Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change
By Lesley Head
Routledge – 2000 – 208 pages
Cultural landscapes are usually understood within physical geography as those transformed by human action. As human influence on the earth increases, advances in palaeocological reconstruction have also allowed for new interpretations of the evidence for the earliest human impacts on the environment. It is essential that such evidence is examined in the context of modern trends in social sciences and humanities. This stimulating new book argues that convergence of the two approaches can provide a more holistic understanding of long-term physical and human processes.
Split into two major sections, this book attempts to bridge the gap between the sciences and humanities. The first section, provides an analysis of the methodological tools employed in examining processes of environmental change. Empirical research in the fields of palaecology and Quaternary studies is combined with the latest theoretical views of nature and landscape occurring in cultural geography, archaeology and anthropology. The author examines the way in which environmental management decisions are made. The book then moves on to discuss the relevance of this perspective to contemporary issues through a wide variety of international case studies, including World Heritage protection, landscape preservation, indigenous people and cultural tourism.
Head boldly explores recursive terrain by bringing together environmental-change science with cultural constructions of nature. Head's volume made clear to me just how much we need innovative textbooks, both to rattle our complacency and to attract the best students
Karl W. Butzer, Department of Geography, Universit
This book represents a fundamental contribution to studies of cultural perception of landscapes and their change over time. It will be of value to the increasing number of researchers basing their fieldwork with Indigenous Australians on an understanding of the significance of a cultural landscapes approach to their investigations.
Australian Aboriginal Studies
Relatively few texts appeal to geographers of all persuasions, but here's a book that has the potential to be enjoyed by both physical and human geographers, as well as by the book's natural audience of environmental specialists.
Transactions of the IBG, Vol 27:2
A wide-ranging and well-written text on an interesting and important interdisciplinary topic.
International Journal of Environmental Studies
This book is splendid in many ways. It is lively, it covers many different types of terrain and it is exploratory in the feeling that the author is conveying a reconnaissance of ideas and not treading a broad highway.
The Geographical Journal
Part 1 Overview
Quarrying yams: perspectives from the edge
Contingent constructions - cultural landscapes and environmental change
Part 2 Methodological and Conceptual Tools from the Sciences
Transformed landscapes - human impacts and the palaeoecological record
The question of naturalness - environmental change in ecology and palaeoecology
Part 3 Methodological and Conceptual Tools from the Humanities
The social construction of nature and landscape
The production of knowledge and its policy implications
Part 4 Contemporary Issues and the Long Term Perspective
Restored, (p)reserved and created landscapes
Humanised landscapes - a place for people?
Identity, heritage and tourism.