The Mountaineering Culture Studies Group is made possible through the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop programme at the Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan. It is also generously supported as a Special Interest Group by the university's Department of English.


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Please address any questions or ideas about the organization or its events to the MCSG Graduate Coordinator, Amrita Dhar (amritad@umich.edu).

If you have any questions about the website, or if you are a member or speaker and would like details on this website updated, please contact the MCSG webmaster, Lia Wolock (lwolock@umich.edu).

Neale Batra
neale.batra@gmail.com

Outdoor adventure educator for youth and adult groups and personal mountaineering and climbing expeditions in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and American Southwest.

Alumnus, University of Michigan; currently employed by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health Extensive climbing and mountain experience, interest in the intersection of culture, politics, and geography; discussion of ethics in climbing and mountaineering; outdoor adventure educator for youth and adult groups and personal mountaineering and climbing expeditions in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and American Southwest.
Jeff Butler
jbut@med.umich.edu
Graduate Student, University of Michigan Medical School I love rocks.

Upal Chakrabarti
upalchakrabarti@gmail.com

My interest in mountaineering culture studies comes primarily from my own experience of mountaineering. The questions about mountaineering as a sport, as a philosophical quest, as a way of being, have occurred to me while climbing mountains, reading about mountaineering, and following lives of famous mountaineers, and big mountaineering events all over the world.

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Presidency University, Kolkata I am planning an expedition to one of the most challenging, and highest peaks of the Indian Himalayas in June 2013. The peak is called Nanda Devi East (7434m). I would love to share with the MCSG my experiences of being part of expeditions to Mt. Shivling (2003 & 07), Mt. Changuch (2010), and Mt. Thalaysagar (2011), organised by the South Calcutta Trekkers' Association, a club for adventure activities in Kolkata. I would love to share photos from these expeditions with the MCSG. These photos are on Picasa albums online. I would also love to be a part of discussions over the culture of mountaineering organised by the MCSG. If possible, we can hold online sessions, which I can join from Kolkata. 
Emmanuel Dechenaux
edechena@kent.edu
Faculty, Department of Economics, Kent State University I like mountains.

Carolyn Dekker
cdekker@umich.edu

Not a climber, but a backpacker and lover of mountains. The last two summers, I was a Graduate Student Instructor for an experiential learning course on history & literature of the Rockies in Jackson, WY at UMich's Camp Davis. Interested in mountaineering literature's intersections with conservation literature, sublime experience, etc.

Graduate Student, Department of English, University of Michigan Since returning to New England, I've been entertaining an (as-yet very half-baked) notion about doing some research on summit structures in New England (inns! trolleys! observatories! this car climbed Mount Washington!) and what their history might tell us about a communal (or at the very least non-solitary!) mountain appreciation.

Amrita Dhar
amritad@umich.edu

Expedition member and photographer for several Himalayan peak and pass-crossing expeditions (for instance, expeditions to Jogin III, 20,065 ft, Gangotri III, 21,572 ft, and Kalindikhal, 19,500 ft, in the Garhwal Himalaya).

Graduate Student, Department of English, University of Michigan

Climbing and travel in the mountains; current research project: the culture, literature, and history of Indian mountaineering, particularly Indian civilian mountaineering.

Publications: ‘The Unaccommodated: The Himalaya and the Makers of Their Literature' (forthcoming in The Himalayan Journal in 2013); 'Food and Literature of the Himalayan Heights', in The Writer's Feast: Food and the Cultures of Representation (New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2011), pp. 206-222.
Laura Haskins
llhaskins@gmail.com

Curious observer hoping-to-be-participant of mountaineering.

Alumna and staff, University of Michigan; currently employed as a Registered Nurse at the University of Michigan Health System Fledgling dreams of getting to the Himalayas sometime in the summer of 2013.
George Hoffmann Faculty, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan Purely diletante!
Achirri Ishmael
achirri@umich.edu
Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan I am researching on "waterscapes" from a holistic perspective, and intend to focus on mountain experiences and perspectives when I'm done with my graduate project.
Corina Kesler
corinak@umich.edu
Lecturer, Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan Interest in mountaineering literature, the mountain as escape, as ontological other.
Crystal Yin Lie Graduate Student, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan Climbing and bike touring
Tapsi Mathur Graduate Student, Department of History, University of Michigan  
Dante Michael
dantem@umich.edu
Undergraduate Student, Asian Studies, University of Michigan I am looking to nurture the adventurer in me. I enjoy rock climbing. I dream of joining an expedition of some sort, even if as a porter. I got strong legs and a strong back!
Steven Nelson
stevenel@umich.edu
Graduate Student, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan I climb, and would love to learn more about it.

Markus Nornes
amnornes@umich.edu

Grew up in Colorado. Weaned on Edward Abbey. Spent every weekend in the mountains and deserts. My Life was the mountains. Bagged 33 14-ers before I entered grad school and ruined everything. I'm glad that this group started up; now if you would only meet at a time slot I had open!

Faculty, Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan

Toying with an article idea that brings together neuroscience and my beloved ski porn.

An experience to share: arrived at the summit of Mt. Fuji at 5 in the morning, only to be turned away from the warming hut by an old geezer that hated foreigners; when I got to the parking lot I realized I missed the last bus out, but another old geezer gave me a ride to my front door 4 hours away in Tokyo.
Molly Rorick
rorick@umich.edu
Postdoctoral scholar, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan Interest in climbing and world travel/culture/religion.
Paddy Scannell
scannep@umich.edu
Faculty, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan Spoke at a meeting of the Mountaineering Culture Studies Group in November 2012: ‘Social Climbing in the UK: A Brief History’
Laura Schultz
schultla@umich.edu
Graduate Student, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan Avid traditional and sport climber (all over U.S.). New to alpinism and looking to learn and experience more. Planning a winter 2013/14 ascent of Mt. Rainier.

Jyotsna Singh
jsingh@msu.edu

Grew up in the Indian Himalayas and spent long spells in mountain towns.

Faculty, Department of English, Michigan State University Spoke at a meeting of the Mountaineering Culture Studies Group in January 2012: ‘Mapping the Himalayan Imaginary: A Postcolonial Perspective’

Alice Tsay
atsay@umich.edu

Graduate Student, Department of English, University of Michigan Research interest in travel writing.

Richard Tucker
rptucker@umich.edu

Long-term enthusiasm for mountain trekking, on the fringe of climbing.

Faculty, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan Comparative interest in Himalayas, US Sierras and Andes. Research interest in history of mountain ecosystems, and environmental impacts of forest clearance and development programs. I coordinate an international research program on environmental impacts of warfare; one specific element is mountain ecosystems. My publications, 1980-95, were largely on the history of environmental impacts in the Indian and Nepali Himalayas, though not specifically on the sociology, culture or economics of mountaineering.
Bo White
bowhite@umich.edu

Graduate Student, University of Michigan Law School

Trying to get back to Tajikistan to continue some projects.

Publications: ‘2011: Gunt and Sizdh Valleys: various ascents’ in the American Alpine Journal

Paul Wolberg
pswolberg@gmail.com
Staff, Microbiology and Immunology,  University of Michigan Medical School  
Lia Wolock
lwolock@umich.edu
Graduate Student, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan Started indoor climbing in 2013.
Carmen Yu
carmenyu@umich.edu
Staff, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School  
Cordelia Zuckerman
czukerma@umich.edu
Graduate Student, Department of English, University of Michigan

Interest in ideas of space and place.

An experience to share: hiking in Jotunheimen National Park, Norway.


  Last updated May 8, 2014.