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Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver at the Mountaineering Culture Studies Group Meeting


Over the past few years a "new history of Himalayan mountaineering" has begun to appear, what Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver have called "a history of mountaineering from the bottom up," that seeks to root  accounts of mountain ascents in the cultural, social, political, and intellectual worlds shaping the  mountaineers themselves before they ever reach their summits.  Recent examples include Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest (2011), Bernadette McDonald, Freedom Climbers (2011), which is a history of Polish Himalayan climbers in the 1970s and 1980s, and Isserman and Weaver's prize-winning Fallen Giants:  A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes (2008).  Isserman and Weaver will discuss the origin and evolution of their own work, and where they see the new history of mountaineering heading in coming years.


Maurice Isserman, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History at Hamilton College, came to Hamilton in 1990 as an assistant professor of history and director of the American Studies program. A graduate of Reed College (B.A., 1973) and the University of Rochester (M.A., 1975, Ph.D., 1979), he had previously taught at Oberlin, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Williams colleges. Since coming to Hamilton he has been the recipient of a Mellon Fellowship at Harvard University and held the position of Fulbright Distinguished Professor at Moscow State University in Russia. His previous books include Which Side Were You On? The American Communist Party During the Second World War (1982), If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left (1987), California Red: The Life of Dorothy Healey (co-authored with Dorothy Healey, 1990), The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington (2000), America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (co-authored with Michael Kazin, 2000, and now in its fourth revised edition), and Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes (co-authored with Stewart Weaver, 2008, winner of the 2008 Banff book festival prize for best mountaineering history and the 2008 National Outdoor Book Award prize for best history). His regular history courses at Hamilton range from the Civil War to the 1960s, and he also teaches a course on Adventure Writing.

Stewart Weaver is a Professor of British history and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He earned his B.A. in History and English at Duke University in 1979 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History at Stanford University in 1982 and 1985. His books include The Politics of Popular Radicalism, 1832-1847 (Oxford University Press, 1987), The Hammonds: A Marriage in History (Stanford University Press, 1997), and, most recently (in collaboration with Maurice Isserman) Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes (Yale University Press, 2008), which won the National Outdoor Book Award for History and Biography (2008) and the Banff Mountain Festival Award for mountaineering history (2008).  He teaches widely in modern British, British Colonial, Environmental, and Modern European history.

Start Time: 3/8/2012  4:00 PM
Location: 3154 Angell Hall
Website: http://mountaineeringculture.tumblr.com/
Contact: amritad@umich.edu
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