Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The conflict over mountaintop mining in southern Appalachia will be the topic of a Scholars’ Convocation by cultural anthropologist Susan Hirsch on Thurs., Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus.

Hirsch, who is a professor in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, will discuss the language of conflicts, especially those involving environmental issues. Her talk,” Mountains and Metaphors: Conflict over Mining in a Time of Uncivil Discourse,” will analyze the language used in resolving the recent Appalachian mining conflict and the use of uncivil discourse in today’s politics.

Hirsch’s training in legal anthropology led to her research on conflict and culture, Islam, gender relations, and the legal systems of East Africa. Her newly released book, “In the Moment of Greatest Calamity: Terrorism, Grief and a Victim’s Quest for Justice,” is about her experiences at the 1998 East African Embassy bombings and the subsequent trial. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Kenya and Tanzania since 1985 and has written an ethnographic analysis of gender relations and marital disputes heard in Kenyan Islamic courts. She is currently on the editorial boards of the Law and Society Review and the American Ethnologist.

Hirsch’s Grinnell lecture is part of the college’s ongoing Scholars’ Convocation series and co-sponsored by the Peace Studies Program. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or