My name is Paul Burgess, I have recently arrived at the Arctic Centre, and am very much enjoying it so far. I will be spending one year in Finland and at the Arctic Centre, conducting independent research as well as assisting Dr. Florian Stammler and the team of researchers here. My research and time in Finland is supported through the award of a Fulbright Grant, sponsored by the governments of Finland and the United States.
I am originally from Fort Lauderdale, in Southern Florida, USA, and I completed degrees in Anthropology and International Development at Tulane University, in New Orleans Louisiana. During this time Indigenous and cultural studies became of great interest to me. My first interest in Finland’s Arctic, and its cultures, came through a Finnish exchange student my Aunt hosted from 2008 to 2009. Through her, my interest in the Arctic and Sámi Peoples grew, as did my desire to research in Finland and to apply for a Fulbright grant. After researching institutions in the Arctic regions, the Arctic Centre became the obvious choice, for the resources it offers and its geographic location.
As well as assisting in Dr. Stammler’s ongoing projects, I will conduct my own research. My primary interests are on tourism and political economics in the Arctic. I hope to research how these growing aspects influence culture and sustainable growth, focusing on tourism’s viability as an income producer. I hope to hone these interests as I am introduced to the Arctic and its cultures. I will also take courses in the Arctic Studies Program to further develop a background and understanding of the subject and its many facets.
I look forward to learning more about Lapland, doing research here over the next year, and writing more about it.
One thought on “New Arrival of Fulbright Grantee to the Arctic Centre”
Welcome Paul, & thanks for your intro.
On tourism and its viability: Having just come back from a visit to the Siberian Santa Claus village in Tomtor, the Pole of Cold, I realise how again what we have called the “corporeality of the Arctic” is so crucial to determine this: In Siberia, you have to travel 1100 km from the closest city in order to get to the Santa Claus tourist village. You can do that either by Jeep on the Kolyma road, which is not paved and on the last 150 km not maintained, yet still leading over quite high mountain passes. Or you can take a plane, flying twice a week from Yakutsk, the price of which is around 1000 EUR return or more. While in our cyber world you can overcome distance, or make it meaningless for much of our work, maybe tourism is a field where the sheer corporeality, and distance still play a significant role. In this respect, Finnnish Lapland with its excellent infrastructure, easy accessibility ahd small size is indeed well positioned to become a leader.
In this sense I would look forward to hearing more about your resaerch plans as to whether we can come to identify some common determinants for analysing in which cases tourism is a viable option of income, and in which not.
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