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Title: The Rock and The Map : two tales of contemporary heritage landscaping in Scotland
Author: Hutchinson, John Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 8597
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2020
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As opposed to the ingrained and popularly rehearsed notion that Scotland’s quintessential landscapes are mountainous, remote, rugged and wild, this thesis considers the local landmarks of Dumbarton Rock and the Great Polish Map of Scotland as exemplary of a “New Scottish Landscape”. That is, a new aesthetic, or ‘way of seeing’ the Scottish landscape as one defined by ‘everyday’ local landscapes of affiliation, as much as the ‘special’ and spectacular. Such a belief is given added traction with the demographic fact that the majority of Scotland's population inhabits the densely urbanised Central Belt, in which landscape qualities of 'wildness' and 'remoteness' are generally lacking. Despite this ‘grandeur deficit’, there is increasing recognition that exurban, post-industrial, partially degraded or abandoned landscapes have the capacity to generate intensities of belonging and attachment, reflecting new, distinctive heritage values. Aligned with ‘processual’ conceptual understandings of landscape and heritage as situated, subjective phenomena, ‘the Rock’ and ‘the Map’ are approached in this thesis as instances of “heritage landscaping”, whereby landscape and heritage are figured as conjoined; emerging and unfolding together in practice and experience. Informing a phenomenological methodological design around fieldwork principles of observation, sensation, practice and performance, a range of research materials are gathered to tell the stories of the Rock and the Map. Recounted in two central empirical chapters, the Rock and the Map are explored respectively through the provision of a historical-cultural biography, lending context and time-depth to my own situated experiences through participative intervention. As contrasting but related instances of community-driven heritage landscaping, the Rock and the Map are then considered together to critically engage with recent conceptual developments in landscape and heritage practice towards ‘democratisation’. That is, a loosening of traditionally top-down professional landscape and heritage decision-making, to better account for the often intangible ‘social values’ held by ‘unofficial’ local communities of interest. Drawing upon my situated inquiries of the Rock and the Map, I contend that landscape phenomenology and a ‘performative ethos’ provide a creative and effective means of apprehending and accounting for these alternative narratives, allowing us to uncover and illuminate the latent potential and cultural value held within the New Scottish Landscape.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: G Geography (General)