The Postcolonial Arctic International Postgraduate Conference

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Second Call for Papers
The Postcolonial Arctic
International Postgraduate Conference
30–31 May 2014, University of Leeds, UK

The primary objective of this two-day conference is to gauge the extent to which postcolonial theories and methods may be applied to the European Arctic, thereby making the case for a ‘postcolonial Arctic’ in which locally articulated desires to decolonise the region are seen in both ecological and cultural-political terms. The current global scramble for the Arctic can be seen in terms of a centuries-long pursuit of material wealth and political purchase in the region that has hardly diminished for the various colonial and commercial powers concerned (Craciun 2009). The Arctic might thus be described as having both a colonial past and a colonial present, and the conference will look to operate with this double understanding of the postcolonial: as both a painful negotiation of the legacies of earlier eras and a reckoning––in many ways equally damaging––with those new forms of colonialism that have surfaced in today’s globalised world. But the event also seeks to operate with a third, more hopeful understanding of the postcolonial: as setting up the parameters for both imaginative and material transformation so as to support cultural and political autonomy, but also to create the conditions for a more ‘planetary’ (cosmopolitan, socially and ecologically balanced) vision of the world.

15-minute papers are invited from across all disciplines, theoretical and empirical angles, and areas of relevance to the ‘postcolonial Arctic’. Topics might include (but are not limited to):
· Arctic colonialisms past and present

· Arctic environments and ecologies

· Indigenous presences in and perspectives on the Arctic

· Arctic explorations, travels and tourisms

· Imaginaries of the Arctic and of the North

· Encounters between residents of and travellers to the Arctic (and/or within these two heterogeneous groups)

· Antarctic perspectives, comparative or otherwise

This conference will be held at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (University of Leeds) and co-hosted by the Leeds Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (ICPS) and by members of the HERA Arctic Encounters ( project. The conference is intended primarily––though not exclusively––for postgraduate and early career scholars. Keynote speakers include Michael Bravo (Cambridge), Kari Herbert (Polarworld Publishing) and Tero Mustonen (Snowchange Collective, Finland). Other participants include Simone Abram (Leeds Met), Graham Huggan (Leeds), Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen (Roskilde), Lars Jensen (Roskilde), Britt Kramvig (Tromsø), Kristín Loftsdóttir (Iceland) and Katrín Anna Lund (Iceland).

Abstracts (with title, contact details and affiliation) of max 200 words to be sent to co-convenors Prof Graham Huggan ( and Roger Norum ( by Friday, 28 February, 2014. Space is limited; early submissions are thus welcome. Arctic and/or postcolonial scholars from outside the UK are particularly encouraged to apply.

Roger Norum
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Leeds
Faculty of Arts, School of English

Arctic Encounters: Contemporary Travel/Writing in the European High North

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