University of Nottingham

Landscapes beyond land: New ethnographies of landscape and environment (workshops)

Project outline

The landscapes beyond land workshops questioned how the diversity of human culture around the world could aid the understanding of landscape and environment. Through a thematic focus on movement, aesthetics and narratives to enrich the research agenda, workshops brought researchers with ethnographic interests from anthropology, geography and a number of other disciplines together, in order to move beyond different theoretical traditions in landscape research.

All workshops were attended by a complimentary mixture of new researchers, established scholars and non-academic participants (UNESCO).

Landscapes beyond land Landscapes beyond land


As a whole, workshop papers emphasised how landscapes become known primarily through movement and journeying rather than being static. A selection of the workshop papers form the edited collection Landscapes Beyond Land: Routes, Aesthetics, Narratives (2012).

Co-operation between the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen and École des Hautes en Sciences Sociales in Paris where one of the workshops was held, furthered collaboration between UK-based and European landscape researchers. Links have also been made with researchers in the United States, Norway, Iceland and Canada, illustrating the international and interdisciplinary impact of the project.

Ongoing influence

A record of the workshops can be found online at the project website (live as of December 2012). Alongside the 2012 edited collection, the project members are planning to produce two journal special issues.

Three related research projects have been developed by the workshop organisers. Workshop discussions will also inform future work on landscape in areas of current public concern like access to land in Scotland.


  1. Routes, Boundaries, Journeys
  2. The Ecology of Perception and the Aesthetics of Landscape
  3. Landscape and Narrative

Award details

Duration: December 2006-September 2007 (10 months)

Principal Investigator:
Dr Arnar Arnason

Higher Education Institution:
Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen

Project team:
  • Dr Jo Lee (Co-I)
  • Dr Nicolas Ellison
  • Dr Andrew Whitehouse

Selected publications

Jo Vergunst & Arnar Árnason (eds.) (2012). Routing Landscape: Ethnographic Studies of Journeying and Movement. Special issue of Landscape Research.

Arnason, A., Ellison, N., Vergunst, J. and Whitehouse, A. (eds.) (2012). Landscapes Beyond Land: Routes, Aesthetics, Narratives. Oxford: Berghahn.


Landscape and Environment Programme

School of Geography
University Park
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 66071