Contemporary & Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) conference 2016

  • Amy Elizabeth Woolvin (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


A paper was presented at the CHAT 2016 conference, co-authored with Dr Fiona Smith (University of Dundee). Title: Embodying landscapes through the practice of walking: exploring the ‘more-than-visual’ and temporality of landscapes Abstract: Examining the embodied nature of landscapes and their intersections with varied socio-cultural processes, have emerged as challenges in work across a range of disciplines, including human geography, to primarily visual concepts of landscape. Exploring aspects of “being-in-the-landscape” it emerges how landscapes become entangled with experiences, emotions, memories, history (personal and shared) and identities rather than remaining as distant, static spectacles. Bodily engagements, such as walking through landscapes, can trigger memories of past experiences, feelings of discovery and belonging. Similarly it can be a means of engaging with material and intangible cultural artefacts. Paying attention to encounters with landscape through everyday practices, such as walking, has the potential to challenge how landscapes are perceived and known and contribute to future aspects of landscape management as well as wider cultural and heritage debates. This paper critically explores the role of mundane and everyday practices of walking in and through landscapes, drawing on embodied methodologies with a spectrum of residents and visitors in two remote-rural communities in the Scottish Highlands. Specifically, it highlights the potential of walking as a means of engaging with people’s “more-than-visual” encounters with landscape as well as identifying the ‘lived-in’ nature of these landscapes. It explores the practice of walking and the movement of bodies through landscapes as a means of exposing the temporality of landscapes and animating them with lived stories of the past and present. It aims to show how landscapes are known not only by their visual and physical dimensions but also by the routes that are taken through them and by how bodies respond and react to them. The paper concludes by challenging notions of landscape as distant or static, proposing instead understandings of landscape as intimate, embodied, entangled and always becoming through often mundane and everyday practices and process of encounter.
Period21 Oct 201623 Oct 2016
Event typeConference
LocationKirkwall, United KingdomShow on map


  • landscape
  • 'more-than-visual'
  • embodiment
  • landscape experiences
  • walking interviews