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Montag, 25.11.2019


Toward a Mountain Humanities, or „It’s about more than climbing and development”

10:15 - 11:45 Uhr
Universität Innsbruck, Geiwi-Turm (Erdgeschoss), Hörsaal 5¾, Innrain 52e, 6020 Innsbruck

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Katherine Ledford

Katherine E. Ledford, associate professor of Appalachian studies. Dr. Ledford teaches undergraduate courses in Appalachian literature and graduate seminars on comparative mountain studies and higher education pedagogy. From 2009 to 2016 she served as program director of Appalachian studies, advising and mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students.

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The field of mountain studies emerged in the 1990s, grounded in the vital work of climate scientists, sustainable development advocates, and tourism researchers. This turn toward mountains as distinct places for academic investigation and economic, environmental, and policy intervention complimented decades of attention paid to mountains as sites of climbing adventure and tourism. Recognition of the value of traditional humanities subjects--philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language--in a mountain studies context has been lacking, however. I argue that Appalachian (Mountain) studies in the United States can serve as a model for integration of the humanities into international mountain studies. Both the Appalachian Studies Association, established in the early 1980s by academics and activists, and Appalachian State University's Center for Appalachian Studies and Master's degree in Appalachian studies, also founded in the early 1980s, are examples of practical and fruitful inclusion of the humanities in the study of mountains.


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