African Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Approaches. By Michael Bollig & Olaf Bubenzer (eds.). Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation, Volume 4, Springer Science & Business Media, New York, 2009, xxiii + 515 pp. ISBN 978-0-387-78681-0. £ 72.00 (Hardcover).

African Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Approaches. By Michael Bollig & Olaf Bubenzer (eds.).... Even a cursory glance at the academic literature will reveal that the deceptively simple term `landscape' in fact is a complex and contested concept imbued with multiple meanings. For researchers like myself, working mainly in the geosciences, `landscape' is generally taken to mean an objectified, material, `mappable' reality that can be seen. From this perspective, Africa's landscapes are globally important, occupying ~21 % of the Earth's continental surface area, and increasingly are regarded as likely to play critical roles in global climate change; for instance, through acting as sources of atmospheric dust and through their ability to release or sequester carbon. For many researchers in the social sciences, however, `landscape' can take on more nuanced meanings. There is recognition that what is `seen' by eye can be historically and culturally contingent, and that in any case there is a range of nonvisual embodied aspects of human interactions with the land, whereby `seeing' can be influenced by other faculties such as smell, touch, and memory. Hence, rather than just being something over which we gaze, by these more imaginative representations, landscapes are regarded more as something within which we live. From these perspectives too, Africa's landscapes are of global http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

African Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Approaches. By Michael Bollig & Olaf Bubenzer (eds.). Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation, Volume 4, Springer Science & Business Media, New York, 2009, xxiii + 515 pp. ISBN 978-0-387-78681-0. £ 72.00 (Hardcover).

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 9 (1): 103 – Oct 25, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/2191-5784-10177
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Even a cursory glance at the academic literature will reveal that the deceptively simple term `landscape' in fact is a complex and contested concept imbued with multiple meanings. For researchers like myself, working mainly in the geosciences, `landscape' is generally taken to mean an objectified, material, `mappable' reality that can be seen. From this perspective, Africa's landscapes are globally important, occupying ~21 % of the Earth's continental surface area, and increasingly are regarded as likely to play critical roles in global climate change; for instance, through acting as sources of atmospheric dust and through their ability to release or sequester carbon. For many researchers in the social sciences, however, `landscape' can take on more nuanced meanings. There is recognition that what is `seen' by eye can be historically and culturally contingent, and that in any case there is a range of nonvisual embodied aspects of human interactions with the land, whereby `seeing' can be influenced by other faculties such as smell, touch, and memory. Hence, rather than just being something over which we gaze, by these more imaginative representations, landscapes are regarded more as something within which we live. From these perspectives too, Africa's landscapes are of global

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2011

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