifting between the world of everyday experience and a mythologized landscape of the imagination. Detailed analyses of poems in The Circle Game, The Journals of Susanna Moodie, Power Politics, and Two-Headed Poems, up to Morning in the Burned House and The Door trace Atwood’s thematic and imagistic range, continually opening up possibilities for transformation and renewal. The chapter considers not only Atwood’s historical consciousness and her use of classical and indigenous mythology but also her interest in sexual and national politics, the role of the poet and of poetry in contemporary society, and in her later volumes her personal meditations on aging and mortality.
This article offers an analysis of the encounter between the two natural environments of the Italian Po Plain and the Argentinian Pampa Gringa through the migration of Italian rural workers. Notably, we focus on the migration micro-histories of Emiliano-Romagnoli, who moved from Italy to Argentina during Italian Great Migration Era (1870–1955). Building on oral histories gathered in Italy and Argentina between 2005 and 2007, these micro-histories show how place-based landscapes of Italianness hybridised with the local landscape of the South American plains through Italian migrants’ embodied memories, labour, and socio-environmental transformation practices. By focusing on Po Plain migrants’ memories and experiences of the lowlands of northern Italy and the Argentinian pampas, we aim to offer a micro-historical perspective on the environmental history of migration.
America's first urban centers may have been located in the Supe Valley, Peru. After investigating the location and the orientation of the main built structures, we show that it is not only the presence of the Supe River that determines their orientation but also that astronomical relationships within the orientation of the buildings dictate their setting within the valley. The southernmost position of moonrise on the horizon seems to be the most important astronomical target. There is the possibility of a trend toward attributing greater importance to the June solstice sunrise and the rising of certain stars or asterisms. These orientations could relate to specific moments throughout the year, in particular to seasonal rains, subsequent river flooding, and agricultural cycles. This is one of the earliest examples of the interaction of land- and skyscapes in human cultures and indeed the first in the Americas.
The distinction between humans and the natural world is an artefact and more a matter of linguistic communication than a conceptual separation. This Element proposes ecosemiotics as an epistemological tool to better understand the relationship between human and natural processes. Ecosemiotics with its affinity to the humanities, is presented here as the best disciplinary approach for interpreting complex environmental conditions for a broad audience, across a multitude of temporal and spatial scales. It is proposed as an intellectual bridge between divergent sciences to incorporate within a unique framework different paradigms. The ecosemiotic paradigm helps to explain how organisms interact with their external environments using mechanisms common to all living beings that capture external information and matter for internal usage. This paradigm can be applied in all the circumstances where a living being (man, animal, plant, fungi, etc.) performs processes to stay alive.
This chapter reveals how the atlas as a cartographic format is more than a collection of maps. The British Atlas (1810) by John Britton and Edward Wedlake Brayely was published to accompany their The Beauties of England and Wales, a county-by-county survey with extensive letterpress illustrated by engraved views. Initially a highly commercial success as a national work during the war with France, The British Atlas was an integral part of Britton's ambition to raise the reputation of topography as a cultural genre. The county maps and town plans were redrawn from the finest available surveys; packed with information and allusion, the plans in particular contained striking composite images. As so often in his career, Britton’s ambition ran ahead of his achievement, however. Complex and sometimes contentious relations between the various partners and contributors on The Beauties of England and Wales, including Britton and Brayley, affected research, authorship, design and production, and The British Atlas was unfinished, with just a fraction of the projected urban views published. The chapter details the ways in which the project’s fate was a familiar story of how material cartography with high production values and with up-to-date information fared in the commercial market.
This paper proposes some possibilities for thinking with a landscape as a pedagogical concept, inspired by posthuman theory. The idea of thinking with a landscape is enacted in the Australian Alps (AA), concentrating on the contentious environmental dilemma involving introduced horses and their management in this bio-geographical location. The topic of horses is of pedagogical relevance for place-responsive outdoor environmental educators as both a location-specific problem and an example of a troubling issue. The paper has two objectives for employing posthuman thinking. Firstly, it experiments with the alternative methodological possibilities that posthuman theory affords for outdoor environmental education, including new ways of conducting educational research. Secondly, it explores how thinking with a landscape as a pedagogical concept may help open ways of considering the dilemma that horses pose. The pedagogical concept is enacted through some empirical events which sketch human–horse encounters from the AA. These sketches depict some of the pedagogical conversations and discursive pathways that encounters can provoke. Such encounters and conversations are ways of constructing knowledge of the landscape, covering multiple species, perspectives and discursive opportunities. For these reasons, this paper may be of relevance for outdoor environmental educators, those interested in the AA or posthuman theorists.
A variable proportion of finds from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic of ‘Old Europe’ has come from places outside settlements, cemeteries, production sites, ritual sites, or caves. Such finds tend to be described as ‘chance/isolated/single/stray’ finds or, when in groups, as ‘hoards’. The frequent, modernist cause invoked for these finds is that they were either ‘hidden’ in times of mortal danger, represented a ‘gift to the gods’, or simply ‘lost’. One reason for these explanatory shortcomings is the over-attention to the types of objects deposited in the landscape and the frequent lack of attention to the often-distinctive place of deposition. We believe that we have misnamed, overlooked, or not accurately characterised an entire class of sites, which we term ‘landscape deposition sites’, whose defining feature was the transformation of a place by the deposition of a significant object or group of objects to create a qualitatively different place. The creation of such landscape deposit sites varied in time and space throughout Old Europe, but all sites were affected by this new dimension of the extended cultural domain.
In this article, we consider the interpretations of metal deposition in North-west Europe and the light they shed on an earlier and geographically different region. The primary aim of this paper is an exploration of the variable relationships between landscape deposit sites and the coeval finds made in special deposits in settlements and cemeteries in the 5th and 4th millennia bc, which will lead to proposed new interpretations of landscape deposition sites.
“Roman Revolutions” (the title is an allusion to the classic study by Sir Ronald Syme) celebrates the working landscapes of ancient Italy and Roman agrarian values. Romans in an age of decadence and excess are portrayed in this chapter as the first back-to-the-landers and trust-fund farmers—affluent urbanists yearning, like us, for a simpler, more “sustainable” way of life. Based on personal autopsy and field research at an unusual organic olive grove in the Sabine Hills, at which are preserved substantial remains of a villa rustica connected to Pompey the Great (10648 BCE), the author proposes that the establishment and growth of agriturismi in modern Italy re-instantiates early Roman farm culture and land-use policies, and that the agriturismo movement aligns closely, too, with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals regarding agriculture.
Within the general framework of ‘lifestyle migration’, the paper explores three materialities associated with the arrival and settlement of British, German and Dutch later-life migrants in the Italian region of Marche, a relatively new ‘frontier’ region for international retirement migration. The first is about the aesthetics of landscape and the scenic and emotional qualities of the physical and social environment. The second concerns ‘home’, where we examine house types, property location and home-making practices in terms of ‘authenticity’, material objects and the cultivation of land for productive purposes. The paper's third thematic focus is on consumption patterns. Most of the 69 participants interviewed for this study hanker after what they perceive as a simpler, more genuine way of life, in tune with the surrounding mixed-farming agricultural environment and distinct from other regions where tourism has taken hold. Many grow their own produce, including some who have small vineyards and olive groves. They enjoy shopping in local markets, eating out in inexpensive local hostelries, visiting museums and cultural festivals, and exploring the many pretty villages and historic towns of the region. The participants embody later-life migration as ‘active ageing’, but those who are older and/or frailer must consider, often reluctantly, the reality of a less-active and more isolated life in the Italian countryside.
The Element summarises the state of knowledge about four styles of prehistoric rock art in Europe current between the late Mesolithic period and the Iron Age. They are the Levantine, Macroschematic and Schematic traditions in the Iberian Peninsula; the Atlantic style that extended between Portugal, Spain, Britain and Ireland; Alpine rock art; and the pecked and painted images found in Fennoscandia. They are interpreted in relation to the landscapes in which they were made. Their production is related to monument building, the decoration of portable objects, trade and long distance travel, burial rites, and warfare. A final discussion considers possible connections between these separate traditions and the changing subject matter of rock art in relation to wider developments in European prehistoric societies.
Major advances in biology and ecology have sharpened our understanding of what the goals of biodiversity conservation might be, but less progress has been made on how to achieve conservation in the complex, multi-sectoral world of human affairs. The failure to deliver conservation outcomes is especially severe in the rapidly changing landscapes of tropical low-income countries. We describe five techniques we have used to complement and strengthen long-term attempts to achieve conservation outcomes in the landscapes and seascapes of such regions; these are complex social-ecological systems shaped by interactions between biological, ecological and physical features mediated by the actions of people. Conservation outcomes occur as a result of human decisions and the governance arrangements that guide change. However, much conservation science in these countries is not rooted in a deep understanding of how these social-ecological systems work and what really determines the behaviour of the people whose decisions shape the future of landscapes. We describe five scientific practices that we have found to be effective in building relationships with actors in landscapes and influencing their behaviour in ways that reconcile conservation and development. We have used open-ended inductive enquiry, theories of change, simulation models, network analysis and multi-criteria analysis. These techniques are all widely known and well tested, but seldom figure in externally funded conservation projects. We have used these techniques to complement and strengthen existing interventions of international conservation agencies. These five techniques have proven effective in achieving deeper understanding of context, engagement with all stakeholders, negotiation of shared goals and continuous learning and adaptation.
Chapter 5 argues that preoccupation with travel, topography, and geography merely formed the basis for even more ambitious projects that did, however, show the limits of what practical patriotism might achieve. When combined with a providential belief in the potential of the land, the application of geographical and botanical knowledge to the countryside meant that spaces which had hitherto been considered ‘empty’ or ‘wild’ could be filled with new meaning. Reformers were concerned with the role of people (Indians, but also Europeans, Africans, and Caribbeans of African descent, as well as enslaved people) in managing landscapes. They increasingly discussed questions of what we might call ‘biopower’ after Foucault, conceiving of labour and the management of the population as a resource. In this, reformers paid particular attention to the possibility that humans might influence environments in more profound ways than just by building roads. They hoped that human errors that had made Caribbean environments ‘unhealthy’ in the past could be reversed by building better-ventilated settlements, or regulating military barracks to help soldiers behave like agricultural settlers and make this land productive.
In this ambitious new study, Sophie Brockmann argues that interactions with landscape and environment were central to the construction of Central American identities in the Age of Enlightenment. She argues that new intellectual connections and novel ways of understanding landscapes had a transformative impact on political culture, as patriotic reformers sought to improve the region's fortunes by applying scientific and 'useful' knowledge gathered from local and global networks to the land. These reformers established networks that extended into the countryside and far beyond Central America's borders. Tracing these networks and following the bureaucrats, priests, labourers, merchants and scholars within them, Brockmann shows how they made a lasting impact by defining a new place for the natural world in narratives of nation and progress.
A multidisciplinary project challenges traditional approaches to the rural landscape of Petra in order to understand its agricultural systems and the quantitative and qualitative aspects of a lived landscape.
Few issues are more central to understanding an ancient people than how they were organised politically, a topic that touches on virtually every aspect of their social, cultural, and economic life. Configurations of power are the critical frameworks within which identities, relationships, and events are formed, understood, and function both within communities and in their interactions with others. This was no less true for the ancient Maya, who occupied the Yucatan Peninsula and adjacent highlands to the south, an area now divided between the nations of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and the western extremities of Honduras and El Salvador (Map 1; see also Maps 2–4) – today home to millions of their descendants.
Although the inscriptions contain bountiful self-representations of royal performances, personas, and encounters, they by no means present an exegesis on the political system as such. To build a view of five centuries and more of societal success we must look beyond these individual expressions to the way that they synergise with other sources, revealing patterns that can only be appreciated in the assemblage. This chapter therefore moves to draw together the different themes examined in Part II so as to offer a synthetic interpretation of Classic Maya political culture, both as it was constituted in the specific unit and the interactive whole.
In light of the recognition of the Anthropocene – a geological epoch of our own making – this chapter asks how well anthropology is equipped to deal with the challenge that the recognition of human geological agency presents to our time perspectives. It offers two theoretical starting points to initiate the conversation between anthropological theory and the history of the encounter with deep time within Britain: the anthropologist E.E. Evans-Pritchard and the geologist James Hutton. This discussion introduces three key questions for an anthropology of deep time: what is the relationship between human rhythms and the rhythms of the more-than-human world within which humans live? What is the significance of our time horizons, their proximity or distance? And whose time is deep time?
This chapter explores the particular significance of the present, and the ways in which anthropology has approached ‘presentism’ as a metaphysical claim, a sociological description, and a means of analysis. While recognising that an analysis of the conditions of presentism is crucial for understanding contemporary social life, the central argument here is that any attempt to embrace presentism as a methodological tool or even metaphysical truth risks distorting human activity in a disastrous way by abstracting it from the material environment that makes such activity possible. The chapter concludes with a reflection upon the relationship between time and mystification in order to understand temporal disjuncture: conditions of life which obscure – and at the same time are violently dissonant with – the temporality of the ecologies and geologies which make that life possible. The task for anthropology is to analyse the conditions of this extraction from deep time, not to replicate it.
What underlies the English rural idyll? This chapter explores the relationship between stratigraphy, economy, and sense of place, taking as its primary focus the chalk hills of South Cambridgeshire, the ‘great croprolite boom’, and the significance of cement production. Yet in exploring the way in which social and economic change delves into geological history, it challenges chronotopes that emphasise continuity and consonance within the landscape, focussing our attention instead on temporal disjuncture, displacement, and a geology in motion.