(Re)constructing History through Landscape and Practice (Seminar)

Harbour Centre 1510
Organizers: Pamela O’Neill (University of Sydney), Jay Johnston (University of Sydney)

This seminar draws together academics and practitioners to investigate how we experience, represent and ultimately construct history. It considers the creative processes that are triggered when the subject is physically immersed in the landscape: archaeologists who seek to authentically reproduce artefacts and sites, historians and toponymists who travel hypothesized early routeways, folklorists who seek to replicate encounters with the otherworld, artists who create through physical immersion in landscape, religious practitioners who (re)enact pilgrimage, heritage bodies who curate historic sites, writers who publish or blog their travel experiences. This panel aims to explore multiple questions regarding the relationship between discursive academic and creative modes of enquiry, such as: in what ways do we create historical, artistic and other narratives in response to immersion in landscape? In what ways do such narratives differ from those created in a disengaged, physically separate context traditionally espoused by scholarship? Of what value are such narratives to historians and other scholars working in the traditional mode? What does a close physical experience of landscape add to scholarly understanding? What could be the ultimate effect of a physically immersive model of scholarship being integrated into the academic endeavour? What could such scholarship contribute to the understandings and experiences of the general public?

Day 1

Sally M. Foster (University of Stirling) and Siân Jones (University of Stirling), “My Life as a Replica: St. Johns' Cross, Iona”

Norman Shaw (Independent Artist, Scotland), “Other Highlands”

Carla McNamara (University of Glasgow), “Close Physical Experiences of Landscape” Discussion lead by Jay Johnston

Day 2

Francesca Allfrey, “Understanding Sutton Hoo”

John R. Black, “Landscape in Hagiography”

“IONA Futures: Landscape & Knowing discussion” Discussion led by Pamela O'Neill

Day 3

Pamela O'Neill, “Experiences of Landscape and Ways of Knowing”

Martin Goldberg (National Museums Scotland), “Creative Spirit: Recreating Lost Artefacts”

Jay Johnston, “Suspect Journeys: Epistemological Pluralism, Materiality and Academic Practice”