New Book | Making of a Cultural Landscape: The English Lake District

Posted in books by Editor on October 15, 2013

From Ashgate:

John K. Walton and Jason Wood, eds., The Making of a Cultural Landscape: The English Lake District as Tourist Destination, 1750–2010 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), 292 pages, 978-1409423683, £70 / $135.

9781409423683_p0_v1_s600For centuries, the English Lake District has been renowned as an important cultural, sacred and literary landscape. It is therefore surprising that there has so far been no in-depth critical examination of the Lake District from a tourism and heritage perspective. Bringing together leading writers from a wide range of disciplines, this book explores the tourism history and heritage of the Lake District and its construction as a cultural landscape from the mid eighteenth century to the present day.

It critically analyses the relationships between history, heritage, landscape, culture and policy that underlie the activities of the National Park, Cumbria Tourism and the proposals to recognise the Lake District as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It examines all aspects of the Lake District’s history and identity, brings the story up to date and looks at current issues in conservation, policy and tourism marketing. In doing so, it not only provides a unique and valuable analysis of this region, but offers insights into the history of cultural and heritage tourism in Britain and beyond.

Professor John K. Walton is IKERBASQUE Research Professor at the Department of Contemporary History, University of the
Basque Country, Leoia, Bilbao, Spain. Jason Wood, is Director
of Heritage Consultancy Services, Lancaster, UK.

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List of Figures and Tables, vii
List of Contributors, xi
Foreword, xiii
Preface and Acknowledgements, xv

Part I: Lake District History and Identity

1 Susan Denyer, The Lake District Landscape: Cultural or Natural?, 3
2 John K. Walton, Setting the Scene, 31
3 Angus J. L. Winchester, The Landscape Encountered by the First Tourists, 49
4 John K. Walton, Landscape and Society: The Industrial Revolution and Beyond, 69
5 Melanie Hall, American Tourists in Wordsworthshire: From ‘National Property’ to ‘National Park’, 87

Part II: Lake District Tourism Themes

6 Keith Hanley, The Imaginative Visitor: Wordsworth and the Romantic Construction of Literary Tourism, 113
7 Adam Menuge, ‘Inhabited by Strangers’: Tourism and the Lake District Villa, 133
8 Jonathan Westaway, The Origins and Development of Mountaineering and Rock Climbing Tourism in the Lake District, c. 1800–1914, 155

Part III: Lake District Tourism Case Studies

9 Mike Huggins and Keith Gregson, Sport, Tourism and Place Identity in the Lake District, 1800–1950, 181
10 Sarah Rutherford, Claife Station and the Picturesque in the Lakes, 201
11 Jason Wood, Furness Abbey: A Century and a Half in the Tourists’ Gaze, 1772–1923, 219
12 David Cooper, The Post-Industrial Picturesque? Placing and Promoting Marginalised Millom, 241

Select Bibliography

Call for Papers | Questioning the Masterpiece?

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 15, 2013

Questioning the Masterpiece?
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 20–22 February 2014

Proposals due by 25 November 2013

On the occasion of a major exhibition, Masterpiece: Art and East Anglia, held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of East Anglia, this conference will interrogate notions of artistic value by focusing on the very concept of the ‘masterpiece’. The exhibition is itself ambitious and wide-ranging, takes a broad view of what constitutes a masterpiece, albeit in terms of a single region. For the conference we wish to tackle the concept in terms of its implications for considering works of art from different parts of the world.

The term ‘Masterpiece’ has moved between being a valuable term for marking out artworks which display exceptional skill and virtuosity, to one which signals an overwhelming aesthetic response in the viewer. The production of a masterpiece may be a primary goal for an artist who may decide upon his or her own criteria for judgement. To others it is a social construct used to further the interests of cultural elites. In the definition of a ‘masterpiece’, what is the relative importance of the character of the work itself – including the techniques and materials used – and the political, economic and social factors shaping its production and display?

In the past, especially within the Western art canon, the term, having had its origins in craft practice, has tended to refer only to a limited category of artworks – mostly sculpture and painting. We would like to raise questions about the universality of its application. For instance, what are the implications of an artefact having been disregarded in its own time and place, being reassessed and elevated to masterpiece status by a subsequent critic or culture? Is this likely to amount to culturally imperialistic value judgement or de-contextualisation? Or is it redressing a systemic bias, usefully widening and democratising a concept, to include what might previously have been overlooked? How important is consensus in the definition of a masterpiece and to what extent is its existence determined by the economics of the market, its reputation enhanced by competition among collectors and museums? Is the masterpiece a sign of luxury, or can it be applied to the most humble artefact? Does the concept lose all analytic utility when confronted with the conceptual art of the twentieth century?

Papers are welcome from a range of disciplinary backgrounds – including art history, archaeology, anthropology and art practice – which critically engage with the idea of the ‘masterpiece’ and will normally be 30 minutes long within a 40 minute slot, allowing for discussion. We regret that we cannot offer a speaker fee, however conference attendance fees will be waived (Normal fees: £100 / £75 concessions; UEA students free). There may be some assistance with expenses available. Please enquire if you need help.

Please submit a title and an abstract of 200 words and brief cv. by 25 November, to worldart@uea.ac.uk with the subject heading Masterpieces conference. For any further enquiries in the meantime contact reddish.jenny@gmail.com, conference assistant.

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