Gothenberg and Mariestad, Sweden

The 26th session of the PECSRL biennial international conference – “Unraveling the Logics of Landscape” – will be held at two locations: in the city of Gothenburg and the town of Mariestad in the west part of Sweden. The congress will be hosted by the University of Gothenburg.

Call for Special Session: The logic of landscapes and antiquarian practice

In this session we want to address the relation between the interpretation and representation of historical landscapes in heritage and nature conservation on the one hand and landscapes actual historical contexts on the other.

Our point of departure is that landscapes and places may be understood as emergent historical structures with their own intrinsic logics. Distinguished from the historical narrative this logic exists independently of external assessments, but may never the less be accessible through different kinds of analysis and methodologies. From this standpoint an adequate interpretation of a historical landscape imply that the methodological application in question has the potential to grasp the structural relations of the particular place or landscape. We think that this calls for an intensified discussion of how to deal with the logics of landscape from a methodological perspective but also of how methodological approaches in landscape analysis are turned into antiquarian practices and eventually also affects decision making and policies. From this perspective it is important to take a critical stance towards idealized representations of landscape heritage. On a theoretical level this is a question of dynamically combining ontology and epistemology. However, relating to current debates on sustainability and democracy, the ability to adequately entangle the logics of landscape are crucial in order to assess the effects and consequences of different strategies.

We welcome presentations discussing methodological approaches in historical landscape analysis and investigation in a broad sense (including for instance various kinds of field studies). We are particularly interested in theoretical models and conceptualizations of landscapes, methods for landscape analysis, attempts to integrate theoretical approaches in methodological applications and conservation, evaluations of current practices as well as case studies of landscape planning and conservation.

Contact corresponding organizer:

Submission of abstracts is open until 2014-01-31. Please see instructions for submission on the following link;


The conference brings together geographers, landscape architects, historians, ethnographers, archaeologists, ecologists, rural planners, landscape managers and other scholars interested in European landscapes. The conference offers ample facilities to meet colleagues from all parts of Europe, to get informed about various aspects of European landscape research and to initiate new projects. Besides paper sessions, poster presentations, workshops and plenary sessions there will be one full day of field trips to provide the PECSRL-participants with a detailed knowledge of some rural landscapes in the region of Västra Götaland.

The leading topic, which we hope will become an impulse for a fruitful exchange of thoughts, is: “Unraveling the Logics of Landscape”. Despite conceptual oscillations through times, the concept of landscape remains highly subjective, whereupon unraveling its ‘logics’ opens up to a plurality of interpretations. Accordingly, by focusing on the interconnections present in the non-haphazard production of landscape, the conference will elaborate on how the rural landscape is valued, monitored, changed, harbored, used and misused, be it through actions, representations or metaphors.