The International Society for Landscape, Place, and Material Culture (formerly Pioneer America Society) is an international, interdisciplinary, educational, nonprofit organization that encourages the study and preservation of landscapes and artifacts, and documents sites, structures, and objects representing history and material culture throughout the world. Members include public servants, college faculty and students, private consultants, and preservationists, as well as interested lay persons.

Chartered in 1967, The Society carries out its mission by identifying, documenting, analyzing, and interpreting significant cultural landscapes, architecture and artifacts, and by encouraging educational programs, scholarly research, and preservation. Over the years, The Society has expanded its views and focus.


Membership includes subscriptions to The Society’s refereed journal, Material Culture, and the non-refereed PAST. Material Culture is published twice a year and contains articles on theoretical and comparative studies, artifact and site analysis, and relevant book reviews. PAST, available to members as an e-journal on the website, contains selected papers from The Society’s annual meeting along with all presentation abstracts.


Annual Meetings

The Society meets annually in the Fall for the presentation of papers, symposia, field trips to significant cultural and historical sites and landscapes, and for social and professional communication among its members. The meetings are held at a different location each year. All members are encouraged to attend and participate. Special discounts for students are available. Meetings give members the chance to meet new colleagues as well as reconnect with old friends. Meetings include an opening reception, an awards banquet, concurrent paper sessions, and at least one all-day field trip led by the conference host. Recent meeting venues include Baton Rouge, LA; Philadelphia, PA; Bridgetown, Barbados; Utica, NY; and Oklahoma City, OK.

Annual Awards

The Society offers six annual awards: 1) The Henry H. Douglas Distinguished Service Award honors an individual making a significant contribution that furthers the goals of The Society; 2) The Fred B. Kniffen Award recognizes a best-authored book in the field of North American material culture; 3) The Allen G. Noble Award recognizes a best-edited book in the field of North American material culture; 4) The Historic Preservation Award recognizes the preservation, interpretation, instruction, celebration, or exhibition of North American material culture; 5) The Warren E. Roberts Graduate Student Paper Competition recognizes excellence in original documentation of fieldwork, research, and writing in the area of traditional North American material culture, and 6) The Wilhelm-Keiffer Student Research Award is a poster presentation competition within the field of material culture studies that is open to all undergraduate students.

Become a Member

Membership is open to academics, professionals, preservation advocates, students and interested lay persons who share The Society’s interest in history, vernacular architecture, cultural geography, historic archaeology, folklife studies, anthropology, popular culture, visual landscape, historic preservation, and numerous other allied fields. You will not be a stranger in The Society; the friendships you make will last a lifetime, and the experience gained in annual meetings is priceless.

Memberships are for the calendar year (January to December) and include five levels: Individual, Student, Institutional, Lifetime, and Couples.

To Become a Member

Please complete the form available for download here.

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