December 18, 2022

CRITIQUE Seasonal Session Winter on a Mountain – 12 December 2022, 3 pm

Mountain event

Seasonal Sessions are quarterly mini-fieldtrips organised by the Environmental Working Group, under the aegis of CRTIQUE, and supported by the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network (EEHN). Each of our sessions takes place in a different setting outwith the university.

The second session, Winter on a Mountain, will take place on Monday, 12 December 2022, 3:00 to 4:30 pm. In this winter session, from a craggy spot overlooking St Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood Park, we think about the mountains we have known in our lives. We talk about the role that time plays in our intellectual and political horizons, for example, in the ways we talk about the climate crisis. We try to ‘think like a mountain’, speculating from that perspective on the milder winters of latter years, and the hotter years to come. We ask: What happens to our politics and activism when we think like a mountain? Can we ‘capture’ a mountain in words and art? Finally, can we be in a reciprocal ethical relationship with the earth’s big geological features?

Location: near the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel, Holyrood Park (there are two meeting options: walk together from CMB, leaving at 2:30 pm, or join the group at Holyrood parking lot at 3 pm).

Programme (starting 3 pm):

  • Walk up to a spot on the mountain, near the ruins of St Anthony’s chapel
  • Welcome and background (CRITIQUE Environmental Working Group)
  • Opening reflections (Dr Daniel Spotswood – Social Anthropology)
  • Brief solo creative writing exercise
  • Move to Cafe at the Palace for hot drinks and discussion
  • Open discussion of the texts and the experience of thinking on the mountain
  • Thanks and closing remarks by 4:30 pm.

Pre-read texts:

  • Thinking Like a Mountain, by Aldo Leopold (web PDF link – 2 pages)
  • Journey to Mount Tamalpais, by Etel Adnan (website link – approx 5 pages).

Places are limited to 20 attendees. To register and receive further coordination info, please go to Eventbrite.

The main aim of these events is to cultivate a practice of critical ecological reflection in an informal and exploratory environment. The sessions make use of facilitated group discussion, quiet personal reflection, and immersive engagement with the particular setting of the fieldtrip. The sessions are part of a broader experimental project in collaborative place-based learning, and contribute to an emergent understanding of what it might mean to ‘environmentalise’ learning and teaching in higher education.