Olwig was appointed as Professor in Landscape Planning with specialty in landscape theory and history in January 2002. He was previously professor in Landscape History and Planning at the Department of Geography at the University in Trondheim (NTNU), Norway. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Minnesota, Department of Geography, 1977, where his advisor was Prof. Yi-Fu Tuan, and where he also studied with Prof. David Lowenthal.
A combination of aesthetic, legal, literary and cultural geographical approaches characterize his approach to landscape and the relationship between society and nature. His interests range from the effect of cultural perceptions of nature and landscape in regional development, to the role of ideas of law and justice in shaping the political landscape and its physical manifestations. These issues are the topics of the two monographs: Nature's Ideological Landscape: A Literary and Geographic Perspective on its Development and Preservation on Denmark's Jutland Heath (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1984 and Landscape, Nature and the Body Politic: From Britain’s Renaissance to America's New World (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002).
Olwig was Senior Research Fellow, at the Man and Nature, Humanities Research Center, Odense University, 1993- 1996. Here he worked on the E.U. Research Project: "Nature, environment and landscape: European attitudes and discourses in the modern period (1920-1970) with particular attention to water regulation." The project was coordinated by Prof. Denis Cosgrove. During this time Olwig also was a fellow in the residential seminar “Reinventing” Nature, led by William Cronon. The University of California Humanities Research Institute, Irvine, Spring 1994. Olwig’s contribution to this seminar was published as: “Reinventing Common Nature: Yosemite and Mt. Rushmore--A Meandering Tale of a Double Nature.” In Uncommon Ground: Towards Reinventing Nature, (ed.) William Cronon. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1995) pp. 379-408. Olwig was also a fellow of the residential seminar, Landscape, Law and Justice, lead by Michael Jones, The Norwegian Center for Advanced Studies, The Norwegian Academy of Science, Oslo, 2002-2003. Among the outcomes of this seminar is the theme issue, edited by Olwig, of Landscape Research (v. 30, # 3 July 2005) on “Landscape Justice, Morality and the Law of the Land.”
P.S. Googlers should be forewarned that despite all odds there are actually two “K. Olwigs”: Kenneth (Robert) Olwig, and his wife, Karen (Fog) Olwig, who is a professor of anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Region and Belonging on the Northern Edge of Europe
Michael Jones and Kenneth R. Olwig, editors
Calender, Publications & CV (PDF)