‘Are glaciers ‘good to think with? – Julie Cruikshank in Rovaniemi

We are honoured and pleased to have Julie Cruikshank for the better part of the first week of April with us here in Rovaniemi. It won’t pay enough respect to her fame to introduce her here briefly. There is enough good praise for her work in the net, most recently through the 2012 Clio award for her lifetime achievement . She will participate in the ARKTIS graduate school annual seminar, but also spend time to talk to us about oral history theory and practice, epistemologies, and other fascinating topics on

Saturday 06 April at 12:00, in the  Borealis lecture room, Arctic Centre,

After the session, the ORHELIA project welcomes all participants to a discussion and an ‘Arctic grilling’ at a laavu. Everybody with an interest in these topics is welcome!

Abstract: The concept we now call ‘indigenous ecological knowledge’ continues to undergo transformations with real-world consequences.  Systematic use of this term appeared in Canada during the early 1990s, when its potential contributions to understanding the natural world became a topic of discussion among researchers working in arctic and subarctic regions. Concepts, however, travel. They carry and accumulate meanings that may have unexpected consequences.  In the twenty-first century, the terms indigenous and knowledge have each become contested, internationally and locally. My questions are: What is not recognized as knowledge in dominant regimes? What is lost when local knowledge in Canada is trimmed and transformed to fit the requirements of science, policy and governance? Strikingly, ethnographies from northern Canada that give weight to ontology, values, social relations and meaning are taken up and developed theoretically and in public and political forums in South America (Viveiros de Castro, Blaser, de la Cadena) with implications for subarctic regions.

Please see a full poster on our lectures & events page, more questions to Anna Stammler-Gossmann or here in the comments of this blog entry.

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2 Responses to ‘Are glaciers ‘good to think with? – Julie Cruikshank in Rovaniemi

  1. kadegran says:

    Great, and necessary, topic. Concepts must on a regular basis, if not be deconstructed, so at least have their content (re)valued, and especially if they are brought into another discourse whether it is into political, religiously and/or cultural ones, because the concepts might then get “charged” with a different content.

  2. fstammle says:

    Thanks to Julie and all participants, this lecture was another full success. There were around 20 people, plus some connected via video conferencing from other places, such as Tampere or Ispica in Sicily.
    I very much liked Julie’s idea to think of oral history as a commentary, rather than about the quest for finding some historical truth that we don’t know if it exists at all anyway.
    I would suggest that if anybody would like a link to the video of Julie’s lecture and wants to ask a question, they can write a response here in the comment section, and I can send the link and forward the question to the lecturer.
    Florian Stammler

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