the first international Symposium on The Mountain: Approaches and Intersections of Sense and Meaning

Event Serial64325
Event TypeConferences
Event Date from2019-02-26 to 2019-02-27
Event Categories
Location Tamanrasset, Algeria

– Preamble and objectives of the Symposium

The Mountain is considered a very rich data for research and investigation where different approaches share so many things. For example, the researcher in toponymy finds in the multitude names of mountain a variety of meanings and implications; it provides naturalists, ecologists, geologists and geographers usually with a heavy material for study and research; in the same way, the scholars of history and archeology find in the mountain the images of the decades of lives of the first and the late man; the mountain’s rocks usually constitute a field of sculpture, writing and engravings, and the memory and identity of the human being.

It is no different in the relationship between the mountain and what is religious and divine as various religions and sacred books referred to the mountain. The mountain is a divine creature, God made it His second creation; He singled it out with many functions and miracles; it remains the place of revelation and an area of the pillars of Hajj (Pilgrimage is Arafa). On the other hand, the same as the mountain is deemed to be the area of inspiration of the sanctuary, it also refers to the profane. So many myths and tales are woven around the mountains; in general, the mountain always remains that wonderful, disappointing and frightening creature.

Anthropologically and sociologically, the mountain offers potential and important areas of study and it also represents, at various levels, the culture, heritage and identity of the mountain dwellers especially, their customs, architecture, daily living, activities, migration, social integration or marginalization, discrimination, etc.

On the other hand, literature, with its various genres, presents an important picture of the mountain; So many stories, novels, notes and trips around were written about the mountains. The verses of the poetry did not fail to describe the mountains and to refer to their age, height, hardness and hardness and so forth.

The mountain was in turn a fertile area for arts; the ancient man eternalized his memory and identity through the arts of sculpture, painting, engravings and others.  And hence they remained a landmark and an important archaeological document that is indicative of many of man’s conditions, and reflects an important aspect of his civilization, life and livelihood.

Psychologically speaking, the mountain also affected the psychologists’ feelings, as it is the case of ancient man; therefore, the mountain became a psychologically debatable subject with its relationship with the individual and his implications for feeling and so on.

Politically and juristically, the mountains were also a rich material for research and study, where many mountains knew and still know today conflicts between countries, especially those that have strategic positions. Many conventions and treaties have been ratified on them. Mountains, therefore, remain an important and fertile ground for geopolitical, legal and human rights research.

In the economy, the mountain was also an important point for discussing the means of the mountain development, the population’s daily life, means and ways of living chiefly crafts, agriculture, grazing, etc.; there is also a great interest in the mountain tourism and the industry associated to mountain tourism.

In the end, sports and athletes had a share of interest in the mountains, so that they shared with the rest of the sciences and other approaches the interest in the mountain as a field and material; it is also a human edifice, a sacred and a mythological value; it will remain important in the life of the ancient and present human being; it remains the interest of research, study and investigation by all researchers, explorers.

As for the scientific and academic interest in the mountains in general, it is not the result of the actual period, but it is traced back to the early years of the twentieth century. For example, France has known this since 1913, where a subject of the mountains study is introduced in its universities under the title «Alpine Geography Review » to study the Alps. After this period, many studies were conducted, and Carl Troll created a committee within the World Geographical Union (IGU) to study the geography of the highland environment in 1968. During the 1970s, some research projects focused on the relationship between the socio-economic activities of man and the mountainous natural environment. European researchers first focused on the impact of tourism on the Alps in Austria and on Swiss Alps. And as a result of their use of advanced models of study such as GIS, other countries have adopted their own models and ideas and applied them in their studies namely in China, Kenya and others. The programs and the models are evolved later on into the relationship between the mountain populations and the environment, as well as the development of policies for social welfare and development in these mountain areas. Academic attention to mountains did not stop at this point, but it continued until the end of the 1980s with the publication of the book The Himalayan dilemma: reconciling development and conservation (Ives & Messerli), or To the deterioration of the Himalayan environment, the degradation of its forest and the decline of its water resources.

After this period, the area of interest in mountains expanded to establish research centers such as the Mountain Research Center at the University of Montana, as well as the emergence of a number of journals and magazines such as the Journal of Alpine Research, as well as many audio, video and digital programs which devote a large part to mountain researches, namely National Geographic and others.

Mountain-related research continued later on, and also global interest increased with the participation of international organizations and institutions (UNESCO, LONU, FAO, GREENPEACE …) where mountains became an important hub, and a full chapter was devoted to mountain research in the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. The 2002 was considered as the International Year of the Mountains. All this growing interest in the scope, size and fields of the mountains created another kind of interest and other scientific disciplines which, to a recent era, claimed that they had no interest in studying the mountains. But with the change of visions and the multiplicity of ideas interested in the mountain, the latter became a human subject and an important social and environmental and anthropological, political, legal and economic issue among the different academics.

In general, the aim of this forum is to include different researchers from different sciences and approaches in the analysis and investigation of the mountain. Despite the knowledge boundaries between these different disciplines, the mountain remains an important area of networking and intersection between these sciences and different approaches and viewpoints. – specializations-betweeness,  trans-specialization and specialists.

The foremost objective of this symposium is that we seek to highlight the research and interest in the mountain, especially that the area of Tamanrasset and Tassili includes an important mountain-chain in terms of geological, environmental and geographical dimensions. But since a major part of it is embedded in the international legacy, the paintings, drawings and inscriptions inscribed on the walls of al-Tassili date the region’s people since prehistoric times. It is also a document and an important subject to study from all sciences and disciplines because it reveals both the biological and human life of the area.

On the other hand, this conference will be the beginning of cooperation between the various participants and those who are interested in the mountains; it is also an opportunity for them to collaborate; in addition, it will support the possibilities of developing the field of research on the mountains, including the mountains of Ahagar and Tassili.

Through this international symposium, we aim to widen the scope of cooperation to greater and larger horizons and geographical agreements with the cooperation of international centers concerned with the mountains, while ensuring the activation of this project through launching research projects on this subject.

– The themes of the conference:

– Axis 1: mountain toponymy (place names)

1.      Names of mountains: significance and meaning

– Axis 2: the natural (ecological) and geographical dimension of the mountain

1. The mountain, subject of geological studies
2. The mountain, subject of biological studies
3. The mountain, subject of environmental studies
4- The mountain, subject of geographical studies-

 -Axis 3: the religious dimension of the mountain

1- The place of the mountain in religion and theology
2 – The place of the mountain in the Koran
3 – The mountain place of inspiration and meditation
4- The mountain between the sacred and the cursed

-Axis 4: the mountain in history and archeology

1. The mountain is a historical subject (local, national, human history)
2. The mountain is an archaeological subject (local, national, world)

– Axis 5: The mountain is a subject of anthropology and different literary genres

1.      The mountain, between myth and anecdote

2.      Habits, traditions and customs of the mountain

3.      The mountain: Culture and heritage

4 – Mountain: shelter and place of habitat

5 – The mountain is subject to literature, poetry, history and the novel

6 – The place of the mountain in art (sculpture, painting …)

7- The place of the mountain in communication

– Axis 6: Mountain sociology and mountain communities

1- Sociology of mountain communities
2 – The static mountain: culture and identity
3 – Stability of the mountain between stability and mobility and migration

– Axis 7: Mountain and Psychology

1 – Man and Mountain
2- Mountain and psychological skin (hardness)
3- Mountain and adaptation

– Axis 8: Mountains: geo – politically and legally

1.    Mountains as strategic areas

2.    Conflicts and border disputes between countries around mountains

3.    Laws, charters and treaties relating to disputed mountains.

– Axis 9: the mountain is a subject and an area of economy and wealth

1- The economy of the mountain areas and their transformations
2 – The mountain and the problem of development (reality and national and international models)
3-Mountain tourism (realities and national and global models)

– Axis 10: Mountain, sport and relaxation

1- Sports and recreation of the mountain

– Terms and conditions of participation:

1. The research should be on one of the themes of the conference;

2. The research should not be published or presented in previous conferences and symposia;

3. The number of search pages should not exceed 20 pages (A4) including annexes and references.

4. Write notes according to the APA method; immediately after quotation, citation or reference, write between parentheses (the name of the author of the text, and the first letter of his second name, the year of publication of the text, page), eg (Gertz, 2002: 56) .

5. The sources and references approved in an academic manner shall be arranged in the last research.

6. The Traditional Arabic line according to Article 16 of the data, 12 of the Arabic margins, and in the Times New Roman line, 14 of the item and 10 for the margins of the French language.

7. Languages of the symposium: Arabic / French / English

– Important dates:

1. Deadline for receiving abstracts with CV: December 15, 2018

2. Deadline for answering abstracts: 31 December 2018

3. Deadline for the submission of full papers: 05 February 2019


– Participation is programmed only after receiving the full paper, and the work involved the publication of a collective book, and / or in academic, national and international journals.

– Participation fee:

– For Algerian professors and researchers: 7,000 Algerian dinars

– For foreigners, the participation fee is 100 euros.

These expenses cover part of the internal transport in Tamanrasset, from the airport to the university, as well as one night at the hotel, coffee and tea breaks during the conference, also, the programmed tourist activities (mountain walks) at the end of the conference.



Contact information:

For more information and inquiries, please contact:

Dr. Abdelnabi  ZENDRI, Phone Number    +213 660 50 33 34


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