Workshop – The Circumpolar World, 1850-1940: From Scandinavia to North America

I finally get to put this date in my diary! It’s all coming together, and looks set to be a really exciting event. Both daunting and thrilling that all of these ideas are starting to manifest and come together. It will be a wonderful afternoon of scintillating conversation and discussion surrounding the art and culture of the Circumpolar World.  Now just to decide what exactly I’m going to speak about…

The Department History of Art at the University of York is staging a Circumpolar art history workshop, with papers addressing various aspects across the time and space of the Circumpolar region. Papers are likely to include research on Inuit art, and the art of Scandinavia, Canada, North America, and the UK. In the 21st century the arctic and polar landscape dominates the news, thanks to climate change and global warming; however, in the period from 1850-1940 the race for the north and south poles captivated the imaginations of millions and spawned generations of polar explorers. With these two moments in mind, what we vitally need is a genealogy of the visual culture surrounding the polar landscape. The papers featured within this workshop will bridge the disciplines of art history, interdisciplinary polar studies, visual culture studies, archaeology, and anthropology.

The informal, question-posing symposia will present new research from established scholars and doctoral candidates, giving short position papers of no more than fifteen minutes, to maximise the time for discussion. With a line-up that includes Professor Michael Hatt (University of Warwick), Professor David Jackson (University of Leeds) and Professor Jason Edwards (University of York), alongside Dr Meg Boulton (University of Leeds), Martha Cattell (PhD Candidate, York), and Isabelle Gapp (PhD Candidate, York), – this event seeks to open up discussion onto what a Circumpolar art history might look like in the early 21st century.

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