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Because It’s There: The Alpine Route to Environmentalism

February 7, 2013 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm


Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag
Because It’s There: The Alpine Route to Environmentalism

Jeff McCarthy, Chair of Environmental Studies, Professor of English, Westminster College

S.J. Quinney College of Law, Room 106

1 hour CLE, email communications@law.utah.edu

Climbers are seldom celebrated as environmental thinkers, but there is a long list of environmental leaders who discovered their calling in the mountains. This green Mount Rushmore might include John Muir, David Brower and Yvon Chouinard. Jeff McCarthy’s talk will start by celebrating the connection between climbing and American environmentalism, and go on to ask if that connection emerges from an interchange between the climber’s physical body and nature’s physical presence. McCarthy’s ideas challenge our culture’s given understanding of nature as an inert backdrop to human activity. Instead, his research gives an active role to the natural world. The payoff is a reconsideration of the way our bodies interact with the substances that surrounds us.
This talk celebrates climbing and inquiries into humanity’s material partnership with a material world.

Jeffrey Mathes McCarthy is Chair of Environmental Studies and Professor of English at Westminster College. He has been a Fulbright Fellow to Canada, a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, and an Andrew Mellon Fellow at the University of Texas’s Ransom Center. Jeff has worked with several local conservation organizations including serving on the board of Utah Open Lands. His book, Contact: Mountain Climbing and Environmental Thinking, was published by the University of Nevada Press. Jeff has climbed rock, ice and snow for 20 years, with first ascents in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, and expeditions to Africa and Asia.


February 7, 2013
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
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S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States


Wallace Stegner Center