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Arctic 2013


Arctic Courses

Arctic Exhibit: Names Swallowed by the ColdArcticIce

Arctic Talks and Related Events, Free and Open to the Public


Arctic Courses


SCAN 386: ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY IN A CHANGING ARCTIC. June 10-July 15, 2013. LAS-SAO Stockholm Summer Arctic Program.

This Stockholm-based course offered in collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology includes an extended field site component at Svalbard, Norway.

In recent years there has been increasing international interest in the Arctic, triggered by the changes towards a warmer global climate, retreating glaciers and decreasing sea ice. The prospect of an Arctic ocean free from sea ice in the near future can offer new possibilities for extracting oil and gas reserves there, as well as new shipping routes. As a consequence, sustainable resource use and governance have become central items on the political agenda of states with an interest in the region.explore these present developments and its possible outcomes, focusing on the way in which actors from the Nordic countries have interacted in their Arctic environments in a long-term, historical perspective. From ancient times to the present, Nordic societies have had a foot in the Arctic region; the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland all include significant percentages of their territory above the Arctic Circle, and Denmark has had historical colonial relationships with both Norway and Greenland. The indigenous Sami and Inuit peoples transcend these political borders in all of these countries. The indigenous peoples of the north have shaped their lifestyle in interaction with a changing environmental context, including climate, geography, and eco-systems. All of these societies have shaped and influenced their environment, as well. At the same time, actors from the power centers in the southern parts of the Nordic countries have increased their interests in the Arctic as an arena for taxation, science, resource exploitation and geo-politics.


To read or view more about the Summer 2012 version of the course, please see:





SCAN 199: ARCTIC DISCOVERY. TuTh 11-12.20 in G46 FLB. Instructor: Professor Anna Stenport

This seminar-style course is open to incoming Freshmen. Studying the Arctic through a broad set of perspectives, from indigenous cultures (Sami and Inuit) to environmental aspects in the wake of recent climate change, we question long-standing assumptions of the northernmost part of the globe. Themes of colonialism, geopolitics, exploration, and ecology will be explored in film, photography, art, and literature. Students will also pursue an independent research project throughout the semester.


SCAN 496: ARCTIC CULTURES AND NARRATIVES." TuThu 2-3.20 PM in G46 FLB. Instructor: Professor Mark Safstrom

Students in this course will study the ways in which humans have narrated their interactions with the Arctic over the past 1000 years, and explore how this environment has been imagined through oral tradition, mythology, sagas, literature, and film. The interaction of Western and non-Western people groups with one another and with the Arctic environment has found form in the ways people have narrated the Arctic: it has been expressed as a home, an object of territorial expansion, a space for spiritual retreat and shaping of individual identity, and as a stage for community living, technological development and national accomplishment. Students in this course will be equipped to discuss themes related to the environmental and societal changes in the Arctic in a long-term, historical perspective, as well as be able to understand current cultural and political assumptions about the Arctic. As the Nordic region comprises a significant amount of this territory and coastline, and as the historic international attempts to reach the pole predominantly took place through the corridor between Greenland and the Scandinavian Peninsula (with Svalbard being a central point of departure), this course will feature literature by authors from the Nordic region (all readings are in English translation).


Arctic Exhibit: Names Swallowed by the Cold

January 25-April 8, 2013.ArcticImage
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Curated by Adam Doskey.
Click Here for more information





Arctic Talks and Related Events, Free and Open to the Public

25 January - 8 April 2013. “Names Swallowed by the Cold: Hidden Histories of Arctic Exploration An Exhibition Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Crocker Land Expedition to the Arctic (1913-1917)”. Rare Book & Manuscript Library

25 January at 3 PM. Gillen Wood, Professor of English Literature at the University of Illinois. Lecture: Bernard O’Reilly and William Scoresby Jr. and he British search for the Northwest Passage in the early nineteenth century. University Library

7 February at 3 PM. Staged reading of Wilkie Collins’s play, The Frozen Deep. This play was based on Sir John Franklin’s expedition to discover the Northwest Passage and was written by Collins in collaboration with Charles Dickens. Department of Theatre

12 February at 6 PM. Professor Troy Storfjell, Pacific Lutheran University. Sami Indigeneity and the post-colonial Arctic. (class visits to SCAN, GLBL, MACS). Student's reaction to the talk.

8 April at 3 PM. Dr. Dag Avango of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Lecture on the history of technology in the polar regions and industrial archaeology on Svalbard and South Georgia Island. Dag Avango is a visiting post-doctoral researcher in the Scandinavian Program, GLL, and the EUC during April 2013. (class visits to SCAN, GLBL; EUC, HISTORY)

16 April at 5 PM. Jan Anders Diesen of Lillehammer University, Norway. Lecture on Polar Expedition Film. (class visits to SCAN, MACS). Lucy Ellis Lounge, FLB

17 April at 4-6 PM. Screening and discussion of Polar Expedition films with Jan-Anders Diesen in Lucy Ellis Lounge. Undergraduate students especially invited

19 April from 12-5 PM. Arctic Symposium and Work in Progress Colloquium, in 3114 FLB.

19 September from11 AM to 3 PM in 3092 FLB. Arctic Visual Studies Workshop and Screenings. Lisa Bloom, UCLA; Scott MacKenzie, Queen's University, Canada; Mark Säfström, Garrett Traylor, and Anna Stenport. Co-sponsored by the European Union Center for Excellence grant, SLCL, and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

20 September at 2:15 PM in Levis Faculty Center, Music Room. Lisa Bloom (UCLA). "Extreme Environments: Film Technology and Aesthetics in Isaac Julien'sTrue NorthandFantome Afrique". Organized in collaboration with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory Conference Textures of Technology: Film Production and Aesthetics

Lectures and other events are co-sponsored by:

The Nordic Council of Ministers SNU grant, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the European Commission through the University of Illinois European Union Center, the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and the Scandinavian Program.

See all 2012-2013 Talks and Related Events

For more information, or to enroll in the courses, email

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