For the first time, an Arctic Anthropology team hosts the conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society, to be held from 21-23 March 2023 in Rovaniemi. Many still imagine the Arctic as a place with few or no people. In anthropology, the Arctic is a marginal field. We aim to change this, and turn this conference into a big international meeting of anthropologists in the North. One of our aims is to put the Arctic more firmly on the map in anthropological debates. Moreover, this conference should contribute to overcoming “Arctic isolationism”, when Arctic anthropologists engage mainly among themselves in our discipline. The Arctic is about relations: among people and between people and other beings and things in the environment. In the last six months the Arctic is also part of the decline of relations, for example between Russia and the West. Hence, the topic “relations and beyond in anthropology” is again very timely.
This conference is a good opportunity for us Arctic anthropologists to show how our work is relevant well beyond the Arctic, and engage more seriously with anthropological scholarship that is done beyond the Arctic. We also hope this will give ample opportunities for our guests with other field sites to become familiar with research from the North that is also relevant for their work. We expect that many of the presentations and panels are going to be topical rather than regional, and this gives us the opportunity to engage in general debates.
We are happy to announce that we have already confirmed three excellent keynotes on our general conference topic of “relations and beyond”. The speakers are going to be Marilyn Strathern, Tim Ingold, and Piers Vitebsky. All three have influenced anthropological scholarship for decades with their work on the topic of relations and beyond. This conference will be a rare opportunity to engage with all three together. We also plan a final round table where they discuss avenues forward in the anthropology of relations and what comes after it.
The call for panels and papers can be found here. Enquiries can be directed to our conference address at finnanthro(at)ulapland.fi We are also working on some fun cultural programme about relations between the North and other places, and set up spaces for participants to engage informally in their own relations. Looking forward to see many of you in Rovaniemi in March!!! For those who don’t know: The second half of March is also considered among the best times to experience the beautiful surroundings at the Arctic Circle in Finland: usually loads of snow, very long days, still cold enough, with rivers and lakes frozen ideal for ice-fishing, skiing (downhill and cross-country), snow shoeing in the forests around, fat biking, hiking, engaging with reindeer and other Arctic animals, and other outdoor activities. So if you want to combine the conference participation with a holiday, you are welcome to do so. The internet is full of offers and suggestions on that.