Theme Description
Arctic peoples have been part of longstanding histories of contact with explorers, whalers, traders, soldiers, scientists, administrators, prospectors, and artists. Yet, despite centuries of cultural exchange, movement, trade and adaptation, the region is often configured as one that is remote and wholly vulnerable to outside influence and interference, both cultural and environmental. This seminar seeks ways to question such a discourse of vulnerability and plight, and to conceptualize the North, either historically or in the present day, as the locus for values of creativity, resilience, adaptability and exchange.
Possible topics of inquiry might include:
- What kinds of networks of communication and exchange (physical, material, virtual and digital) are created across the Circumpolar North, and with places further south?
- How do matters of history, economics, and politics convene in artistic productions, storytelling and ritual performances, new and old?
- What sorts of dialogue need to be brokered between local and global histories?
- How can collaboration and cultural exchange alter or re-create social networks?
- In what ways has the Arctic been variously defined in conversations involving scholars, policymakers, industries, artists and, of course, residents?
- How can circumpolar networks inform broader political debates concerning hunting rights, cultural property, resource management, climate change, and the social and economic welfare of communities?

IPSSAS 2010 will be a unique opportunity to discuss issues and present current research on historical and contemporary cultural exchanges across the Circumpolar North. Our goal is to cultivate substantive discussion and exchange of the highest scholarly standard in the social sciences, arts, and humanities.

We invite graduate students working on arctic issues, based in institutions worldwide, to participate in this session. PhD students will be given priority.
Course Credit Equivalent:
3 North American credits or equivalent in European institutions.
Information about applications is available at the IPSSAS website: