Coffee Hour: Richard Schein

October 5, 2018
3:30 pm
Refreshments: 319 Walker Building; Lecture: 112 Walker Building

Aphorisms for Reading the Landscape: lecture in Memory of Peirce Lewis


Please join us for a special coffee hour in memory of Peirce Lewis

Colleagues, friends, family, and students of the late Geographer Peirce Lewis are invited to join us as the Department of Geography pays tribute to the man and his contributions to geography. Richard Schein ('83g), Peirce Lewis's advisee and now professor of geography at the University of Kentucky, will give the Coffee Hour lecture.

3:30 Coffee and refreshments, 319 Walker Building
4:00 Lecture in Memory of Peirce Lewis, "Aphorisms for Reading the Landscape," by Richard Schein, 112 Walker Building
5:00 Reception in the Joel M. Myers Weather Center (sixth floor, Walker Building) with hors d'oeuvres and wine/beer and time for people to share their stories and memories

RSVP by September 28 using the registration link below.

About the talk

Peirce Lewis published "Axioms for Reading the Landscape" in 1979, in a small but important volume titled The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes (D.W. Meinig, ed.). Lewis remarked in that essay that (f)or most Americans, cultural landscape just is, before he suggested to the contrary that all human landscape has cultural meaning. This talk posits Lewis’s "Axioms" and the Meinig volume as a watershed moment for U.S. landscape study. It moves from a brief genealogy of the landscape idea in Geography to focus on the post-empiricist landscape imperative that takes seriously Lewis’s claim by asking what is it that landscapes do. What landscapes might do will be presented through a set of aphorisms—concise statements that try to capture important critical-theoretical engagements with the idea of landscape. Some of those aphorisms for reading the landscape will be presented through case studies and examples in what Lewis so famously called the tangible, visible scene.

About the speaker

Richard Schein is Professor of Geography and Associate Dean of Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky (USA). He is a former Fulbright Bicentennial Chair of North American Studies at the University of Helsinki (2012-2013) and has been named Distinguished Historical Geographer (2011) by the Association of American Geographers. His published work explores US settlement practices (questions of land and property), methodology in historical geography (archival practices), and the American landscape – its origins, its form, its meaning, its contestation. Most recently that work is focused upon the place of landscape, as an epistemological framework and as a material thing or set of things, in American social and racial formation. Professor Schein lives in Woodford County Kentucky, home of fast horses and good bourbon, where he also is a planning commissioner.


Angela Rogers - - 814-865-2493
Department of Geography