Call for papers: Arctic Crossings

Please see the call for papers below, and consider joining us at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in San Francisco in November!

CFP: Arctic Crossings
American Anthropological Association
San Francisco, CA
November 14-18, 2012

Panel organizers: Sara V. Komarnisky (University of British Columbia) and Lindsay A. Bell (University of Toronto)

The global circumpolar north is often produced as distant, empty, and isolated, far away and disconnected from powerful economic or cultural centers further south. However, the north is becoming an increasingly central site in both globally interconnected processes and in the global imagination. The north has always been an important strategic region: past human migrations and government relocations, colonial exploration, gold rushes, and government megaprojects have shaped the social and geographical landscape. In addition, a range of processes are increasingly producing northern locales as global sites: environmental panics, resource exploration and extraction, military exercises, scientific investigation, conservation efforts, highly valued art and craft production, labour migration, and many others.

“The way we imagine space has effects” (Massey 2005), and the implications of the ways in which the global circumpolar north is imagined and produced will become of central importance to the many and different people who live there as these emergent processes unfold and grow. This panel brings together research that does not fit within the usual global imagination of the circumpolar north. We seek case studies and/or unlikely ethnographies which track what we call “arctic crossings”. That is, those uncommon, yet productive theoretical spaces in which to examine linkages between space, politics, identity, and imagination. As the circumpolar north is produced through connections with other geographies, the idea of arctic crossings provides a unique vantage point for talking about northern life – the crossings between long time resident and newcomer, between locations north and south, between local livelihoods and transnational global capital. We invite papers that explore the meeting places, crossings, and encounters in the circumpolar north today or in the past.

Please email abstracts (250 words maximum) to and by March 31, 2012.

More information regarding the AAA annual meetings can be found here.