Tallinn, Estonia; 22-24 October 2009

The first international conference the Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory (CECT) organises aims at critical reappraisal in light of recent humanist perspectives, which refuse the ontological separations of culture and nature. The conceptualisation of nature and culture, or natural and human processes, as distinct and separate entities is entrenched in humanities, social and physical sciences. In highlighting the role of space and location and subscribing to the view that the terrain is sentient and that subjectivity, in the form of consciousness, agency, morality and law, is part of all forms and sites of life, we invite contributions that challenge this binary. Two key concepts in the analysis of long-term human/ environment relations have been ‘human impacts’ and ‘cultural landscapes’. Each have been crucial in contributing to our understanding of the long-term human role in earth processes but paradoxically have reinforced the view of humans as external to the natural system and advanced human- and euro-centred reductions to culture that is the equal and opposite to the natural sciences reduction of explanation to nature. In combining the approaches of the various disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, geography; folklore, literature, media studies, and semiotics the objective is to open up the discussion of substantiveness of culture in nature at specific locations and time.

We invite papers that address the conceptual, ontological and epistemological problems of culture/nature relationships. A focus on people’s engagement with the land constituted through temporal and spatial practices that leave a visual mark or a memory opens up for both a range of empirical presentations and for contributions that address theoretical and methodological challenges.


21 October 2009 Wednesday

19.00 Informal reception/ ice-breaker at the Centre for Landscape and Culture (5 Uus-Sadama St, room M642) (registered participants only)

22 October 2009 Thursday
(Narva mnt 29, S316)
Registration starts in the lobby of the Silva building (previously known as Keeltemaja) at 9.45 on Thursday 22 October
For orientation around the buildings, see the campus map.

Chair: Tiina Peil
10.15-10.30 Opening of the conference: Valter Lang
10.30-11.00 Roland Posner: Eight historical paradigms of the human sciences (see paper)
11.00-11.30 Tõnu Viik: Spatial horizons of meaning-formation: a cultural phenomenology of spaces and landscapes
11.30-12.00 Alfred K. Siewers: Early ecosemiotics: the Green World as literary ecology (see slides)
12.00-12.30 Kalevi Kull, Timo Maran: Ecosemiotics: main ideas and current developments (see slides)

12.30-13.30 lunch (registered participants only)

Chair: Hannes Palang
13.30-14.00 Eric Clark: Challenging the culture/nature rift – island biocultural geographies and historical-political ecologies
                                        (see slides)
14.00-14.30 Kirsi Laurén: Environmental narratives as indicators of a cultural relationships to nature (see slides)
14.30-15.00 Anne Kull: Is nature capable of meaning and transcendence? (see slides)
15.00-15.30 Mats Widgren: A world of domesticated landscapes (see slides)

15.30-16.00 coffee break

16.00-18.00 poster presentations (Aatrium, Uus-Sadama 5)
See timetable

23 October 2009 Friday
(Tallinna saal, M218)

Chair: Valter Lang
9.15-9.45 Ernest Hess-Lüttich: The concept of space in geography and literary theory
9.45-10.15 Kati Lindström: The role of internal perception and external images in the visualisation of home landscapes                                                     (see slides)

10.15-10.45 coffee break

10.45-11.15 Heiki Valk: Archaeological monuments as memory places on landscape: temporal dimension of place-related memory  (see slides)
11.15-11.45 Junzo Uchiyama: Jomon style and Yayoi style: the worldview transition in the Central Japanese Archipelago with Neolithisation and its modern influence (see slides)
11.45-12.15 Urve Miller: Precondition and changes of environment with focus on the Stockholm region (see slides)

12.15-13.15 lunch (registered participants only)

Chair: Kalevi Kull
13.15-13.45 Ester Võsu, Helen Sooväli-Sepping, Maarja Kaaristo: Images and experiences of regional identity: landscapes, heritage and tourism in Võrumaa (South-East Estonia) (see slides)
13.45-14.15 Leo Aoi Hosoya: What did agriculture bring to life?: the 'routine-scape' and social structurarisation in the formation of agricultural society (see slides)
14.15-14.45 Madis Arukask: Holy places, nature spirits and dead ancestors in Vepsian traditional culture (see slides)

14.45-15.15 coffee break

15.15-15.45 Simo Laakkonen: Environmental history and future of a Nordic City (see slides)
15.45-16.15 Tiina Peil: Spatiality and visualisation of the every-day: nature-culture in Tallinn suburbia (see slides)
16.15- 16.30 Summing up: conclusions, plans for the future: Hannes Palang

19.00 CECT Reception at the restaurant Kaerajaan, at 17 Town Hall Square (registered participants only)

24 October 2009 Saturday
(start from the Reval Park Hotel, 23 Kreutzwaldi St)
Registered participants only

9.00-16.00 Excursion to the Muuksi-Rebala area / 'Visualising culture in nature' Valter Lang, Helen Sooväli-Sepping, Urve Miller, Tiina Peil
Sturdy footwear and rain- and windproof clothing recommended.

Program (PDF)

Abstracts (PDF)

Scientific Committee:
Valter Lang
Kalevi Kull
Tiina Peil

Information: Monika Tasa (monika_tasa@hotmail.com)


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