"Mountains, Media, Materiality: The Lived and Imagined Cultures of the Western Himalayas": An online certificate course for three days

Siddharth Pandey Announcement
Subject Fields
Architecture and Architectural History, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Indigenous Studies, South Asian History / Studies

Why do mountains matter? How do mountains matter? Why and how do dwellers, travellers, writers and artistes of different kinds come to express their understanding of highlands through particular expressions of style and content? What ideas of landscape, aesthetics, connectedness and culture do these understandings convey?

This three-day online certificate course delves into these and similar questions to study the multifaceted ways in which mountains spark the human imagination. It aims to introduce a variety of aspects that shape mountain life through experiential, literary, philosophical and visual perspectives. Taking the Western Himalayan terrain as its main area of focus, the course veers through numerous cultural texts from the 19th to the 21st centuries (memoirs, travelogues, paintings, architecture, songs and cinema) to shed light on the diversity of ways that have defined - and continue to define - the relationship between highlands and humanity.

Open for everyone over the age of 18 years to attend (academics and non-academics), the course will largely take place in the English language. Wherever Hindi or other Himalayan dialects are deployed, translation will be provided.

The course will run for consecutive days from June 16-18, 2023, for two hours everyday, which will include opportunities for short exercises and discussion. The classes are typically scheduled in the evening according to the Indian Standard Time (IST). For those in other time zones, we arrange a mutually convenient time as a group before the classes begin.

Please note that no prior knowledge of mountain societies or relationship to mountain life is required. A curiosity towards any kind of landscape culture(s) would however lead to a richer engagement with the subject.

Please also note that the course will take place under the aegis of the Himalayan Institute of Heritage and Cultural Studies (HICHS), which was established in January 2020 to foster fresh critical and creative conversations on the Himalayas. Till date, the institute has organised events in collaboration with over a hundred renowned national and international authorities on the Himalayas, including writers, photographers and traveller such as Ian A. Baker, Ed Douglas, Kevin Bubriski, Manju Kak, Stephen Alter, among others. 

Please visit the provided link for further details on course objectives, registration fees detail, course instructor biography, and more information on (HICHS).

Contact Information

Dr. Siddharth Pandey and Dr. Sonali Gupta,

Himalayan Institute of Heritage and Cultural Studies (HICHS)

District Shimla Himachal Pradesh 171103


Contact Email