Call for Papers: The Postcolonial Arctic Conference (Leeds, UK), deadline 28 February

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The Call for Papers is open for The Postcolonial Arctic, a two-day conference in Leeds sponsored by Arctic Encounters that seeks to apply postcolonial theories and methods to the European Arctic. The conference thus makes 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. Confirmed speakers include Michael Bravo (Cambridge), Kari Herbert (Polarworld) and Tero Mustonen (Snowchange Collective, Finland).

The conference welcomes papers from postgraduate and early-career scholars from across all disciplines, theoretical and empirical angles. 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 groups)
•    Antarctic perspectives, comparative or otherwise

The deadline for abstracts is 28 February, 2014. Abstracts (with title, contact details and affiliation) of max 200 words are to be sent to co-convenors Prof Graham Huggan (g.d.m.huggan@leeds.ac.uk) and Roger Norum (r.norum@leeds.ac.uk) by this date. Arctic and/or postcolonial scholars from outside the UK are particularly encouraged to apply.