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A Methodological Framework for Interpreting Ordinary Landscapes: Lexington, Kentucky's Courthouse Square

Richard H. Schein
Geographical Review
Vol. 99, No. 3, Donald W. Meinig: Shaping American Geography (Jul., 2009), pp. 377-402
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40377399
Page Count: 26
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A Methodological Framework for Interpreting Ordinary Landscapes: Lexington, Kentucky's Courthouse Square
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Abstract

This article examines Lexington, Kentucky's Courthouse Square as a racialized landscape in order to illustrate a methodological framework for landscape interpretation that relies on historical geographical understanding. That framework ultimately calls for interpreting the place of landscape in everyday social practice by drawing on consideration of landscape's role in facilitating or mediating social practice and in expressing personal and regional placebased identities, and on historical description of the tangible, visible scene as the foundation for such interpretations. The framework and the example take inspiration from D. W. Meinig, through his work concerning the interpretation of ordinary landscapes as well as his more extensive considerations of historical geographies of the American experience.

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