History of the Arctic: Science, Politics, Cultural and Natural Heritage

This course focuses on environmental, political and cultural history of the Circumpolar North. It introduces a wide interdisciplinary view on diverse human experiences in the Arctic, problems of regional history and history of its resource management, importance of history for current understanding of economic, social and environmental problems of the Arctic. Key historical trends will be examined to demonstrate how the North was incorporated into nation-states that govern the circumpolar regions of the world. The course will locate the development of the Arctic in larger historical trends of colonial and post-colonial studies, history of science and exploration, technology and environment, international efforts in region-building in the Arctic and national concerns of different states on security, resources and human-being in the North. It will focus on both human and non-human connections in history of the area, including influence of climate.

The course includes the following main sections: Topic 1. Introduction to studies of the Circumpolar North: key dates and history. History of the North in the framework of colonial and post-colonial studies. Different meanings of the North and the Arctic in Scandinavian, Canadian, Russian history. Circumpolar North vs Arctic: region-building processes in the second half of the 20th century. Topic 2. Role of natural resources and environment in the history of the Circumpolar North. Experts knowledge in exploration and the exploitation of the North. History of the Arctic Ocean. Topic 3. History of international relations, international organizations, scientific activities and modes of governance (Artic Council, International Polar Years etc.) in the Arctic. Comparative history of the Arctic and Antarctic. Topic 4.. Peoples and cultures in the context of polar history. Indigenous knowledge vs expert knowledge. Natural and cultural heritage in the Arctic and problems of its conservation.
Upon completion of the course students should comprehend the basic principles of interdisciplinary views on the history and present time of the Arctic, main problems of its environmental history, history of natural resource use; be able to analyze problems of communities and ecosystems, define and comprehend the relationship between regional and local problems; refine the skills necessary for cross-cultural studies, basic comprehension of an interdisciplinary approach.

Course leader:
Julia Lajus
Associate Professor: HSE Campus in St. Petersburg / St. Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Humanities / Department of History

Fee info
USD 300: Tuition fee
USD 50: Registration fee

If you are a student of our Partner University we are happy to offer you a 20% discount.

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor,Master,PhD,Other
Language of instruction
InstitutionSt. Petersburg University
Begin date22.07.2019
End date27.07.2019
Registration deadline08.04.2019
ECTS credits2.0
Field schoolYes
Fields of studyBasic/broad, general programmes
Teaching place
Tagssummer schoolfieldschool
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