You are here:Home/Research/ Garden and Landscape Studies/ Scholarly Activities/ 2022 Garden and Landscape Studies Workshop: Landscape History and Historiography

2022 Garden and Landscape Studies Workshop: Landscape History and Historiography

May 15–June 3, 2022, hosted on-campus and virtually | Intensive three-week workshop, focusing on Landscape History and Historiography, for PhD and MLA candidates, and recent MLA graduates

To develop the field of garden and landscape studies across distinct and related disciplines and to promote the depth and breadth of future landscape scholarship, Dumbarton Oaks, with the support of the Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies is hosting an intensive three-week Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Workshop focused on Landscape History and Historiography.

Workshop Offerings

This workshop seeks to ground histories of place, land, and landscape in the complexities of contested and counter narratives and sources. Bringing together PhD and advanced MLA candidates, the workshop will focus on the historiography and methods of landscape and environmental history writing challenging traditional frameworks and sources as well as questions of sovereignty, authority, and authenticity. This workshop offers the opportunity to become more familiar with the core scholarship of the discipline while we engage in a productive critique of its development and its future. We will interrogate seminal works in landscape and environmental history while exploring emerging practices, methods, and approaches to inquiry including scholarship on the public realm, and on democracy, race, gender, and identity, and the tools of critical place-based narratives. This work will be enriched with participation by guest lecturers who will share their current projects as well as their research methods and frameworks. We look forward to challenging and enriching our collective scholarship both now and in the future. This on-site workshop will allow participants to explore our extensive materials in landscape, environmental, and garden history, as well as visit other local archives and collections.

Student Participation

Eligible applicants include PhD candidates writing dissertations, current advanced MLA candidates and recent MLA recipients who have received their degree between May 2020 and May 2022. Applicants may be from any discipline whose research is engaged in landscape, garden, and/or environmental histories. Students should have a thesis or dissertation project in process and be ready to share their research with the workshop participants. The workshop is an intensive program requiring full participation throughout. The first two weeks (May 15–May 28) the workshop will be on campus at Dumbarton Oaks Library and Collections in Washington, DC, with classes Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 am–5:00 pm. During the third week (May 30–June 3), participants work remotely to complete a workshop project. During that final week we will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30–2:30 pm EST on zoom. The final project, completed virtually, will be shared with other participants as well as with scholars in the Dumbarton Oaks community.

Travel and Accommodation

Dumbarton Oaks will provide accommodation at Dumbarton Oaks from May 15–May 28 in Washington, DC, and arrange for travel, if needed, via round-trip economy-class airfare to Washington, DC.


Prospective candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a five-hundred-word abstract of their dissertation or thesis, (recent MLA recipients should submit a statement of their thesis or relevant research interests), and a current CV. All materials and one letter of recommendation must be submitted to the application portal Embark by March 15, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST.

International candidates are eligible to apply; however, Dumbarton Oaks does not sponsor J-visas for this program. Please direct any queries to the Garden and Landscape Studies program.

If Dumbarton Oaks resumes modified operations for any reason related to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, including national, state, or local health advisories and restrictions, Dumbarton Oaks may modify the workshop (e.g. move to a virtual platform)