(Re)constructing History Through Landscape and Practice

Dr Pamela O'Neill
Associate Professor Jay Johnston, University of Sydney

This seminar will draw together academics and practitioners to investigate how we experience, represent and ultimately construct history.  It will consider 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 hypothesised 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 seminar aims to explore multiple questions regarding the relationship between discursive academic and creative modes of enquiry including: 

  • 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?  
  • How do these modalities of research and exploration relate to Critical Practice (practice-based methodology)?
  • What could such scholarship contribute to the understandings and experiences of the general public?

We invite expressions of interest from all who are keen to take part. Please include a very short biographical statement (100 words), a brief explanation of your interest in the seminar and a suggestion for a presentation you could contribute (200 words).

Please send expressions of interest to pamaladh@gmail.com AND jay.johnston@sydney.edu.au by 31 July 2018.