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Imagined landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian spatial narratives [Book Review]

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 01:41 authored by Jane WoollardJane Woollard
In 1896 George Sydenham, rate collector for the Shire of Colac, presented for the first time his magic lantern lecture depicting the landscape and inhabitants of the Otways. His photos of lush tree ferns, mighty beech forests and other inaccessible landscapes were captured on glass slides the images projected via a magic lantern which was lit by limelight. These impressive visual documents accompanied Sydenham’s lecture, which held his audience ‘enthralled’ for two hours. The technology of the magic lantern and Sydenham’s eloquent descriptions – born of his knowledge of the place and people he was describing – enabled the audience to imagine ‘the power, picturesqueness, and poetry’ of the dense and ancient forest of the Otways, and the wildness of its famed shipwreck coast. In Imagined Landscapes: Geovisualizing Australian Spatial Narratives, Jane Stadler, Peta Mitchell and Stephen Carleton also take us on a journey through remote landscapes by integrating ‘a geocritical method of analysis with digital visualization techniques to map spatial narratives’. Like Sydenham’s long-ago magic lantern lectures, Imagined Landscapes engages with the technology of our era to discuss the sites depicted and mapped in ‘digital narrative cartography’, through the lens of films, novels and plays 'in which space and place figure prominently'.


Publication title

Australasian Drama Studies








School of Creative Arts and Media


La Trobe University

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Communication across languages and culture

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