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Arctic Continuities as the theme for NPE Symposium, 29-30 August, 2018

8.6.2018

Northern Political Economy (NPE) research team, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, will hold its annual Symposium 2018 in Rovaniemi. This year’s symposium is organized by postdoctoral researchers Marjo Lindroth and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen. Theme of the symposium in “Arctic Continuities”.

The common way to describe the Arctic – the region, its people and resources – is in terms of rapid change and constant transformation. Climate change, scramble for the world’s diminishing natural resources and the rather newly emerged concern for local cultures and knowledge, among others, have contributed to the repeated constructions of the Arctic as something that is constantly in flux. Undeniably, the Arctic and its people have witnessed radical changes. However, the prevailing rhetoric of change dismisses a great deal of what has held its ground, the traits of continuity that make the Arctic what it is. The persistence of northern ways of life, local and indigenous cultures and the practices of using and benefiting from the region’s renewable resources are some of the examples of this continuity. Equally recurring are perceptions and preconceived ideas of the Arctic as a global frontier, as a region rich with exploitable resources and a wilderness to be protected.

We invite scholars from a range of disciplines to reflect on the elements of continuity in the Arctic and the ways in which continuity and change mesh. Among other questions, the symposium asks to what extent the view of Arctic as a central stage for change works to effectively gloss over powerful continuities, such as the lingering of colonial and exploitative practices and hierarchical center-periphery relations. The keynote speaker of the event is Associate Prof. Kirsten Thisted, University of Copenhagen. She will talk about “Greenlandic Exceptionalisms”.

The deadline for paper proposals is 28 June, 2018. Please send your abstract (max. 250-words) with your name, title, affiliation and contact information by email to Marjo Lindroth: marjo.lindroth(at)ulapland.fi.

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