Wasteland: A History by Vittoria Di PalmaWasteland: A History by Vittoria Di Palma

Wasteland: A History

byVittoria Di Palma

Hardcover | August 26, 2014

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In Wasteland, Vittoria Di Palma takes on the “anti-picturesque,” offering an account of landscapes that have traditionally drawn fear and contempt. Di Palma argues that a convergence of beliefs, technologies, institutions, and individuals in 18th-century England resulted in the formulation of cultural attitudes that continue to shape the ways we evaluate landscape today. Staking claims on the aesthetics of disgust, she addresses how emotional response has been central to the development of ideas about nature, beauty, and sublimity. With striking illustrations reaching back to the 1600s—husbandry manuals, radical pamphlets, gardening treatises, maps, and landscape paintings— Wasteland spans the fields of landscape studies, art and architectural history, geography, history, and the history of science and technology. In stirring prose, Di Palma tackles our conceptions of such hostile territories as swamps, mountains, and forests, arguing that they are united not by any essential physical characteristics but by the aversive reactions they inspire.
Vittoria Di Palma is assistant professor in the School of Architecture of the University of Southern California.  
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Title:Wasteland: A HistoryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.98 inPublished:August 26, 2014Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300197799

ISBN - 13:9780300197792

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"This brilliantly conceived and elegantly written book draws on an array of disciplines to examine the neglected concept of wasteland since the early modern period. Understanding wasteland as a counterpart to wilderness and developed space, Di Palma sensitively depicts the tension between aesthetic responses to the landscape and the rationalizing pressures of advancing central state power and new survey techniques, set in the context of agricultural improvement and changing market relations." –American Historical Association