Shauna McCabe recently participated in one of two panels that took place focusing on the concept of landscape as it is being used by contemporary researchers, presenting on the artistic rendering of memory and landscape in the work of artist Rebecca Belmore. Held in conjunction with the Association of American Geographers conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the overarching intent of the sessions was to explore landscape in terms of its contemporary engagement as heuristic tool, cultural artifact, ecological concept, or political entity:
Landscape has a long tradition within the history of geographic thought, though the definition of what landscape is has differed over time. From Carl Sauer in the 1920s to Kenneth Olwig today, what constitutes landscape has shifted, with varying degrees of significance given to the natural, cultural and political aspects engendered by the concept. The use of the term has also been used to describing a portion of the earth's surface, to refer to representation, as well as to describe a way of looking at the world. While the importance of landscape as a topic of inquiry has waxed and waned, it appears that there is a new resurgence of interest. This session seeks to draw together papers which have in common a focus upon landscape in order to explore the manifest ways in which this foundational geographic term is understood and employed by contemporary researchers.
Sessions I and II examined the ideas from ten different critical positions.