Kansas Conference on Imagination & Place History

The Committee on Imagination & Place’s early history featured two national conferences held at the Lawrence Arts Center. The first, Imagination & Place: Hypnogeography, was convened at the original Arts Center, 200 W. 9th St., a repurposed 1904 Carnegie Library. The second conference, Imagination & Place: The Power of Place, was one of the first major events held at the new Lawrence Arts Center building at 940 New Hampshire St.




October 17-19, 2003

A collaboration of the Lawrence Arts Center and the Kansas Land Trust
The Committee on Imagination & Place presented the second Kansas Conference on Imagination & Place at the Lawrence Arts Center, with four main presentations and a six-person panel discussion on the power of place from the following perspectives: territory, wilderness, real estate/property, homeland/heartland, private and public space, inner and outer space, farm/park/garden/yard, country meaning rural, country meaning nation. An art exhibition was featured in the Ann Evans Gallery during the conference, and a gallery dialogue took place with the artist, a biologist, a psychologist, and an art historian. The conference concluded with a bus and walking tour of Lawrence, including a visit to the Haskell Indian Nations University Cultural Center and Medicine Wheel.

Click here to download conference program.(PDF)
Visit the archived conference web site.


Conference Presentations

The Power of Place
panel moderated by Paul Hotvedt, with panelists Carol Ann Carter, Harley Elliott, Ken Lassman, Dan Nagengast, Anne Patterson, Dianne Yeahquo Reyner.

“The Nature of Place”
by Richard J. Schoeck, Click here to Download (PDF)

“Consulting the Genius of the Place”
by Wes Jackson

“Seeing Your Place With New Eyes”
by Marci Penner

“Transformational Power of Innovative Space and Poetry of Place”
by Peter Pran

“Longing and Belonging: Knowing Place in a Singular World”
by Stephanie Mills

“Space, Time, and Memory in Lawrence, Kansas”
tour led by J. Theodore Johnson, Jr., assisted by Bobbi Rahder and T.F. Pecore Weso

“Imagination & Place: John Louder Recent Paintings”
exhibition and panel, with artist John Louder; panelists David Cateforis, John Hess, and Sandra Shaw; and moderator Rick Mitchell


2003 Conference Main Presenters and Featured Artist

Stephanie Mills
Maple City, Michigan, author and co-founder of the bioregionalist movement

Wes Jackson
Salina, Kansas, president and co-founder of The Land Institute and author

J. Theodore Johnson, Jr.
Lawrence, Kansas, artist and University of Kansas professor emeritus of French

John Louder
Warrensburg, Missouri, artist and Central Missouri State University associate professor of art

Marci Penner
Inman, Kansas, executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation and author

Peter Pran
Lawrence, Kansas, international architect and University of Kansas distinguished visiting professor of architecture

Richard J. Schoeck
Lawrence, Kansas, retired from teaching positions in humanities at Cornell University, University of Notre Dame, and other institutions.


2003 Conference Panelists, Moderators, Assistants, and Participants

David Cateforis
University of Kansas associate professor of art history

Carol Ann Carter
University of Kansas professor of art

Harley Elliott
poet and painter, retired education coordinator of the Salina (Kansas) Arts Center

John Gaunt
University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design dean

John Hess
photographer and Central Missouri State University professor emeritus of biology

Paul Hotvedt
painter and Lawrence Arts Center painting instructor

Ken Lassman
naturalist and co-founder of Kansas Area Watershed Council bioregional organization

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
writer, teacher, bioregionalist

Rick Mitchell
photographer and Lawrence Arts Center gallery director

Dan Nagengast
farmer and director of the Kansas Rural Center

Anne Patterson
University of Kansas School of Architecture instructor and built environment educator

Bobbi Rahder
Lawrence, Kansas, archivist/curator of Haskell Indian Nations University Cultural Center

Dianne Yeahquo Reyner
Haskell Indian Nations University English instructor and member of the Kiowa Nation

Sandra Shaw
clinical psychologist and Kansas Land Trust Board of Directors secretary

Martha Slater
First Generation Video Marketing Inc. president and Kansas Sampler Foundation Board of Directors treasurer

T.F. Pecore Weso
history instructor and member of the Menominee Indian Nation of Wisconsin

Beverley J. Worster
educator and Kansas Land Trust Board of Directors treasurer


2003 Conference Breakout Session Leaders/Perspectives

Sven Alstrom
Lawrence, architect; deep ecology, teachings of Buddhism , ecopsychology

Colette Bangert
Lawrence, abstract artist; lifelong daily practice devoted to the midwestern landscape

Kelly Barth
Lawrence, writer; environmentalist, wild life advocate

Joe Casad
Lawrence, writer; community leader, native Lawrencian

Shannon Criss
Lawrence, associate professor of architecture; spaces of reciprocity, enduring community life, sense of place

Paul Davis
Lawrence, state representative; empowerment

Lisa Grossman
Lawrence, Kansas landscape painter; environmentalist

Emily Hunter
Matfield Green, place-based educator; learning from the outer place, the inner place, and from the places in-between

Ernest E. Jenkins
Lawrence, doctoral candidate in history; humanities

Lora Jost
Lawrence, visual artist; “doing” in community, considering the visual landscape

Becky Lyn Kasenberg
Lawrence, art and antique coordinator; creative peace activist

Pat Kehde
Lawrence, local bookstore owner; preservationist

Matt Kirby
Baldwin City, artist, craftsman, musician; mysticism inherent in the physical sciences

Denise Low
Lawrence, writer and professor of English; digging beneath the surface: landscape interiors and exteriors

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Lawrence, poet, writer, and teacher; the power of place to grow our minds, hearts, and souls

Garth Myers
Lawrence, associate professor of cultural geography; a global sense of place/breaking down the boundaries of places

Jeff Nichols
Lawrence, physician practicing complementary and alternative medicine; the energy of a place on one’s health/use of the imagination to create a health-promoting environment

Ardys Ramberg
Lawrence, artist; the psychic links to homeland

Richard J. Schoeck
Lawrence, humanities scholar and poet; humanities and the role of language, the making of poetry

Elizabeth Schultz
Lawrence, writer and professor emerita of English; ecospiritualist

Mike Wildgen
Lawrence, city manager; downtown Lawrence–a retail, residential, and entertainment community center…lessons learned and shared

Beverley J. Worster
Lawrence, sheep farmer, retired teacher; open space activist, coming back home to Kansas after 25 years away




October 19-21, 2001

a collaboration of the Lawrence Arts Center, Cottonwood, and the Kansas Land Trust

At the first Kansas Conference on Imagination & Place, which took place at the original Lawrence Arts Center location, 200 W. 9th, Lawrence, Kansas, eight scholars from different disciplines delivered papers on the subject of dreaming and daydreaming place. In addition, two place-based workshops were conducted. And, in conjunction with the conference, the Kansas Land Trust sponsored an art exhibition in the Raymond Eastwood Gallery of the Lawrence Arts Center from October 5-30, 2001, with a gallery talk by the curator and artists on October 20.

Click here to download conference program.(PDF)


Conference Presentations

“Introduction I”
by Robert Kelly

“Introduction II, Hypnogeography in Kansas”
by Denis Cosgrove

“The Poetics of Landscape in the Spirituality of Dreaming”
by Barbara Tedlock

“Vision and Landscape in the Newberry Cheyenne Ledger Book”
by Denise Low

“Imagination and Place, Earth and World”
by Edward Casey

“Dreaming Geography or Geographical Dreaming”
by Denis Cosgrove

“In the Way”
by Cecil Giscombe

“The Ferry and the Mill: Imagining Regional Identity in Southside, a Rural Region of Northern British Columbia”
by Soren Larsen

“Exploring Dreams and the Imagination”
by Richard J. Schoeck

“Public Dreaming”
by Robert Kelly

“Write From Home”
by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

“Mapping Home”
by Soren Larsen

“Imagination & Place: Three Perspectives,”
exhibition curated by Lisa Grossman, with artists Gesine Janzen, Ron Michael, and Jane Voorhees
Conference proceedings were published in book form as “Cottonwood 59/60: Kansas Conference on Imagination & Place”. Click for Text 1 and Text 2 to download Cottonwood 59/60 (PDF).


2001 Conference Presenters, Artists, and Musician

Greg Allen
musician; of Lawrence, Kansas, composer and performer

Edward Casey
philosopher; professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Denis Cosgrove
cultural geographer; Von Humboldt Chair in Geography at University of California Los Angeles

Cecil G iscombe
writer; associate professor of English, Pennsylvania State University, State College

Lisa Grossman
artist; of Lawrence, Kansas, regionally renowned painter of Kansas landscapes

Gesine Janzen
artist; of Bozeman, Montana, award-winning printmaker

Robert Kelly
poet; professor of writing and literature at Bard College in New York

Soren Larsen
sociocultural geographer; assistant professor, Georgia Southern University at Statesboro

Denise Low
writer; chair of the English Dept., Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas

Ron Michael
artist; curator of the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kansas

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
poet; of Lawrence, Kansas, coordinator of transformative language arts, Goddard College in Vermont

Richard J.Schoeck
poet; of Lawrence, Kansas, retired from teaching positions in humanities at Cornell University, University of Notre Dame, and other institutions

Barbara Tedlock
anthropologist; professor, State University of New York at Buffalo

Jane Voorhees
artist; of Kansas City, Missouri, long-time exhibitor of artwork and involvement in the arts


2001 Conference Participants

Judy Billings
Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau director and Lawrence Arts Center Board of Directors member

Paul Hotvedt
painter and Blue Heron Typesetting, Inc. director

Ken Irby
University of Kansas associate professor of English

Donna Luckey
University of Kansas associate professor of architecture and Kansas Land Trust Board of Directors president

Rick Mitchell
photographer and Lawrence Arts Center gallery director

Garth Myers
University of Kansas associate professor of geography and African studies

Laurie Ward
Kansas Land Trust special projects director and Imagination & Place administrator


Comments on Kansas Conference
on Imagination & Place: Hypnogeography
by 2001 Presenters

“During my final year of residence in graduate school at the University of Kansas, I was lucky enough to have participated in the first Kansas Conference on Imagination & Place. My early discussions with Paul Hotvedt, Laurie Ward and Rick Mitchell were intellectually exuberant (bordering on euphoric) as they developed what would become a truly visionary approach to understanding, communicating, and promoting the personal and communal appreciation of places. In short, the conference made the arts and humanities relevant and accessible to the community in Lawrence and beyond.

Consequently, the participants ranging from scholars and artists to naturalists and ordinary residents gained not only a greater comprehension of their environs, but also an appreciation of what the arts and humanities could do for them whether it was enhancing their personal experience of place or fashioning a stronger, more vibrant community. The Kansas Conference on Imagination & Place makes the process of inquiry a collective project of humanistic and artistic endeavor. It unites citizens and scholars in the pursuit of a deeper, healthier, and ultimately more productive engagement with our shared natural and cultural surroundings.” – Soren Larsen


“Philosophers are known for demonstrating the very detailed structure behind the very simple things. In the case of imagination and place one is confronted with an antithesis, the very unruly and unreal and the very real. To continue my examination of these structures, their interweaving within our culture, within the context of a conference sponsored by an community arts center is most appropriate as my work has made extensive use of visual art references, especially painting and environmental art. In addition the Kansas Conference on Imagination and Place has developed, or continued the interweaving of, if you will, the audiences of philosophy and the visual arts.” – Edward Casey


“The archiving of people’s dreams of place and a conference dedicated to this purpose has been realized in a very democratic manner, much as I had envisioned it. That it was attempted at all and that it was accomplished by a consistory of artists, environmentalists, community activists and scholars is a very special circumstance. One hopes they may continue and expand their work.”–Robert Kelly