Landscape Research Group hosted a selection of speakers on 11th February 2022, who presented a summary of their recent research projects, as recipients of our annual Research Funds in 2019 and 2020.

The speakers were:

Dr Andrew Butler, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences:  Forest fire and Indigenous landscape identity

Fire causes dramatic and abrupt change reaching beyond the visible, physical and temporal location of the fire.  Dr Butler proposes a landscape perspective as a starting point to untangle the multiple and complex consequences that forest fire generates.  The project views the boreal forest not as one landscape, but many, with important distinctions drawn between Sami and commercial forest landscapes.  The project explores what happens to individuals and communities when these landscapes abruptly change from the Sami landscape perspective.

Dr Laura Hodsdon and Rachael Jones, Falmouth University:  Landscape Stories: an investigation of organisations’ and diverse audiences’ narratives of the countryside to advance landscape justice

This project was a partnership between Falmouth University and National Trust using the coastal region of Wembury in South East Devon, UK as a test-bed to surface stories (real or imagined) about the landscape from organisation and individuals from diverse audiences, to create an impactful action plan for the NT to ensure ‘everyone is welcome’, contribute to wellbeing and connect people to nature.

Aisling O’Carroll, University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture:  Deconstructing the Archive: A philological analysis of the verbal and visual constructs of historical landscape narratives

This project focuses on the influence that geological and historiographic studies had at the turn of the nineteenth century in establishing a reading of landscape as a physical archive and informing a new mode of historical engagement with landscape.  She investigates this research question through a study of the French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, and his Alpine investigations.  The work investigates the nature and significance of written and visual languages in the practices of geology and historiography, and their influence on subsequent considerations of landscape.

Dr Joanne Phillips from Manchester Metropolitan University:  Connecting and Severing: a Deconstruction of the Language of HS2 Ltd

Dr Phillips’s project reviewed some of the language used by the Department of Transport, in the guise of HS2 (High Speed Two) Ltd, to describe and promote the UK’s largest ever high-speed rail project, and also used to encourage public acceptance of the scheme.  The relationship between landscape, infrastructure, politics and language is explored, and the concept of hegemony is applied to the language of landscape.  HS2 is the UK government’s biggest ever rail project, which proposes to link cities in the north of England with Birmingham and London by 2033.

The video recording of the event can be found below.

LRG Research Fund Showcase - 11th February 2022

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