and Compromises of Public Space Discussion Set for November 14
post-Revolutionary France, the reassertion of church authority
was symbolized by the erection of mission crosses in villages
and fields throughout the countryside.
perspective on conflicts and compromises of public space will
be the subject of the third program of the yearlong series Building
Meaning: Architecture and Public Space in the New Millennium.
Sponsored by the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership,
the series is designed to explore how society shapes, and is shaped
by, buildings and public spaces. It began in October with discussions
of women and public space and the many "lives" of factory
buildings. The third panel discussion, "Contested Ground:
Meaningful Landscapes and Cultural Conflict in the Past,"
is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14, at 7:30 pm in Gamble
will be Brian Osborne, professor of geography at Queens University
in Kingston, Ontario; Anne Kelly Knowles, author and scholar from
Washington, D.C.; and Amy Hillier, a postdoctoral researcher at
the University of Pennsylvania Population Studies Center and a
research associate at that universitys Cartographic Modeling
Laboratory. The discussion will be moderated by Mount Holyoke
history professor Robert Schwartz, who has recently been collaborating
with historical geographers like them for his research on the
relationship between railways and rural development in Victorian
conflict between different cultures over the possession of territory
is as constant as it is varied in time and space," says Schwartz.
He notes as examples the seventeenth-century appropriation of
Amerindian land in the American Northeast by English and French
settlers, the historic struggles over territory in the Balkans,
and the reassertion of church authority in post-Revolutionary
France, symbolized by the erection of mission crosses in villages
and fields throughout the countryside. Historical geographers
who study territorial claims have equally varied interests, Schwartz
adds, citing the panelists research on the settlement of
Welsh immigrants in Ohio, the early iron industry in Pennsylvania,
and the use of monuments to mark contested territory in nineteenth-
and twentieth-century Canada, but all are interested in ways of
reading and interpreting the meanings in historical landscapes.
themes in historical geography include the study of humans as
agents of environmental change and the nature and location of
cultural conflicts over territory and public spacethe relationship
between cultural habit and physical habitat
over time and in space," says Schwartz. "Unlike the
normal run of historians, historical geographers are especially
concerned with spatial relationships in the past, such as how
settlement patterns, economic development, and land use varied
over time according to topography, climate, and other characteristics
of specific localities and regions."
notes that the panel is scheduled during Geography Week in the
United States"a perfect opportunity for students and
the public to get historical geographys valuable perspective
on a wide range of our current concerns."
to participating in the panel, Osborne will remain on campus for
three days (November 1214) to visit classes and offer two
seminars, one for faculty (Tuesday, November 13, 45:30 pm,
Skinner 202) and one for students (Wednesday November 14, 45:30
pm, Skinner 202). Questions about these events should be directed
to Robert Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.