Arctic Environmental Humanities Seminar: Why We Should Develop Arctic Humanities

Arctic Environmental Humanities Seminar: Sverker Sörlin

You are invited to join the next online seminar in the Arctic Environmental Humanities Workshop series, co-convened by Michael Bravo (Cambridge University) and Adriana Craciun (Boston University). Professor Sverker Sörlin (KTH, Sweden) will speak on “Why we should develop Arctic Humanities” on Sept. 29, 2020 at 11am EDT (4pm UK, 5pm CET). Further details and registration for the zoom seminar are available via the Arctic Environmental Humanities Workshop website below. A recording of the first seminar in the series, by Dolly Jørgensen on ”The Shaggy Saviour of Northern Norway,” is also available now on the AEH website.


Arctic Environmental Humanities Workshop series: 

Sverker Sörlin, Professor of Environmental History (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)

Tues Sept. 29, 2020. 11am EDT, 4pm UK, 5pm CET.

“Why we should develop Arctic Humanities” 

In the first two decades of the present century we have seen a growth of what has been called the “integrative humanities”. Looking back at politics of frugality and various symptoms of crisis, humanities scholars and institutions around the world have looked for new agendas. These have varied, but a common feature has often been the idea that relevance and a sense of purpose has increased when different strands of humanities have organized themselves into intellectual and issue oriented alliances around, for example environment, climate, natural resources, rights issues, health, sustainable development. In this respect the Arctic, or the Poles, may be seen as an issue area, rather than as just a region among other regions, or as just the object of a set of disciplinary practices, like any topic. Arctic knowledge production remains dominated by the sciences while the issues that are looking for answers are by and large societal and cultural, indeed also political. I am in earnest interested in the issue of how the humanities can articulate the desire for a stronger presence in polar research, and despite some progress (mostly limited to certain disciplines) I am confident we have not yet reached as far as we can.