Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir

Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir, Ph.D. Student

Icelandic Landscape: Aesthetics and Conservation value

The research project is a study of the aesthetics of Icelandic natural environments which is carried out in close cooperation with the Icelandic Landscape Project. The topic of the study is threefold: landscape, aesthetics and phenomenology, but the study shows that these three topics shed light on each other and are closely related. The aim of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of landscape and the values which are derived from the aesthetic experiences of Icelandic landscapes, and the study will be based on both methods of contemporary environmental aesthetics and on phenomenological and qualitative research methods.

One of the important aims of the project is to uncover the dualistic and gendered ideology which has framed the discourse on valuing nature, and resulted in the inequality inherent in the neglect of aesthetic values, that have been associated with subjectivity, emotions, body and the feminine, and an over-emphasis on scientific and economic values that are associated with reason, objectivity and the masculine. The project will thus provide an examination of how the value systems relevant to environmental decision-making in Iceland have been too narrow.

Project partners are: The Icelandic Centre for Research; Náttúruverndarsjóður Pálma Jónssonar; Vatnajökull National Park – North area; and Icelandic Mountainguides.

Research Field and Areas: Environmental ethics, aesthetics of nature, eco-phenomenology, eco-feminism, landscape research.
Keywords: Landscape, aesthetics, phenomenology, evaluation, conservation value.

Presentations and Publications