3. The Futures of the Arctic

isaugaWhile the Arctic has often been conceptualized as unchanging, pristine and outside of time, it has also been the site of profound aesthetic, political, cultural, policy and environmental utopian and dystopian imaginings of a number of possible future(s). In this stream, contributors will address, whether through aesthetic texts (literature, film, television, digital media, etc.) or through sociological, political or policy perspectives, “The Futures of the Arctic” as it has been both imagined and codified in the past and the present. Examples of this imagining come from a long history and are as diverse as: Medieval imaginary conceptions of the North through Old Norse sagas, and imaginary travel narratives from the Nordic countries; 19th and 20th century accounts of how the inclusion of parts of the Arctic region is central to the cultural and political imaginary of various European and North American nation-states; architect Ralph Erskine’s designs for Arctic living in Sweden and Canada; and the future-oriented policy positions of NGOs, nation-states, corporations and supranational organizations in regards to what the future of the Arctic might and ought to be. This stream seeks to break away from simplistic accounts of the Arctic as unchanging or primordial, seemingly unaffected by human agency on and through its populations and environments, to focus on how its futures have been continuously recast in both utopian and dystopian ways in art, culture, and politics. Presentations from a wide variety of disciplines, and inter/trans-disciplinary approaches are encouraged.