Accepted Paper:

The Anthropology of Spatial Histories: Landscape Gardens, Political Philosophy, and Spatial Meaning  
Pauline McKenzie Aucoin (University of Ottawa)

Paper short abstract:

The historical analysis of French landscape gardens reveals aesthetic, political, and historical messages conveyed through the spatial practices that these gardens encompassed. Knowledge is both terrestrial and experiential, and will be analyszed, drawing on insights from the anthropology of space.

Paper long abstract:

The historical analysis of French landscape gardens reveals aesthetic, political, cultural and historical messages conveyed through the spatial practices that these gardens encompassed. Knowledge is both terrestrial and experiential, as these gardens constitute a realm of nature where Rousseau's ideals of liberty are expressed spatially and materially. This paper examines these gardens as they represent cultural constructs, 'nature as a spatial domain,' which represent for anthropologists a site of meaning: a site whose meaning is constructed and which may thus be "read" as a material and symbolic form. In this context, landscape provides a site to which meaning may be attached as well as a space within which meaning is contested. I comment on the insights that the work of anthropologists (such as Munn; Rotenberg) can bring to the analysis of historical art forms such as landscape art.

Panel P004
Architecture and Anthropology