Faculty member's book offers a cultural look at hunting

For thousands of Pennsylvania residents, hunting is a tradition. Whether it's to hunt small game, bear, turkey, or the prized buck, hunters of all ages take to the fields in the annual shooting sport.

But is hunting a bygone activity, out of touch with modern life? Or is it a valuable escape from it?

Does hunting promote violence, not just to animals, but to humans as well? Is hunting, with its connection to the land and frontier experience, a heritage worth preserving? These questions and more form the foundation for discussion in "Killing Tradition: Inside Hunting and Animal Rights Controversies," by Simon J. Bronner, Penn State Harrisburg distinguished professor of American studies and folklore.

In the 288-page volume published by the University Press of Kentucky, Bronner sorts through the issues and goes behind the headlines to examine the basis of this hotly charged subject. Using case studies such as the Hegins pigeon shoot and "deer camp," Bronner looks at a topic at the center of modern cultural debate.

Bronner is recognized as one of the leading scholars and researchers in the field of American studies. He is the coordinator of the recently introduced degree program in American studies at Penn State Harrisburg, the editor of the four-volume Encyclopedia of American Studies and the author of more than 25 books on American cultural history including: "Piled Higher and Deeper: The Folklore of Student Life," "The Carver’s Art: Crafting Meaning from Wood," "Crossing the Line: Violence, Play and Drama in Naval Equator Traditions," and "Following Tradition: Folklore in the Discourse of American Culture."

Bronner held the Walt Whitman Chair in American Culture at Leiden University in The Netherlands in 2006. He has been a visiting professor in folklore and American civilization at Harvard University and a Fulbright professor of American studies at Osaka University in Japan.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010