Contributions for Performing Mountains Symposium

Please consider making a contribution proposal to the forthcoming Performing Mountains symposium. The call is fully outlined here:

And the headlines are below.


Performing Mountains

An international symposium on Mountain Culture

Thursday 22nd March 2018 – Saturday 24th March 2018.

School of Performance and Cultural Industries, stage@leeds, University of Leeds


Keynote Performance: Lone Twin’s – On Everest, (followed by a curated panel of internationally recognised climbers and artists, including Doug Scott CBE)

Mountains are places of ‘great cultural importance’ (Price 2015, p.10). Whilst they might appear to be impervious to human agency and intervention – you can’t move mountains after all – they are, in fact, constantly being shaped by human hands, sometimes benignly and sometimes with permanent malignance. Culture and the production of cultural objects play an integral part in this process comprising an extraordinarily varied gallery of what might be termed Mountain Arts. The richness of Mountain film, literature and creative writing is celebrated each year across the networks of Mountain festivals (within the UK and internationally) and is contested in hugely popular awards ceremonies such as the Boardman-Tasker. Fine Art dedicated to mountains has a very long history and its more recent extension into Environmental or Land Art in the last forty years, has enjoyed similar growth. Photography competitions promoted by the many popular and specialist hiking and climbing magazines, bring the amateur photographer into the realm of mountain artistry joining evermore ambitious photo-shoots staged in mountains by professionals. The inspiration mountains provide for artists of these media is as unmistakable as the mark they make in the landscape. But where do the live arts fit into this picture, what do they uniquely offer, and what might they contribute in the future?

Drawing an appropriately inclusive audience together to debate and trouble the boundaries of mountain culture, this symposium is dedicated to understanding some of the complexities of this new field of research, extending its interest with a focus on the live and performed.

As part of the AHRC funded fellowship, Performing Landscapes: Mountains, we are delighted to invite proposals for papers, artefacts, panels, workshops, readings and performative presentations for this inaugural Performing Mountains Symposium. Building on the success of our evening Mountainsides events, our aim is to bring together a network of mountaineers, rock climbers, mountain guides, artists, performers, festival organisers, performance-makers, scenographers, workshop leaders/trainers, historians and cultural theorists to share in two days of discussion, observation, questioning and exploration. We want to assess the place of performance within mountain culture and to consider how mountain culture in all its diversity helps performance studies and practice rethink itself.

The Symposium is conceived around four broad themes with every possibility for productive crossover:


  • Makers of Mountain Culture
  • Providers of Mountain Culture
  • Mixers of Mountain Culture
  • Futures of Mountain Culture


Each of these themes provokes a set of questions and colleagues are asked to address these directly or indirectly in their proposals, and/or to suggest further questions.

Proposals of 200 words, including a short biography, technical requirements and mode of presentation (paper, panel, presentation, exhibition, workshop, reading) are to be sent to no later than 24th November 2017.


This symposium will help drive the development of a new Mountain Culture Research Network, as part of the ongoing work of thePerforming Landscapes: Mountains Fellowship.

For more information contact the symposium organising team:

Jonathan Pitches          David Shearing             Linda Watson

Or email:

In collaboration with Kendal Mountain Festival and supported by theAHRC