Before moving on to the main course, landscape and discourse, it’s wise to start off with something small. I started working on a PhD a couple years ago, focusing on linguistic landscapes. I opted to do something different, something unexplored for my PhD rather than playing it safe. I didn’t want to end up a one-trick pony. I had studied language and discourse in the past, as well as supplemented my studies with geography. My prior knowledge on the topic was rather limited, having attended a course on linguistic landscapes a few years back. Landscapes were covered very briefly on some introductory geography course. So essentially I had to start from scratch.
Anyway, I was lucky to get a second supervisor who knew how to push me into a right direction. Well versed in geography, he handed me two books to get things started: ‘Landscape’ by John Wylie, a very accessible overview and synthesis of landscape research, and ‘The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays’ edited by Donald Meinig, a somewhat dated, yet thought provoking and idea rich collection of essays on the topic. Both proved to be exceptionally good for starters and led me to read paper after paper, book after book, angle after angle. That said, landscape remains an elusive and slippery concept, which seems to be the case also for the established landscape researchers.
- Meinig, D. W. (Ed.) (1979). The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Wylie, J. (2007). Landscape. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.