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Friday 1 November 2013 9:52am

Landscape and identity in Aotearoa New Zealand

Edited by Janet Stephenson, Mick Abbott and Jacinta Ruru

Stephenson Abbott Ruru Beyond the Scene cover imageThe book

What contribution does landscape make to our sense of identity? Images of spectacular natural features pervade the media – between the pages of glossy coffee-table books, in tourism promotions and on screen as the setting for blockbuster movies – but are these scenes that define its people?

For Beyond the Scene the editors asked eleven writers to choose a landscape that was important to them and to write it from the perspective of their life experience and knowledge. From farmer to art historian and film critic, geographer and planner to lawyer, from landscape architect to poet and environmentalist – these are diverse voices. Each discusses a very different landscape: from suburban Auckland and rural Waikato to a planned town in Canterbury and much-filmed Otago. Together, they investigate the relationship landscape has to identity, community and psyche.

beyondthesceneeditorsThe editors

All three editors are based at the University of Otago. JANET STEPHENSON is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment; MICK ABBOTT is Senior Lecturer and Environmental Designer at the Department of Design Studies; JACINTA RURU is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law.

Watch an interview with the editors here.


'Each author has taken a different approach, which lends this book interest and variety, makes one want to leave the armchair and actually visit the areas, and view and view and explore them from fresh perspectives.' – Heritage Matters, Issue 23, Winter 2010

'There is a feast of imaginative and interesting writing in this book.' – Beattie's Book Blog

Publication details

Paperback, 224 pages, ISBN 978 1 877372 81 0, $45.00 / £18.50 UK


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