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Issue Date: 19-Jul-2006
Journal: Proceedings of the Conference THE CULTURAL TURN IN GEOGRAPHY, 18-20th of September 2003 - Gorizia Campus
Part II: Landscape Construction and Cultural Identity
Abstract: There is no room, here, to evoke the vicissitudes that the concept of landscape has passed through from the Nineteen century, when the diptych of the ambiguous terms Naturlandschaft and Kulturlandschaft debuted in German geography, to the Vidalian concept, arisen in the French geography during the early Twentieth century, to come to the approaches to some extent inspired to the general system-based epistemology, which were designed during the 1970s. What is worth mentioning here is that this evolution has been marked by two options: on the one hand, the option of considering the landscape from rationalism-inspired perspectives, which have led to design it as consisting of sets of tangible, essentially geological and geomorphologic, features inter-linked by cause-effect relationships; on the other hand, the option of considering the landscape as a set of symbols and values attributed by human communities to nature and to human prints in the Earth surface, therefore leaving rationalism in the background and focusing on cultural, essentially intellectual and spiritualist, manifestations. Till the 1970s the history of geography had been marked by many phases during which the former, rationalism-consistent, approach prevailed, and a phase, influenced by the approach from Vidal de la Blache, during which the prospect of placing human culture at the core of the consideration arose. Nevertheless, these options didnít acquire so clear features till the 1980s, when the positivism-and general system theory-inspired approaches, presenting the landscape as the result of geosystems and ecocomplexes, were rejected by the so-called humanistic geography, supporting views tailored to represent the landscape as a sort of a theatre where the existential conditions are performed. Letís compare these two perspectives, as they arose during the 1980s, by carrying out a landscape discourse encompassing (i) the object of representation, which may be called the referent according to the semiotic language, (ii) the representation itself, which consists of what is called the sign in semiotic terms, and (iii) the values attributed to the landscape features, which may be assimilated to what, sensu lato, is regarded as the signified by semiotics.
ISBN: 88-8303-180-6
Rights: © Copyright 2003 Edizioni Università di Trieste - EUT
Appears in Collections:The cultural turn in geography

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