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Rural landscape in focus at conference in Gothenburg and Mariestad

News: Sep 02, 2014

The 26th Session of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL 2014), is hosted by the University of Gothenburg, September 8 to 12. 250 lanscape scholars from more than 30 countries gather to present and discuss the latest in research on the European countryside, its history and future.

PECSRL conferences have been held every two years since 1957. It brings together researchers from many different disciplines, mainly in the humanities and social sciences, who are interested in people and landscapes in rural Europe. This year's conference is organized within the framework of the strategic initiative Critical Heritage Studies at the University of Gothenburg, in a collaboration with researchers from four different departments: Economy and Society (Human Geography), Global Studies (Human Ecology), Historical Studies and Conservation.

There are many different historical layers in the European landscape, and an important question is how this cultural heritage is managed. Conflicts and claims to power in both the past and more recent history complicates the answer. Other important issues relate to urbanization and changing structure of agriculture. The design of the EU's rural development policy and its consequences in different regions is a common issue associated with this. There is since 2001 the European Landscape Convention, initiated by the Council of Europe and ratified by Sweden. The Convention seeks to promote cooperation regarding landscape issues and to enhance public and community involvement in the work.

PECSRL 2014 starts with two conference days in Gothenburg. This is followed by a full day field excursion. Four routes with different themes will take the delegates through Västra Götaland and to Mariestad, where we spend the last two days of the conference.

The conference theme is Unraveling the Logics of Landscape and the program holds nearly 200 presentations from 30 countries. The presentations cover a wide range of topics; landscape and identity, driving forces behind landscape transformation in historical times as well as in the present; tourism; energy production; landscape management and conservation planning; political landscapes; the future of agriculture; food and landscape, as well as sustainability issues.

Especially invited speakers are Professor Rudy Rabbinge, active at the EU level in discussions on agricultural policy and the future landscape; Prof. Theano Terkenli, Greece, who has focused on how the economic crisis has affected the touristic landscape; Johanna MacTaggart, national biosphere reserve coordinator who will talk about biosphere thinking in the landscape; Associate Professor Tom Mels, Uppsala University, among other things investigating the understanding of nature and landscape and what it means for society's management of the physical environment; and Professor Kristian Kristiansen, Director of Critical Heritage Studies at the University of Gothenburg.

September 8-9: Wallenberg Conference Centre, Medicinaregatan 20, Gothenburg.
September 11-12: Trädgårdsskolan, Magasinsgatan 4, Mariestad.

For more information
Web: http://pecsrl2014.com/
E-mail: pecsrl2014@gu.se

Marie Stenseke, Professor, Göteborgs universitet, 031-786 1389, 070-57 67 147


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