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  A polysemic term referring to the appearance of an area, the assemblage of objects used to produce that appearance, and the area itself. According to Mikesell (1968), during the Middle Ages in England the term referred to the land controlled by a lord or inhabited by a particular group of people. By the early seventeenth century, however, under the influence of the Dutch landschap painters, the term landscape came to refer to the appearance of an area, more particularly to the representation of scenery. By the late nineteenth century, as Mikesell points out, the basis for the contemporary definition of landscape took shape as \'a portion of land or territory which the eye can comprehend in a single view, including all the objects so seen, especially in its pictorial aspect\'.

The term landscape was introduced into American geography in 1925 by Sauer (1963) with the publication of his monograph Morphology of landscape. This influential article drew on the concept of Landschaft developed by German geographers, most prominently Passarge and Schluter. Sauer put forward the concept of landscape as an alternative to the currently popular form of geographical explanation known as environmental determinism. While the latter sought to specify the causal influences of the environment on humans, the landscape approach sought to describe the interrelations between humans and the environment with primary attention given to the human impact on the environment. Sauer downplayed the subjective aspects of the concept of landscape and stressed that landscape was an objective area to be studied scientifically through observation. Although he paid lip service to the subjective in the latter part of Morphology it is clear that he envisaged the study of landscape in geography as a scientific endeavour. Under this view the landscape was defined as \'an area made up of a distinct association of forms, both physical and cultural\'. Sauer\'s position was that geographers should proceed genetically and trace the development of a natural landscape into a cultural landscape. The difficulty with this methodology, as Sauer himself soon realized, was that it was seldom possible to reconstruct the appearance of the natural landscape, because the human impact on the face of the earth had been pervasive for many millennia. All landscapes had in effect become cultural landscapes. Thus the study of landscapes by Sauer and his students (who constituted the so-called Berkeley School) became the study of culture history.

Beginning in the 1950s two scholars outside of this Berkeley tradition became influential. The first was the English historian W.G. Hoskins who conducted detailed studies of landscape history. The second was J.B. Jackson who founded Landscape Magazine in 1951 and went on to write numerous books of essays on the meaning of the American landscape. To a very large extent the intellectual context for landscape studies from the 1960s on was set by the troika of Sauer and his students, Hoskins and Jackson. The single most significant work to emerge during this period was a volume entitled The interpretation of ordinary landscapes edited by Donald Meinig (1979). This volume, which explicitly recognized the influence of Sauer, Hoskins and Jackson, contained contributions from such well-known cultural geographers as J.B. Jackson, Pierce Lewis, David Lowenthal, Donald Meinig, David Sopher, and Yi-Fu Tuan. While this work did not for the most part break new ground, it elegantly summarized the work of this period: a geographer who was not included, but whose work fits within this genre and who has been one of the most prolific and insightful interpreters of the American landscape, is Wilbur Zelinsky (1973). This tradition of landscape analysis focusing upon Sauerian themes of artifactual analysis and culture history continues to flourish.

During the 1980s and early 1990s some new directions in landscape interpretation have been charted, associated with what has been termed the New cultural geography. Although this newer work in many instances maintains important connections to the older landscape tradition, it diverges in explicitly applying social and cultural theory to landscape interpretation, and showing greater concern for both the socio-cultural and political processes that shape landscapes as well as the role that landscapes play in these processes (Schein, 1997). Cosgrove (1998) has redefined landscape as a \'way of seeing\' rather than as an image or an object. He argued that this way of seeing is ideological, representing the way in which a particular class has represented itself and its property. Both Cosgrove (1998) and Cosgrove and Daniels (1988) draw upon marxian cultural critics such as Raymond Williams and John Berger to inform their writings, and apply the notion of iconography drawn from art history to landscape interpretation (cf. ART, geography and). James and Nancy Duncan (Duncan and Duncan, 1988; Duncan, 1990) have applied post-structural notions of text and intertexuality drawn from literary theory to the landscape, thereby incorporating landscape interpretation into the debate surrounding postmodernism. Another strand of post-structuralism draws inspiration from Baudrillard and explores landscapes as simulacras (Clarke and Doel, 1994). A further model of landscape interpretation is that of theatre (Daniels and Cosgrove, 1993). This dramaturgical approach was suggested by the work of Erving Goffman, although Cosgrove and Daniels focus more attention on the visual and painterly than does Goffman. Cresswell (1996) also adopts a dramaturgical approach, and elaborates a performative model of landscape that focuses on marginality.

The 1990s saw an increase in studies of the politics of landscapes. Some have focused on representations through art and literature (Daniels, 1993; Matless, 1994), while others focus on monuments (Johnson, 1995). The 1990s has also seen a rise in interest in feminist (Rose, 1993; Nash, 1996) and marxian approaches to landscape (Mitchell, 1996) (see feminist geographies; Marxist geography).

The thrust of this new landscape work over the past decade has been not only to theorize the concept of landscape but to show how it forms an important part of social, cultural and political systems. How exactly this should be carried out, however, has been the subject of intense debate (Price and Lewis, 1993; Duncan, 1994). (JSD)

References Baudrillard, J. 1988: America. London: Verso; Clarke, D. and Doel, M. 1994: The perfection of geography as an aesthetic of disappearance. Ecumene 1: 317-23. Cosgrove, D. 1998: Social formation and symbolic landscape. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Cosgrove, D. and Daniels, S., eds, 1988: The iconography of landscape. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cresswell, T. 1996: In place/out of place. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Daniels, S. 1993: Fields of vision: landscape imagery and national identity in England and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Daniels, S. and Cosgrove, D. 1993: Spectacle and text: landscape metaphors in cultural geography. In J. Duncan and D. Ley, eds, Place/culture/ representation. London: Routledge, 57-77. Daniels, S. 1989: Marxism, culture, and the duplicity of landscape. In R. Peet and N. Thrift, eds, New Models in Geography. Vol. 2. London: Unwin Hyman, 196-220. Duncan, J. 1990: The city as text: the politics of landscape interpretation in the Kandyan kingdom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Duncan, J. 1994: After the civil war: reconstructing cultural geography as heterotopia. In K. Foote et al., eds, Re-reading cultural geography. Austin: University of Texas Press. Duncan, J. and Duncan, N. 1988: (Re)reading the landscape. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 6: 117-26. Heffernan, M. 1995. Forever England: the western front and the politics of remembrance in Britain. Ecumene 2: 293-324. Hoskins, W.G. 1955: The making of the English landscape. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Jackson, J.B. 1984: Discovering the vernacular landscape. New Haven: Yale University Press. Johnson, N. 1995: Cast in stone: monuments, geography and nationalism. Environment and Planning D. Society and Space 13: 51-66. Kobayashi, A. 1989: A critique of dialectical landscape. In A. Kobayashi and S. Mackenzie, eds, Remaking human geography. London: Unwin Hyman, 164-85. Ley, D. 1987: Styles of the times: liberal and neo-conservative landscapes in inner Vancouver, 1968-86. Journal of Historical Geography 13: 40-56. Lowenthal, D. 1985: The past is a foreign country. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lowenthal, D. and Prince, H. 1964: English landscape tastes. The Geographical Review 54: 309-46. Matless, D. 1994: Moral geography in Broadland. Ecumene 1: 127-56. McCannon, J. 1995: To storm the arctic: Soviet polar exploration and public visions of nature in the USSR 1932-39. Ecumene 2: 15-32. McEwan, C. 1998: Cutting power lines within the palace? Countering paternity and eurocentrism in the \'geographical tradition\'. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers NS 23: 371-84. Meinig, D.W., ed., 1979: The interpretation of ordinary landscapes. New York: Oxford University Press. Mikesell, M. 1968: Landscape. In D.L. Sills, ed., International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, vol. 8. New York: Crowell, Collier and Macmillan, 575-80. Mitchell, D. 1996: The lie of the land: migrant workers and the California landscape. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Mitchell, W.J.T., ed., 1994: Landscape and power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Nash, C. 1996: Reclaiming vision: looking at landscape and the body. Gender, Place and Culture 3: 149-69. Olwig, K. 1996: Rediscovering the substantive meaning of landscape. Annals, Association of American Geographers 86: 630-53. Price, M. and Lewis, M. 1993: The reinvention of cultural geography. Annals, Association of American Geographers 83: 1-17. Rose, G. 1993: Feminism and geography: the limits of geographical knowledge. Cambridge: Polity. Sauer, C.O. 1963: The morphology of landscape. In J. Leighley, ed., Land and life: selections from the writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer. Berkeley: University of California Press, 315-50. Schein, R.H. 1993: Representing urban America: 19th-century views of landscape, space, and power. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 11: 7-21. Schein, R.H. 1997: The place of landscape: a conceptual framework for interpreting an American scene. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87: 660-80. Sharp, J. 1994: A topology of \'post\' nationality: (re)mapping identity in Satanic Verses. Ecumene 1: 65-76. Soja, E. 1996: Thirdspace: journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Zelinsky,W.1973:The cultural geography of the United States. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

Suggested Reading Cosgrove (1998). Cosgrove and Daniels (1988). Duncan (1990). Duncan and Duncan (1988). Mikesell (1968).



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