Traversing the Field: An Interdisciplinary Symposium
on Walking and Thinking in Scottish Landscapes
A rock outcrop, a hedge, a fallen tree, anything that turns us
out of our way, is an excellent thing on a walk.
It is quite possible to refuse all the coercion, violence,
property, triviality, to simply walk away.
Walking is egalitarian and democratic; we do not become
at walking and one side of the road is as good as another.
Walking is not so much romantic as reasonable.
The line of a walk is articulate in itself, a kind of statement.
Pools, walls, solitary trees, are natural halting places.
Thomas A. Clark, from ‘In Praise of Walking’
Poets and philosophers, activists and
archaeologists, climbers and cartographers, have
all been drawn to walk and think in the Scottish
landscape. Walking also figures importantly in the
activity of many different artistic and religious
practitioners. Scholarship across academic
disciplines has engaged with walking – from
Rebecca Solnit’s discussion of the disappearance of
pavements to Robert MacFarlane’s dissection of
the mountaineering impulse, to land reform, land
ownership, conservation and beyond. In this one-
day inter-disciplinary conference, we will explore
the different uses to which walking has been put
and the different meanings derived therein, with
particular focus on Scottish contexts. Hear from
researchers in other disciplines, and walkers from
outside academia, about their experiences, and
learn about other approaches to the Scottish
We welcome proposals for 20 minute
papers, complete panels, round table
sessions, or creative pieces on any aspect of
walking in and cultural engagement with
Scottish land. Please email abstracts of 250
words to firstname.lastname@example.org
by 1st March 2016.
With generous support from the Centre for
Poetic Innovation, the Centre for Scottish Land
Futures, and the Centre for Scottish Culture.
University of Dundee, Saturday 30 th April 2016