Introduction The 18th Inuit Studies Conference hosted by the Arctic Studies Center, will address the key issues related to the Inuit people, to the rapidly changing Arctic regions and their critical resources. The conference will cover a broad spectrum of topics including climate change and indigenous people; international cooperation in the Arctic; roles of museums and museum collections in preserving Inuit languages, heritage, and culture; governmental programs in the northern regions, and their interactions with local communities and Inuit cultural/political institutions. The Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian Institution will have the privilege of hosting the 18th Inuit Studies Conference (ISC 18). The ISC 18 will be held in Washington, DC from October 24 to October 28, 2012 across the Smithsonian Institution campus on the National Mall.

Conference Committee Judith Burch - Arctic Inuit Art specialist; Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad - Arctic
Inuit Art specialist; William Fitzhugh - Director, Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural
History; Joan Gero-Emeritus, American University; Douglas Herman - Senior Geographer, National
Museum of the American Indian; Igor Krupnik - Curator, National Museum of Natural History; Stephen
Loring, Museum Anthropologist, National Museum of Natural History.

Conference Themes The Conference theme is Arctic | Inuit | Connections: Learning from the Top of the World.
We believe this broad theme inspires discussion about important Inuit issues and how they impact the rest of the world. Our sub-themes include impacts of climate change on Arctic environments and peoples, community sustainability, education and health, governance, and culture and heritage.

More specifically the sub-themes are:
  • Heritage, Museums and the North
  • Globalization: The Arctic Story
  • Power, Governance and Politics in the North
  • The ‘New’ Arctic: Social, Cultural and Climate Change
  • Inuit Education, Health, Language and Literature
  • Visual Anthropology, Film and Media
  • Perceptions of the Past: a more inclusive Archaeology

Conference Format ISC 18 will follow the well-established format of previous meetings, but with some notable changes reflecting the unique opportunities offered by a Smithsonian venue. Each conference day will include a keynote lecture by a leading scholar or public figure in a plenary session followed by a panel discussion and audience interaction. Afterwords, participants will break into concurrent sessions in various Mall museum meeting spaces. The conference will also coincide with a number of special exhibitions, workshops, tours, and demonstrations. In addition, the planning committee envisions lively evening cultural programs.

Website Visit the conference website at: to find out more about the conference. Please also send us your email to be added to the conference listserv at

Key Dates:

15 December 2011 Notification of panel or session acceptance
15 December 2011 Online early registration open & call for abstracts
1 March 2012 Paper Abstract deadline
1 April  2012 Notification of paper acceptances
15 June 2012 Full conference program online
1 September 2012 Early registration ends
24 October 2012 18th Inuit Studies Conferences Opens

Please contact Lauren Marr at the Arctic Studies Center
for additional information:
National Museum of Natural History PO Box 37012
Anthropology Department MRC 112 Washington, DC 20013