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Reading Landscape: J. B. Jackson and the Cultural Landscape Idea at Midcentury

Reading Landscape: J. B. Jackson and the Cultural Landscape Idea at Midcentury <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>The idea of <i>cultural landscapes</i> emerged in academic literature in the mid-twentieth century. The primary catalyst for this renewed interest in landscapes that signify human cultures in complex relationships with the natural world was the essayist and critic John Brinckerhoff Jackson and his magazine <i>Landscape</i>. During the years of Jackson’s editorship (1951–1968), the magazine became a gathering place for scholars from different disciplines who were drawn to Jackson’s unique voice. Jackson’s essays in the magazine used the term landscape in ways not common outside of the field of human geography. Taking his initial cues from a twentieth century geographic literature concerned with the everyday artifacts of human culture, Jackson wrote of landscapes that seemed defiantly prosaic: city streets, farms, homes, highways, and the commercial strip. He insisted that understanding how to read these places for their social, historical, and ecological content was a necessary prelude to imagining new prototypes for the design of human environments. J. B. Jackson and his magazine ultimately nurtured an understanding of landscape as a contextually rich medium composed of a diversity of cultures and complex social processes, layers of visible history and hidden narratives, and an interdependent human ecology that continues to shape landscape theory and practice today.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the land University of Wisconsin Press

Reading Landscape: J. B. Jackson and the Cultural Landscape Idea at Midcentury

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1553-2704

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>The idea of <i>cultural landscapes</i> emerged in academic literature in the mid-twentieth century. The primary catalyst for this renewed interest in landscapes that signify human cultures in complex relationships with the natural world was the essayist and critic John Brinckerhoff Jackson and his magazine <i>Landscape</i>. During the years of Jackson’s editorship (1951–1968), the magazine became a gathering place for scholars from different disciplines who were drawn to Jackson’s unique voice. Jackson’s essays in the magazine used the term landscape in ways not common outside of the field of human geography. Taking his initial cues from a twentieth century geographic literature concerned with the everyday artifacts of human culture, Jackson wrote of landscapes that seemed defiantly prosaic: city streets, farms, homes, highways, and the commercial strip. He insisted that understanding how to read these places for their social, historical, and ecological content was a necessary prelude to imagining new prototypes for the design of human environments. J. B. Jackson and his magazine ultimately nurtured an understanding of landscape as a contextually rich medium composed of a diversity of cultures and complex social processes, layers of visible history and hidden narratives, and an interdependent human ecology that continues to shape landscape theory and practice today.</p>

Journal

Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the landUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Sep 13, 2017

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