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Arctic modernities


The project is funded by the Polar Programme (POLARPROG) of the Research Council of Norway (NFR) with a project period from 1 August 2013 until 31 July 2016. The emphasis of the Arctic Modernities project is on three nodal points that are often interlinked within discourses of Arctic modernity: gender, indigeneity and ecology. Gender is perceived as key to an understanding of modernisation processes in the Arctic, while indigeneity and ecology are inextricably linked in discourses of Arctic modernity that respond to the complexities and risks of Arctic developments, globally as well as locally. All three nodal points provide the possibility of critique and a necessary focus on the grey zones ignored in much present-day decision making about the Arctic. Among the material being studied is a wide spectrum of textual genres, from media debates, documentation, travel writing, guidebooks and memoirs on the one hand, to fiction and poetry on the other. While most of the material consists of representations of specific geographical locations across the transnational circumpolar area, it also covers the generalised North of travel writing and fantasy. In addition to literature the project includes such visual genres as paintings, architecture and film. The perspective on the Arctic in the material is both external/touristic, as exemplified by fantasy literature, travel writing, expedition narratives and sociological reports, and internal/indigenous, based on residency and intimate local knowledges.