Mountain Scholarship and Personal Experience: A Conversation

In this podcast, Dawn talks to Chloe Bray (University of Heidelberg) about the relationship between scholarship and personal experiences of the mountain landscape. Is it possible to move beyond our own preconceptions of mountain experiences to understand those of the past? Or is a personal experience of the physical experience of mountain landscapes in fact … Read more

Isolated mountains

Dawn shares examples from early modern literature presenting mountains as spaces of isolation, and reflects on whether the future of mountain engagement might learn valuable lessons from the past. In the middle of March, before the UK even went into lockdown, the Everest climbing season was cancelled. Base camp might be strangely empty this year, … Read more

Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Genealogy of an Idea

Dawn shares a link to her latest article, unpicking the myth that Europeans feared and disliked mountains before the advent of modernity. Although the blog has been quiet, quite a lot has happened with the mountains project over the past few months. Book proposals have been submitted (watch this space), articles published… and a new … Read more

From ancient mountains to the Appalachians…

Dawn reports on yet another mountain trip, this time to the Appalachians. As my post about attending Thinking Mountains 2018 in Banff, Canada, may have suggested, one of the real advantages of studying mountains is getting to visit them. A few months ago, our mountains project was privileged to be invited to participate in the … Read more

Thinking Mountains 2018

 Dawn reports on a project trip to an international mountain studies conference in the snow-covered mountains of Banff National Park, Canada: it’s a hard life being a mountain historian. Just last week, the mountains in ancient literature and culture project team had the pleasure and privilege of attending Thinking Mountains 2018, a four-day interdisciplinary summit in … Read more

Scottish Mountains and the Classical Tradition

Not as unconnected as you might think: Jason traces some initial connections between classical literature and imagery and the mountains of Scotland.  I have been trying to work out recently in some spare moments how far travellers’ accounts from Scotland from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are influenced by the classical tradition in their portrayal … Read more

Approaching Landscape: Panel Report

As mentioned in a recent blog post, one of the big events of the summer for our mountains project was the ‘Celtic Conference in Classics’, taking place at St Andrews in July, and for which we hosted a panel on ‘approaching landscape in the classical tradition’. As anticipated, the three-day panel proved to be an … Read more

The Ascent of Jumbo: Twentieth Century Mountaineers on the Search for Hannibal’s Pass

Dawn considers the surprising story of a twentieth-century elephant and Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps. I am currently beginning to make the first cautious steps into a new area of research. During my PhD, which focussed on sixteenth- and seventeenth- century responses to mountains, I trawled through the first thirty or so volumes of the Alpine Journal … Read more

Approaching Landscapes: 11th-14th July 2018

At the time of writing, it is now less than a week until the 11th Celtic Conference in Classics opens in St Andrews. The ‘CCC’ – which has been running at a different institution each year since 1998 – will feature fourteen distinct panels on different topics within classical scholarship. We are extremely excited to … Read more