Thematic Network on Arctic Cultures and History (ARCH)

The Thematic Network ARCH – Arctic Cultures and History – is dedicated to the study of history and culture including literature, travel writing and creative writing, the performative arts, history and the history of art. The association of culture and history is essential in this respect since the members of the network are convinced that there is no efficient way to approach and solve problems in the Arctic or Arctic-related issues without considering the historical and cultural dimension of any given question.


The network is principally dedicated to subjects arising from the field of human science though transdisciplinary cooperation with the social and natural sciences are also sought. Through centuries, the Arctic has attracted explorers, missionaries, researchers etc., especially from the late 18th century to the present, leading to a wide range of interpretations in scholarly publications, popular books and artistic expressions. Working with texts such as historical accounts, political and geographical publications, travel writings, literature from the region and about the region, especially from the 18th century to the present, the network makes use of also other materiel and artistic expressions in developing a “dual gaze”, looking at the Arctic from the inside and the outside, in order to understand and be able to explain from a perspective within the humanities current and foreseeable challenges in the region. The concept of cultural sustainability - meaning the ability to retain values, traditions and cultural practices in an ongoing negotiation with a continuous, growing, global interest and influence – is a key concept in the network’s research and activities.


Main activities of the network include

  • An annual conference that brings together academics and practitioners of the fields covered by the network and members of Arctic societies including Indigenous groups
  • Dissemination events for the general public
  • Investigations into the establishment of a joint Arctic Master’s program


Other Information

Video interview: Bergur Djurhuus Hansen, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Cultures and History (ARCH).