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Why Your World Looks the Way It Does and Why It Matters

  • Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium 5 Monument Way Portland, ME, 04101 United States (map)


Why Your World Looks the Way It Does and Why It Matters:


Cultural Landscape as Visual Culture


Kent Ryden, Professor Emeritus of American and New England Studies, University of Southern Maine

Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6-7pm. 
Free and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested and appreciated.

While the everyday built environment probably constitutes our most common daily visual experience, we rarely think of it as such.  With a few exceptions we think about using public buildings and landscapes, but seldom do we contemplate how they affect our individual and collective experiences. In this talk Ryden will reveal the world of meaning that can be discovered when we consider everyday landscapes as having a role in the individual and group expression that connects us to each other, and to the “natural” world that we conventionally contrast to the “cultural” one. 

Kent Ryden is Professor Emeritus, and former Director of the American and New England Studies program at the University of Southern Maine.  He holds a master's degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University. He writes and teaches in a variety of areas, including environmental humanities, regional literature, cultural geography, folklore, and print culture.

The 2016-17 Landmarks Lecture Series sponsored by

The Evolving Landscape: 
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, Tuesdays from 6 – 7 pm

Whether a backyard garden, the grounds of a grand estate, a public park, botanical garden, or cemetery, landscapes tell us a great deal about our history, identity and culture. Please join us as Landmarks explores how human interaction shapes the landscape and what that tells us. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
History in Your Own Backyard:
The cultural landscape seen every day and the evolvings changes in garden design

Lucinda Brockway, Historic Landscape Specialist, Past Designs

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Why You Can’t Buy a Forest in a Can:
Managing and Restoring Diversity in our Woodlands and Gardens

William Cullina, Director of Horticulture/Plant Curator, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Why Your World Looks the Way It Does and Why It Matters:
Cultural Landscape as Visual Culture

Kent Ryden, Professor Emeritus of American and New England Studies, University of Southern Maine

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Urban Cemeteries:
Opportunities for Horticulture

Dennis Collins, Horticultural Curator, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Free and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested and appreciated. Thank you to the Portland Public Library for hosting the series. 

Later Event: April 18
Urban Cemeteries