Speaker Peter Hansen - On Belay: Mountaineering After the Enlightenment
Peter Hansen, Associate Professor of Humanities & Arts at WPI and Director of International Studies, gave a preview of some of the arguments of his coming book The Summits of Modern Man.
"'On belay' signifies the partnership of two or more climbers at the beginning of any ascent. Yet histories of mountaineering and western civilization imagine each climber as an individual modern man, alone on the summit and dominant over nature. Debates over who was the first mountaineer or modern man have entwined multiple visions of sovereignty, masculinity and modernity. The celebrated and triumphal position of modern man at the summit of nature has become highly ambivalent at the threshold of climate change."
- Peter Hansen
April 16, 2013