Symbolic Landscapes presents a definitive collection of landscape/place studies that explores symbolic, cultural levels of geographical meanings. Essays written by philosophers, geographers, architects, social scientists, art historians, and literati, bring specific modes of expertise and perspectives to this transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary study of the symbolic level human existential spatiality. Placing emphasis on the pre-cognitive genesis of symbolic meaning, as well as embodied, experiential (lived) geography, the volume offers a fresh, quasi-phenomenological approach.
The editors articulate the epistemological doctrine that perception and imagination form a continuum in which both are always implicated as complements. This approach makes a case for the interrelation of the geography of perception and the geography of imagination, which means that human/cultural geography offers only an abstraction if indeed an aesthetic geography is constituted merely as a sub-field. Human/cultural geography can only approach spatial reality through recognizing the intimate interrelative dialectic between the imaginative and perceptual meanings of our landscapes/place-worlds. This volume reinvigorates the importance of the topic of symbolism in human/cultural geography, landscape studies, philosophy of place, architecture and planning, and will stand among the classics in the field.
Covers a wide-range of examples or cases
Contributes to a widely-respected, but under-published area of human/cultural geography as well as the growing interest in place across the disciplines
Makes a case for the study of symbolism as essential to landscape/place studies
Offers a lived-geography (experiential) component that heightens interest
Develops new ways to approach symbolism through an interdisciplinary focus