Cultural Landscapes Blog

We seek suggestions for Cultural Landscape Atlases. Tools for speculation as well as reflection, our second symposium funded by the UVA Sara Shallenberger Brown Cultural Landscapes Endowment. This event will take place during the 2018-19 academic year and feature scholars and practitioners in the humanities as well as design and planning. Please send suggestions for possible speakers (including yourself!) and lecture topics to Alissa Diamond, UVA PhD student and Brown Fellow, Center for Cultural Landscapes by April 6.  Please send suggestions to

Symposium background

The Center for Cultural Landscape community seeks to create resources that will increase public appreciation of cultural landscapes as complex records of past values and actions, and to improve professional capacity to imagine alternative futures for those cultural landscapes. One of these resources is a Cultural Landscape Atlas of Virginia that will spatialize a series of select timely topics and networks, such as racialized topographies, food systems and urban form, peri-urban transformations, as well as familiar events that might be re-imagined through new modes of visualization, such as Jefferson’s urban and rural landscapes, the Garden Club of Virginia’s historic gardens, and Virginia’s Civil War battlefields.

So often cultural landscape work is project based, and focused on endangered sites. We desire to work proactively and creatively, explaining through text, maps, photos, diagrams, plans, and section-perspectives the relational nature of bio-physical systems, extraction industries such as agriculture and mining, demographic shifts, and settlement patterns. We think that a cultural landscape approach requires a careful inventory and assessment prior to the need to change, or to evaluate change, as development processes are fast-paced and often at odds with the process of research, documentation, assessment and interpretation.

The 28 th session of the PECSRL biennial international conference – European Landscapes for Quality of Life? – will be held in 2018, at two locations: Clermont-Ferrand and Mende. This general theme encompasses the interactions between quality of landscapes, quality of food and quality of life, the importance of re enrooting food to place as an alternative to the globalization and Health and quality of life in connection with landscapes. 

It will be hosted by the research group “territoires”, an interdisciplinary unit that gathers geographers, economists, agronomists, social and politic scientists from 5 institutions (Agro Paris Tech, Clermont Auvergne University, INRA, IRSTEA, VetAgro Sup). 

The conference brings together geographers, landscape architects, historians, ethnographers, archaeologists, ecologists, rural planners, landscape managers and other scholars interested in European landscapes. The conference offers ample facilities to meet colleagues from all parts of Europe, to get informed about various aspects of European landscape research and to initiate new projects. In addition to paper sessions, poster presentations, workshops and plenary sessions, there will be one full day of field trips to provide the PECSRL participants with a detailed knowledge of some rural landscapes in the Massif central.


This one-week course uses Monticello and the University of Virginia as outdoor classrooms to study historic landscape preservation. Lectures, workshops, field trips and practical working experiences introduce students to the fields of landscape history, garden restoration and historical horticulture. In recognition of generous support from the Harrison Foundation, graduates will be named Harrison Fellows of the Historic Landscape Institute. A fee is charged; application is required. Limited scholarships available for full-time college students or employees of non-profit historic sites. Call (434) 984-9816 or

Link to flyer:

Link to application form:

Way Bay is a sweeping exploration of the creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area over the past two centuries. An innovatively organized exhibition of art and film, plus poetry, performance documentation, and archival materials. Way Bay features nearly two hundred works that reveal the depth and diversity of artists’ engagement with the region’s geographic, social, and cultural landscape.

For more information, visit

To develop the field of garden and landscape studies across different disciplines and to promote the depth and breadth of future landscape scholarship, Dumbarton Oaks, with the support of the Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies and in collaboration with the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the University of Virginia, will offer an intensive three-week Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Workshop from May 13 to June 2, 2018.


Workshop Offerings

Bringing together early-career scholars and practitioners who are pursuing cross-disciplinary research on landscape-related topics, the workshop will focus on key issues and texts in landscape history and theory, situating garden and landscape design in the context of humanities scholarship: from the idea of the Three Natures to the ecological challenges of the Anthropocene and the discourse of landscape urbanism. Special emphasis will be laid on the study of urban landscapes. Participants, typically doctoral candidates in early or advanced stages of writing dissertations and current MLA candidates or recent recipients of MLA degrees, will be invited to share among themselves selected aspects of their work; these morning presentations will be supplemented by afternoon seminars led by Dumbarton Oaks staff and invited scholars. The program will also include two study sessions in the Rare Books Library at Dumbarton Oaks, site visits in the Washington metropolitan area (including Mount Vernon and the National Mall), and a three-day stay in Charlottesville, VA, with a visit to Richmond and James Madison’s Montpelier to explore the racial geographies of Virginia. During their residency at Dumbarton Oaks, workshop’s participants will have access to the institute’s library resources and its celebrated gardens.   


Accommodation and Costs

For the Southern Garden History Society 2018 Annual Meeting, to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, April 13 -15, 2018.

A variety of informative and scholarly presentations will showcase the vibrant garden, architectural, and landscape history in the Jacksonville area, including the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Glen Saint Mary Nurseries (established 1881) and private garden tours. Bart Brechter, Curator of Bayou Bend Gardens in Houston, TX, will speak on historic azaleas, and Bill Noble, garden designer and former Director of Preservation for the Garden Conservancy, will address the group on historic garden restorations and how they have recovered from disasters. More information on the full schedule of events will be available at our website after January 1.  

We feel that the annual meeting in Jacksonville will introduce entry-level professionals and students alike to the unique horticultural heritage in and around Jacksonville. The Southern Garden History Society annual meetings are always immersion experiences that delve into the gardens and landscapes of the American South.

The Society offers scholarships to attend the annual meeting to bona fide college students with majors relevant to the mission and goals of the society and entry-level professionals working in the historic gardening, landscape architecture, and preservation fields. Previous recipients are ineligible except that students may apply for scholarships once while an undergraduate and once while pursuing a graduate degree.  Up to three scholarships may be awarded per annual meeting.

Check out this discussion of approaches to monuments and memorialization in the landscape:

Congratulations to Claire Eager (UVA PhD 2017) who received the first UVA Richard Guy Wilson Prize for Excellence in the Study of Buildings, Landscapes and Places. This annual $5000 prize, endowed by Mallory Walker, an alum of the College of Arts and Sciences, honors one of his UVA professors--Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History. The prize is open to undergraduate and graduate students across the University. This year’s faculty review panel was comprised of Professor Jane Allison (Creative Writing), Assistant Professor Lisa Goff (American Studies), Professor Beth Meyer (Landscape Architecture) and Professor Louis Nelson (Architectural History). They commended Eager’s ” Complicit Paradise: Invasive Species and Collaborative Design in Donne and Bedford’s Twick(e)n(h)am” a chapter of her dissertation, for the elegance of its prose and the rigor of its analysis that, in working between literary theory and garden history, found new interpretations of this significant place as well as new insights into the relationship between the poet and patron of the garden. Eager received her RGW prize on Friday, 2 December at a dinner hosted by Dean of the Library John Unsworth and his wife, Maggie in their new home in Pavilion II. Elizabeth Fowler, Eager’s dissertation adviser, Beth Meyer (chair of the 2017 RGW prize jury) Mallory and Diana Walker, Richard and Ellie Wilson, and Joey Pierce were also in attendance.


Announcements about the 2018 RGW Prize program will be distribution around UVA Grounds, and available on the A-School and Center for Cultural Landscapes websites, by late January 2018. Submissions will be due in May. Please encourage your classmates and students to apply!

Co-organized by UNWTO and UNESCO, the Second World Conference on Toursim and Culture focuses on fostering sustainable development in Oman. In the name of cultural tourism, this conference aims to look at methods to enhance partnerships between the Tourism and Culture sectors. Out of 3 sessions, the 3rd one explores the importance of incorporating 'cultural landscapes' within the tourism industry for sustainable tourism development. 

For more information, visit