Transatlantic Gardens and Enlightenment Ideas in American Art

President Barack Obama and President François Hollande of France tour Monticello with Leslie Bowman


Landscape comes into being with a point of view. Not simply a product of vision, however, landscape is also an experience of emotion, a merging of geography, self, and sensation. It may focus attention on the local and the particular, on the generalized and the abstract, on interiority or exteriority, but a tension remains between physical forms and what is imagined to be beyond, or represented by, those forms. That is, landscape’s concern with location brings with it other forms of dislocation. It confronts us with the problem of what location might locate, and it relies on forms of representation that are always inviting us to see something else, or in relation to something else.

The aim of this project is to bring together researchers working on these new understandings of landscape as at once constructed and contested by communities that define themselves in terms of the shared and the disparate. We ask how that sense of location and dislocation is played out on both sides of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, how the apparent specificity of place might be framed in relation to the nation state and cosmopolitan ideals, but framed also by class, or gender, or race, in ways that create alternative imaginings of landscape.


Professor Jennifer Milam (The University of Melbourne)

Dr Stephen Bending (University of Southampton)

Professor Andrew O’Shaughnessy (University of Virginia)

Professor Trevor Burnard (The University of Melbourne)

Professor Deirdre Coleman (The University of Melbourne)

Professor Peter Otto (The University of Melbourne)

Associate Professor Clara Tuite (The University of Melbourne)