Bunkse, Edmunds Valdemars

  Emeritus Professor of Humanistic Cultural Geography
Department of Geography
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716

Visiting Professor
Cultural - Humanities Geography
University of Latvia

Prof Edmunds Bunkse

I am in Provence, following in the footsteps of "the First Modern Man " Petrarch, who climbed Mt. Ventoux nearby in the 14 th century.


    • Humanistic cultural Geography
    • History of nature-culture ideas
    • Geosophy
    • The Baltic Sea Region and the Baltic states
    • Urban cultural, historical geography
    • The historical geography of the American West
    PhD., Geography, University of California, Berkeley, 1973
    M.A., Geography, University of California, Berkeley, 1966
    B.A., Geography, Syracuse University, 1962
    University of Illinois, Architecture, 1954-1958
Honors and Awards:
    • Fulbright Senior Scholar Award [research] for Western Europe (University of Lund, Sweden; University College London, U. K.),1983‑1984.
    • Fulbright Senior Scholar Award [teaching], University of Latvia, 1990.
    • Honorary Doctor (Dr.honoris causa) of Geography, University of Latvia, 1991.
    • Foreign Member, Latvian Academy of Sciences, Inducted 1993.
    • President of Latvia Medal of Merit for Honourable Service Abroad, 2007.
    • Appointed to head scientific organizing committee for the meeting of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of Rural Landscapes (PECSRL) to be held in Latvia in 2010.
    • Presidential concert and awards ceremony at the opera in Riga for participants in the TV documentary series: “Latvia Can Do.”
Special Assignments:
  • Succeeded to have the above mentioned conference votes to be held in Latvia in 2010.  The Netherlands and Sweden were also in competition, 2008
  • Elected to head organizing committee for the Permanent European Conference for the Study of Rural Landscapes, to be held in Latvia in 2010, 2007
  • Week of seminars at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science at Trondheim, to focus geography research there, 2006
  • Review of Ardens Historic District, New Castle County, DE –application to be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places, 2001
  • National Representative (Latvia) to the Permanent European Conference Study of Rural Landscapes, 19980 to the present
  • Invitation from Gen. Wesley Clark, Commander U.S. Forces Europe and Supreme Commander N.A.T.O., to represent the U.S. at The Second International Geo-Political Research Colloquium On Euro-Atlantic Security, at the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies, Garmisch, Germany, 1998
  • Member Doctoral Habilitation Committee, Latvian Ministry of Education and University of Latvia, 1996-200
  • Area Advisory Committee for Central Eurasia, Council for International Exchange of Scholars (final selection committee for Fulbright Awards), 1992-1995
  • Director, University of Delaware London Program, Spring 1991
PUBLICATIONS: Most Recent to 1990
Books, Chapters in Books and Monographs, Edited Journal:
  • 2013 Geograafia ja elamise kunst  [in Estonian: Geography and The Art of Life]. (Tallinn: Kirjastus Varrak) .  (in Estonian: 2004 Geography and the Art of Life (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press). Translators: Martin Kuttim, Helen Soovali-Sepping ja Hannes Palang.  
  • 2011 “The ineffable, ethereal, and evanescent as landscape values of local, national, and European identities,” In Claval, Paul, Agnew, John, Rocca, Zoran, eds. Landscapes, Identities and Development (London: Ashgate),25-36
  • 2007a “Beyond Images: The Phenomenology of Travel versus Tourism and Implications for Rural Landscapes,” Roca, Zoran, et al., European Landscapes and Lifestyles. TheMediterranean and Beyond. (Lisbon: Edicoes Universitaerias Lusofonas), 385-395
  •  2007b Intīmā bezgaliba (Riga: Norden). [in Latvian: Intimate Immensity]. Translation of: 2004 Geography and the Art of Life (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press). Translator: Mara Cielēna.
  •  2007c Feeling is believing: Landscape as a way of being in the world. Geografiska Annaler (Sweden), 71-86
  • 2004aGeography and the Art of Life(Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • 2004b “Softly Heaves the Glassy Sea. Nature’s Rhythms in an Era of Displacement,” in Tom Mels, ed., Rhythms of Nature, Place and Landscape (Hants, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited), 71 - 86
  • 2004c “Of Oaks, Erratic Boulders and Milkmaids. The Poet Imants Ziedonis and Art as Mediator Between Discourses About Rural Landscapes,” in Hannes Palang, Helen Soovali, Marc Antorp, Gunhild Setten, eds., European Rural Landscapes: Persistence and Change in a Globalising Envrionment (Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishing,  2004), 137 - 150
  • 2000 op. cit 1998 Sirenu balsis: Geografija ka cilveciga erudicija. Berklijas ainavu skola [Second printing with minor revisions]
  • 1999a “The Reality of Rural Landscape Symbolism in the Formation of Post-Soviet, Post-Modern Latvian Identity,” in Stetten, Gunhild and Semb, Terje, eds., Shaping the Land. Proceedings of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology), 410-439
  • 1999b “God, Thine Earth is Burning: Nature Attitudes in the Latvian Drive for Independence,” in Buttimer, A. and Wallin, L., eds., Nature, Culture, Identity (Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers), 175-187. [Reprinted from GeoJournal, Vol. 26:2, 1992]
  • 1998 Sirenu balsis: Geografija ka cilveciga erudicija. Berklijas ainavu skola (Latvian: Siren’s Voices: Geography as Humane Erudition. The Berkeley Landscape School). With special essay by Anne Buttimer. (Riga: Apgads Norden), 204pp
  • -----------------, Second printing with minor revisions (Riga: Apgads “Norden,” AB, 2000)
  • 1996 "Humanism:  Wisdom of the Heart and Mind." in Carville Earle, et.al., eds. Concepts in Human Geography.  (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield), 355-381. (invited essay; published in hard cover and paperback)
  • 1994a "The Emerging Postindustrial Landscape as Exile and Its Possible Consequences for Sense of Place." in Ranah B. Singh, ed., The Spirit and Power of Place: Human Snvironment and Sacrality. Essays in Honor of Yi-Fu Tuan. (Varanasi, India:  The National Geographic Society of India), 63-74 (invited essay)
  • 1994b (Invited) editor: GeoJournal: Baltic Peoples, Baltic Culture and Europe. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Vol. 33:1. (Involved travel to the three Baltic states and screening of potential authors)
Refereed Articles and Essays
  • 2009 “Vēl joprojām auga bērzu birstalas.” (In Latvian: The  The meaning of Latvian landscapes for me: the birch groves were stiil growing”, in Akadēmiskā Dzīve, 46, 3-8
  • 2007 “Feeling is Believing, or Landscape as a Way of Being in the World,” Geografiska Annaler (Sweden),vol.89 B (3), 219—231
  • 2003 “Commentary on the Lowenthal Papers: Environment, Humanities, and Landscape,” in Annals of  the Association of American Geographers (Dec.), 882-884
  • 2001 “The Case of the Missing Sublime in Latvian Aesthetics and Ethics,” in Ethics, Place and Environment (U.K.), 2001, 4:3, 235-246
  • 2000“The Reality of Rural landscape Symbolism in the Formation of Post-Soviet, Post-Modern Latvian Identity,” in Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. Norwegian Journal of Geography, 53: 2-3,121-138
  • 1994a I. Mezs, E. V. Bunkse, K. Rasa.  "The Ethno-demographic Status of the Baltic States," in GeoJournal, Vol. 33-1, 9-26
  • 1994b "Introduction:The Place of Baltic Peoples on the World Stage," in GeoJournal, Vol. 33-1, 1-5.
  • 1994c “The Emerging Postindustrial Landscape as Exile and Its Possible Consequences for Sense of Place,” in The National Geographic Journal of India, vol. 40 pp. ? (invited essay).
  • 1992a "God, Thine Earth is Burning:  Nature Attitudes and the Latvian Drive for Independence," GeoJournal: History of Geographical Thought, A. Buttimer, ed., (Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, Boston, London) Vol. 26:2, 203-209 (invited essay)
  • 1990a "Landscape Symbolism in the Latvian Drive for Independence," Geografiska Notiser (Sweden), Vol. 4, cover illustration and 170-178  (invited essay)
  • 1990b "Commentary on Michael Pacione's 'Urban Liveability: A Review,'" Urban Geography, Vol. 1, 36-41 (invited essay)
  • 1990c "A New Look at Luminist Landscapes of F. E. Church," Landscape, Vol. 30:3, 20-28
  • 1990d "Saint-Exupery's Geography Lesson: Art and Science in the Creation and Cultivation of Landscape Values," Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 80:1, 96-108

Selected Earlier Publications of Note:

  • 1986 "Lost Homelands":  Ivan Doig, This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind (New York and London:  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978); Siegfried Lenz, The Heritage (New York:  Hill and Wang, 1981), Review Essay, Landscape, Vol. 29:1 , 19-2
  • 1981 "Humboldt and an Aesthetic Tradition in Geography," Geographical Review,  71:2, 379-394. (Environmental perception and geography as art.)
  • 1979 "Latvian Folkloristics," Journal of American Folklore, 92:364, 196-214
  • 1979 "The Role of a Humane Environment in Soviet Urban Planning," Geographical Review, 69:4, 379-394. (A philosophic analysis, with Riga as principal case study.)
  • 1978 "Commoner Attitudes Toward Landscape and Nature," Annals of the Association ofAmericanGeographers,  68:4, 551-566. (Includes women's attitudes and how to access them through folklore.)
  • 1975 "Urban Pleasure Gardens and the Spirit of the Times," The Longwood Program Seminars, Longwood Gardens, Pa., 7, 10-13.
  • 2002 BBC Film for TV (presenter, with Sir David Attenborough & others), Great Natural Travellers: An Audience With Alexander von Humboldt”(BBC 2, London, one hour).
TV and Radio Productions, Interviews for Latvian Broadcasts, Riga, Latvia (in Latvian): Latvian prime time LTV show (monthly, 80 min.), Culture Programmes Department (Production, with G. Podskocija, chief producer, director; fund raising, film crew travel arrangements, research, scripting, on camera, montaging, editing, translations from English and German):
  • 1995 The Future of International Communications (sponsored by: British Cable & Wireless, Lattelecom; special segments: satellites and navigation, the information revolution and development; McLuhan and the future)
  • 1994 U.S. Culture, History, People, Politics (secured $7,600 travel grant from Colgate Palmolive Co., to bring Latvian TV crew to U.S. Special segments: New York and writers; interview with C.E.O./President, Colgate Palmolive Co.; the skyscraper and the fallacy of assuming only "Americanization"; F. L. Wright and I.M. Pei; the Harley Davidson phenomenon; the Amish; American quilting culture; Washington D.C.: balance of the three branches of government; Annapolis; University of Delaware as a representative American school).
  • Denmark... (film crew travel funding; special segment writing: Danish folk and professional architecture; American jazz in Denmark)
  • 1994 The Benelux Countries... (2 parts)
  • England... (special segments: David Hockney, Greenwich, 1960's British Art)
    • Tunisia... (research and arrangements for travel and filming in Tunisia)
  • 1993 Austria... (special segment on Oskar Kokoschka, the Vienna Secession)
  • Germany... Also second broadcast: Four Cities in Germany: Lubeck, Bremen, Cologne, Berlin.
  • 1992 U.S. Culture, History, People, Politics
  • Other Media Work:

    • 1996 Interview, LTV: "Commentary on the Preferred Book List of Latvians and Western Culture."
    • 1994 Interview, ITV: "Latvian Independence Day (Nov. 18): How Far Have We Come?"
    • 1991 TV Interview: "How Western Intellectuals Perceive Latvia"
    • 1990 TV Interview: "About Cultural Geography and My Task in Latvia"
    • TV Show Segment: "The Role of Adventure in Cultural Change"
    • TV Interview: "Perspectives of International Latvians on Themselves and on Latvia"
    • TV Show Segment: "The Art of Sculpture in The Outdoor Spaces of R§ga: A Critique"
    • Radio Interview for Show, What and Who We Are: "Future Intellectual Connections for Latvia"
    • Radio Interview for Show, In The World of Science: "About Science and Latvia"

    Teaching Repertoire Since 1980:

    University of Delaware, Department of Geography

      • Introduction to Cultural Geography (large lecture/sections)
      • Advanced Cultural Geography
      • Urban Cultural Geography (second writing course)
      • Western Landscapes of America (honors and regular session)
      • Honors Colloquium: Landscape and Literature (with B. Gates, English)
      • Honors Colloquium: Nature, Human Nature, and Culture (with B. Gates, English, Don Mayer, History, Conrad Hammerman, Landscape Architect)
      • Seminar: Geographic Thought (600 level)
      • Seminar: Human Place in the Biosphere (800 level) >
      • Seminar: Landscape Aesthetics (600 level)
      • Seminar: The Baltic Sea Region (600 level)

      Other teaching:

      Fall 2011: three hour seminar for doctoral candidates in Cultural Studies, University of Latvia

      January 23-27, 2012: Winter School:” Gaze and Glance: Ways of Seeing Culture,” Tallinn University (Estonia) , GRADUATE SCHOOL OF CULTURE STUDIES AND ARTS AND THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN CULTURAL THEORY
      (member of an international faculty from U. of Chicago, Toronto, Universities of London, Queens, Manchester, Dortmund, and Scandinavian ones). Students from as far as Australia, the States).

    Public Lectures and Seminars

    Participation at Conferences and Symposia

    Keynote Addresses

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