It’s been a very long haul but I am finally finished my Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Guelph. I entered the landscape architecture field in large part through my love of history, and I hope I will be able to find a job that allows me to exercise my interests towards making a meaningful contribution to the cultural landscapes of Nova Scotia/the Atlantic Provinces (my heart is on the East Coast). At the very least, I hope to blog here a bit more frequently now that the weight of always having an unfinished thesis has been lifted off my shoulders. For reasons almost exclusively rooted in self-promotion (not something I do well, so I’ve decided to seize the moment while it lasts), here is the abstract for my recently completed thesis:
Meaning and Imagined Memories: Exploring Literary Landscape Theory Through the Aesthetics of Lucy Maud Montgomery
This thesis explores the theory of literary landscapes. The research is composed primarily of an interdisciplinary literature review that draws on landscape architectural theory, tourism studies, literary criticism, and landscape history and cultural geography, as well as archival research and site visits. It positions literary landscapes in relation to the landscape meaning discourse, and argues that they are an essentially experiential way of perceiving landscape through the use of “imagined memories” by the literary visitor. Using the example of L.M. Montgomery, the research explores how understanding an author’s landscape aesthetic can reveal past and present meaning in the landscape, and how this aesthetic—understood formally, thematically, and as embodied experience—allows us to understand the range of literary visitor motivations and expectations, as well as encouraging the exploration of how landscape architects might design, manage, and interpret literary landscapes based on an author’s aesthetic.
If you have an interest in reading my thesis, you can find it here.