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“Politics and Ethics in Landscape Architecture: Spacing, Expression, and Representation in Jaffa's Slope Park”

Naama Meishar, The Hebrew University, Summer Fellow 2012

During my Summer Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks library, I pursued the writing of my Ph.D. dissertation Politics and Ethics in Landscape Architecture: Spacing, Expression and Representation in Jaffa's Slope Park. Using library resources, I was able to elaborate on several central concepts and topics related to the landscape architecture of large parks, such as the ‘picturesque’, ‘sublime’, ‘natural’, ‘lawn’, ‘meaning’ and ‘representation’. The interlibrary loan service provided access to some continental philosophy books and to writings on public space from Harvard’s libraries and its online resources. Combined with titles from the library collection, this enabled me to review my theoretical ideas in the context of contemporary public parks other than my case study, Jaffa’s Slope Park. I also used my time here to complete the final editing of my paper “In Search of Meta-Landscape-Architecture: the Ethical Experience and Jaffa Slope Park’s Design,” that will appear in the Journal of Landscape Architecture (Autumn 2012). In visits to the Dumbarton Oaks Rare Books Collection, I also had the chance to assess my possible future research area which will be the intersections of botanical and inter-subjective colonial encounters in Southern Africa as seen in European visual representations.

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