Appalachian State University will host three influential, international academics in mountain studies as keynote speakers: Historian Jon Mathieu, professor emeritus from the University of Lucerne, Switzerland; Geographer Gilles Rudaz, lecturer and associate researcher in the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and Dr. Dawn Hollis, Leverhulme Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the School of Classics, at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, as well as three additional international mountain studies scholars for a one day International Mountain Studies Symposium on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
These mountain focused scholars from around the globe have been invited to present their research alongside members of our campus community – students, faculty and staff – focusing our campus’s attention on comparative mountain studies between the Appalachian Mountains and other mountain regions around the world. All presentations will be located in the Plemmons Student Union on the campus of Appalachian. Each presentation will be free and open to our campus and community.
Historian Jon Mathieu was the founding director of the Institute of the History of the Alps at the University of Ticino 2000-05. He has held positions in academic institutions such as the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (member of Swiss committee) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (member of the Research Council). His latest single-authored books on mountain regions in English are: “The Third Dimension. A Comparative History of Mountains in the Modern Era” (Cambridge: The White Horse Press, 2011) and “The Alps: An Environmental History” (Oxford: Polity Press, 2019).
Geographer Gilles Rudaz’s research focuses on the social, cultural and political construction of mountains and he examines the processes of how societies conceive mountain areas, environments and societies. He is the co-author of “The Mountain: A Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present” (Debarbieux & Rudaz, University of Chicago Press, 2015) and has worked on various mountain regions of the world.
Hollis completed her B.A. in History at the University of Oxford in 2012 and an MPhil in Early Modern History at the University of Cambridge in 2013, before moving to Scotland to undertake a PhD in History at the University of St Andrews. Her thesis, "Re-thinking Mountains: Ascents, Aesthetics and Environment in Early Modern Europe," established a new understanding of how mountains were viewed before the Enlightenment. Currently, she works with Professor Jason König on the Leverhulme-funded project 'Mountains in ancient literature and culture and their postclassical reception,' with a focus on the writings of seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travellers to the classical world, considering the numerous influences upon travelers' reactions to mountain sites of ancient and contemporary significance. She also writes about the construction of mountaineering as a modern sport and the impact of Scriptural and classical associations upon early modern understandings of the mountain landscape. She is particularly interested in the current-day historiographical discourses surrounding the question of premodern mountain engagement, and in investigating their origins, nuances and problematic impact upon our scholarly understanding of past landscape experience.
This day of academic exchange will be supported by two additional days of contact with students, faculty, campus leaders and community partners of the Center for Appalachian Studies and the academic program in Appalachian studies. These interactions will acquaint our international mountain studies visitors with campus assets, community organizations, Western North Carolina mountain cultures and the mountain landscape of the greater Boone area.
This event is supported by the Center for Appalachian Studies, the academic program in Appalachian Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of International Education and Development at Appalachian. For questions, please contact Katherine E. Ledford, PhD, Associate Professor of Appalachian Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://appstudies.appstate.edu/international-mountain-studies-symposium.
About the Center for Appalachian Studies
The Center for Appalachian Studies promotes public programs, community collaboration, civic engagement and scholarship on the Appalachian region. The center is committed to building healthy communities and deepening knowledge of Appalachia’s past, present and future through community-based research and engagement. Learn more at https://appcenter.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About the Office of International Education and Development
The OIED is responsible for spearheading the internationalization efforts at Appalachian. The internationalization mission of Appalachian is to develop awareness, knowledge, appreciation and respect of cultural differences in both domestic and international contexts in its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities. The university is also dedicated to creating a campus environment that builds the theoretical and practical skills needed to interact effectively in a global society. Learn more at https://international.appstate.edu.
Feb. 8, 2019
By Ellen Gwin Burnette