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Environment, Landscape and Society
This group addresses:
  • Theoretical critiques and innovations regarding ‘nature’ and ‘landscape’;
  • management of contrasting environments;
  • politics and participatory advances in environmental and landscape issues; and
  • the construction of material and cultural landscapes
  • Theorizing nature and landscape

    This theme generates conceptions and applications of diverse theory including: French contributions to geographic thought, theorizing the commodification of nature (in African contexts) and the politics of hybrid nature (re transgenic organisms), framing the geo-politics of environmental change that transcends institutional and regulatory settings, and conceptualisations of the sublime in urban, industrial and cinematic landscapes.

    Critiquing environmental management

    Here the department draws on traditions and charts new directions in assessing human impact, adaptive capacity and political responses to climate change, water and sanitation crises. It provides critique on conservation and common resource challenges in areas such as fisheries and rivers; and advances questions and connections between contrasting societies and their environments (e.g. surrounding health and well-being, food, and water).

    Participation and politics

    This theme links scholars’ interests in analyses and innovations regarding social engagement with environment and landscape. Specifically, work includes: the innovation of Deliberative Mapping (a participatory appraisal methodology for contentious issues involving diverse knowledges and values), the generation of legal, historical, ecological, and spatial analyses that can support expanded opportunities for community involvement in resource governance and environmental planning, and the critique of social differences (e.g. ethnicity, youth and gender) that variously shape the interplay of social movements and environmental conflict.

    Material and cultural landscapes

    Here a forum for landscape interests supports diverse work by staff pursuing interests and problems associated with: the construction of landscape in film and fiction, the intersection of politics and ideology (e.g. Fascism) in landscape, the significance of water in cultural and political landscapes, the impact of wilderness as a frame for conservation policy and practice, the importance of travel writing and post-colonial discourses in landscape understandings (e.g. in Africa), and the challenges and innovations that are possible in considering contrasting landscapes (e.g. the construction of contemporary gardens and the reconstruction of war-ravaged landscapes).

    Contact: enquiries@geog.ucl.ac.uk

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