Uarctic in pure diamonds: report from PhD / Masters course “Arctic Extractive Industries”, in Mirny

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The Uarctic Logo made by a local employee of the sorting centre of pure diamonds is worth 7 million USD

From 15-22 February a group of roughly 20 people spent a week in the centre for Russian Diamond extraction, the city of Mirny. Students from circumpolar countries – and not only – had different topics in their social sciences research project, but all of them united around the overarching topic of the Social Sciences related to the development of extractive industries in the Arctic. This time we had way more applicants than we could fund or even admit to the course. We ended up with an excellent group from Alaska, IMG_6045northern Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Austria. The course followed the good experience of a previous course, when half of the programme was in-class teaching, while the other half was in the form of field excursions. The two principle highlights of these excursions were the “pipe of peace”,  one of the world’s biggest man-made holes, where diamonds were extracted until 2001. That hole can also be considered the cradle of Russian Arctic Diamond extraction, and was the reason for the establishment of the single-industry town of Mirny.  (Read on for a course report) Continue reading “Uarctic in pure diamonds: report from PhD / Masters course “Arctic Extractive Industries”, in Mirny”

Arctic Voices: Expectations, Narratives and the Realities of Living with Extractive industries: new publication

Arctic Voices: Expectations, Narratives and the Realities of Living with Extractive industries in the Far North (Edited by Emma Wilson and Florian Stammler ) is the name of a new special issue.
It has been ages ago that we ran a conference session “People and the Extractive Industries” and a doctoral course in Rovaniemi in December 2013 in our Uarctic Thematic Network with some very good presentations on local perceptions and impacts of extractive EXIS_coverimageindustrial development in the Arctic. Out of this we thought we could publish a good volume as a special issue in some journal. It was mostly thanks to my colleague Emma Wilson that this actually happened, and “only” two years after the initial conference and course took place, we now have a full special section of a dedicated extractive industries journal, volume 3 issue one of “The Extractive Industries and Society”. I think that’s not too bad a turnover time for an entire publication process from scratch to published, including numerous editorial tasks, reviews, improvements, corrections, and negotiations with the journal and the authors. We ended up bringing together a whole set of really interesting papers, including on Greenland, on Norwegian extractive industrial settings, on Arctic Russia, on the Canadian Arctic, so we sort of reached the aim of “circumpolarity” at least to some extent with this collection. All of the articles in one way or the other address the relation between large scale governance and local situations on those places where big industry meets local livelihoods. That’s why we called the publication “Arctic Voices“. Many of the articles are open access, so we hope and aim for a wide distribution of the collection. If you have problems accessing papers, please let me know. And of course comments and discussions on any of the topics raised are warmly welcome!

Post Doc ad, Rovaniemi, Arctic Indigenous Anthropology?

Dear friends,

The unversty of Lapland advertises a 2 year postdoc in Arctic Indigenous studies. It would be great to get as many as possible good applications from good anthropologists. The candidate could then work together with our team here in Rovaniemi and thus increase the anthropological academic community at the Arctic Circle significantly!!! Currently we have already 8 people doing great work here, and if we get another postdoc on that position, that would be even greater. If we get a very strong candidate as an ally of our team and our blog, maybe we can get the person to work with us at the Arctic Centre in the same building (if the candidate wishes so). If not, the postdoc would be working at one of the faculties at the University.

I am not myself involved in the appointment of this position, but I can only encourage interested candidates to apply. Hopefully then the best candidate will be chosen and we have a great addition to the team!

Please don’t be scared by the official text of the job ad that you are encouraged to know Finnish and all that stuff. It is actually not a requirement, and fluent english is enough to qualify for the selection. However, of course if you know any northern language, that will be an advantage maybe.

Here is the link to the official job ad, and here below is the official job ad text. Continue reading “Post Doc ad, Rovaniemi, Arctic Indigenous Anthropology?”