In December 2022 we had the pleasure of hosting a much-anticipated workshop on ‘The mountain humanities: past, present, and future pathways’. This workshop brought together a dozen scholars working on mountains across a range of disciplines including archaeology, English literature, art history, and performance studies. One of the realisations we’ve come to over the course of our project on mountains in ancient literature (and beyond) is that right now mountains are receiving more attention from researchers in the humanities than ever before. Whilst the wider field of ‘mountain studies’ has been around for a long time, we’ve increasingly come to feel that there is also a call for ‘the mountain humanities’ as a space to discuss the unique understandings of mountains which can be produced when approaching mountains through history, culture, and art as well as through geological and social scientific approaches. Exploring precisely what this field might look like was one of the intentions of our December workshop.
Our gathering was small, to enable deep discussions, and as such in no way represented the full range of people working on mountains in the humanities. Nevertheless, the gathering was emblematic of the quality and diversity of research currently being pursued in this nascent field. Over the coming weeks we will therefore be sharing ‘mountain research spotlights’ focussing on our workshop participants, including their thoughts on the mountain humanities and discussions of their work. We hope you’ll find them interesting!
Index to Published Spotlights:
- Joanne Anderson, medieval art and pilgrimage
- Lachlan Fleetwood, nineteenth-century Himalayas
- Abbie Garrington, modernist literature
- Paul Gilchrist, history and cultural geography
- Jonathan Pitches, contemporary theatre and performance studies
- Christian Quendler, twentieth-century German film
- Graeme Warren, prehistoric archaeology
- Jonathan Westaway, nineteenth- and twentieth-century British exploration