On 27 February 2014, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities played host to over 30 academics from Edinburgh and further afield, who gathered to explore landscape as a locus of hope. Organized and opened by Dr Maxim Shadurski, the symposium featured 4 plenary and 5 panel presentations, which focused on various political, social, environmental, linguistic, artistic, and cultural aspects of landscape. Hope was seen to underpin the possibilities of rethinking land use; it took precedent in the opportunities offered by the proposed construction of a co-operative town in South Lanarkshire. Hope was also explored through its adversaries – despair and disappointment – as a necessary component to an objective and imaginary ruination of landscape, and to the radicalization of hope. Featuring discussion of landscapes as close as England and Norway, and as far-flung as New Zealand and Chile, the symposium tended to stay thematically at home. On the eve of the Independence Referendum, Scottish landscape invited the most attention, posing questions about how its future will be born of hope.
For more information about speakers and papers presented at the symposium, see http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/archives/past-events-at-iash/landscapes-of-hope/