Exploring the Arctic as cultural space and orientation, this panel will look at its shaping as part of the global dynamics of rapid climate change, growing political attention, natural resources, new routes and mobility. Papers may draw on ethnography, studies of folklore, history and heritage.
This panel will explore the Arctic, broadly defined as cultural space, construction, and orientation. It will look at the shaping of Arctic spaces as part of the global dynamics characterized by rapid climate change, growing political attention, increasing exploitation of natural resources, new trade routes and mobility. These changes pose new challenges to notions of indigeneity, heritage and identity in Arctic and sub-Arctic communities. Whether driven by the pursuit of goods, shelter or social capital within them mobile people are also a crucial factor in the Arctic's future. Their self-awareness and identification is an important component of what might be called globalization 'from below.' Workforces for large-scale projects as well as professionals are influential in structuring and sustaining the region both socio-economically and culturally. Tourism also poses significant challenges in terms of environment, culture, safety and governance. Mobility in the north also affects gender relations for example the changing roles of men and women as traditional ways of life give way but also in new modes of producing and consuming tourism experiences and images. National identity projects and region building in the Arctic may also involve the dichotomies of nature and culture, of utopia and dystopia and 'pioneering' discourses that invite post-colonial perspectives. Papers may draw on ethnographic enquiry, studies of folklore, history and heritage. They may take into account environmental, commercial, economic and social aspects of the Arctic and their implications for cultural politics, societal roles and the everyday power relations of groups and individuals.