Friday, 12 August 2011

About the title - 'Landscape, self and others'

Various people have said over months or indeed years that I should have a blog. I've bits and pieces of social-commentary writing here and there (FB etc.) in addition to academic things, articles and books, but not a public blog. Time, therefore to start.

The title reflects my key interests as a social anthropologist / sociologist - I never know which to style myself though the latter tends to feel too narrow - in looking at how people interact with where they are, how 'sacredness' is inscribed in landscape or how landscapes inscribe 'sacredness' in their people, and particularly just now on the doing of family history (yes, as in Who Do You Think You Are?) and the importance of place as landscape, taskscape, cityscape, mythscape for personal and community identities. In theorising these issues, I see identities in place shaped also by the social constructs of class, ethnicity, gender, religion, spirituality and others. Social theory, though, has tended to ignore embodiment, particularly embodiment in place and the spiritual understandings or awakenings which result. So, I'll attempt to use this blog, probably sporadically, to explore some ideas about being in place, whether that place be Border hills, reconstructed Leith streets, or my own garden.

So, there is landscape; identities or selves include my own constructions of self, as researcher, author, photographer, theorist; 'others' obviously include the human people with whom places (and I) interact - but also other-than-human entities with whom the space is in some way shared.

I dithered over whether it should be landscapes, plural - but settled in the end for the singular, and more abstract, 'landscape'.


  1. Hi Jenny, it's nice to see you've started a blog. I've always enjoyed your talks and lectures. We met through Jez one warm summer at Lunan Camp at Karen's.


  2. Thanks Caroline! I'l look forward to talking more.