No matter where they are located in the world, communities living in mountain regions have shared experiences defined in large part by contradictions. These communities often face social and economic marginalization despite providing the lumber, coal, minerals, tea, and tobacco that have fueled the growth of nations for centuries. They are perceived as remote and socially inferior backwaters on one hand while simultaneously seen as culturally rich and spiritually sacred spaces on the other. These contradictions become even more fraught as environmental changes and political strains place added pressure on these mountain communities. Shifting national borders and changes to watersheds, forests, and natural resources play an increasingly important role as nations respond to the needs of a global economy.
The works in this volume consider multiple nations, languages, generations, and religions in their exploration of upland communities’ responses to the unique challenges and opportunities they share. From paintings to digital mapping, environmental studies to poetry, land reclamation efforts to song lyrics, the collection provides a truly interdisciplinary and global study. The editors and authors offer a cross-cultural exploration of the many strategies that mountain communities are employing to face the concerns of the future.