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Mountaineers Are Always Free book launch

A new book by folklorist Rosemary Hathaway explores the history and potent symbolism of the iconic West Virginia University Mountaineer.

Rosemary Hathaway

The book launch for “Mountaineers Are Always Free: Heritage, Dissent, and a West Virginia Icon” ( WVU Press, 2020) will be held in the Event Hall at the WVU College of Law on February 24 at 4 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Hathaway, an associate professor of  English, will lead a discussion about the Mountaineer with Travis Stimeling, associate professor of music, and Emily Hilliard of the West Virginia Folklife Program.

For more than 80 years, the WVU Mountaineer has been alternately a rabble-rouser and a romantic embodiment of the state’s history. While being the subject of ongoing reinterpretation, the Mountaineer has consistently conveyed the value of independence.

In her book, Hathaway draws on multiple sources, including archival research, personal history, and interviews with former students who have portrayed the mascot, to explore the complex forces and tensions that animate the Mountaineer. 

The book launch and panel discussion is sponsored by WVU Press, the WVU Law Appalachian Justice Initiative and the WVU Humanities Center.