Watch the replay of these two presentations that examined Beringia and Alaska as a contextual framework to explore the dynamic relationships between humans, cetaceans, oceans, and landscapes within the slippery milieu of icy geographies.
Bathsheba Demuth is an Assistant Professor of History and Environment and Society at Brown University and the author of the book Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait. Demuth discusses how along the Bering Strait, on the edges of what is now Northwestern Alaska and Northeastern Russia, Inupiaq and Yupik have hunted bowhead whales on the sea ice for millennia. In the 1840s, Indigenous hunts were joined by commercial whalers from New England, killing to fill whale oil lamps. Demuth asks: How did whales respond to the pressures of market hunting? What might we learn about the histories of fisheries from taking seriously the actions of bowheads and the knowledge of peoples who have known them the longest?
Jen Rose Smith is an Assistant Professor of Geography and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Smith traces out how scientific and cultural imaginaries of ice landscapes have shaped and informed processes of racialization in the Arctic and specifically in Alaska around the time of its purchase from Russia in 1867. Further, she examined how historical processes of racialization have enacted dispossession of land and territory for Indigenous peoples in the Arctic and how it continues in ongoing forms.
Watch the reply of this event that shows how museums and cultural institutions in Greenland and Maine are revisiting their permanent collections to begin new dialogues and experiences that address processes of decolonization, representation and ethics.
Dr. Darren Ranco, Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine, discusses decolonizing partnerships and activities between UMaine and the Penobscot Nation. He highlights the successes and challenges of digital repatriation of tribal cultural heritage items in the Fogler Library and the Hudson Museum, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for these items, and the reclamation of Indigenous spaces on campus through bilingual English-Penobscot signage.
Nivi Christensen, Museum Director of the Nuuk Art Museum (Nuummi Eqqumiitsulianik Saqqummersitsivik), shared the challenges that come with making a formerly private collection more diverse through strategic purchases. She discusses the museum’s acquisition and exhibition of contemporary Greenlandic artworks, like artist Pia Arke’s Arctic Hysteria, in contrast to the collection’s landscape paintings by white men (Grønlandsmalere). Further, she reflects on the Greenlandic word for art, Eqqumiitsuliorneq that directly translates "to do/create something weird" and challenges the viewer to reflect on both the one looking and what is being looked at.
Watch the replay of these two presentations that examine how the North, variously conceived as the Arctic, Canada, and even upstate New York and northern New England, was a “topography of the imagination”: visually stunning and emotionally powerful but also marked with personal and cultural values.
Dr. Donna Cassidy presented a talk that suggests the dual, seemingly contradictory strains of the poetic and the ideological in the art and writing of several early 20th century modernists who worked in the North Atlantic including: Rockwell Kent, Gertrude Käsebier, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marsden Hartley.
Dr. Libby Bichof, focused on late-19th and early-twentieth century female photographers, both amateur and professional. Dr. Bichof also talked about her 2018 journey up the Eastern Coast of Iceland to Djupivogur in search of Nicoline Weywadt, Iceland’s first female photographer.
How do art and science intersect and shape public perception of Maine and the North Atlantic Region?
Watch the recorded panel discussion featuring Dr. Sean Birkel, Research Assistant and Professor at the Climate Change Institute, University of Maine; Dr. Libby Bischof, Professor of History and Executive Director at the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine; and Olof Nordal, Professor of Fine Art at Iceland University of the Arts, and the 2020 Artist-in-Residence, USM Art Department.
Galen Koch: Coastal Communities in Maine
October 25, 2019
College of the Atlantic
Visiting artist and journalist Galen Koch will join us to talk about coastal communities in Maine, their sense of place and how she captures all that through sound art.
Galen is the driving force behind The First Coast, a mobile recording studio that she takes to year-round coastal communities in Maine during the off-season.
Through interviews, exhibitions, and soundwalks, she engages residents in conversations about their working maritime identity and personal perspectives of place.
Galen is currently spending two weeks in Bar Harbor interviewing and collecting stories from locals whose lives are connected to the ocean in collaboration with a few COA students.
In her talk, she will share what she’s discovered about Maine communities in her journeys up and down the coast, the idea behind The First Coast, and sound as a documentary medium.
Thank you to the Mapping Ocean Stories working group and FA20 Documentary Video Studio class for the support. For more information, please email us.
On Thursday September 12, Consortium members gathered for a luncheon and roundtable discussion with Ane Lone Bagger, Greenland’s Minister of Education, Culture, Church and Foreign Affairs.
The event, held at the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) in Portland, was sponsored by the Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO).
Minister Bagger spoke about Greenland's education system and its priorities for the future. Of particular interest to Consortium members is Greenland's new law that mandates study abroad at the master's level in higher education.
Greenland looks forward to expanded opportunities for cross-border education with other universities.
Ane Lone Bagger, Greenland’s Minister of Education, Culture, Church and Foreign Affairs
Photographs by Tim Greenway
Educating Arctic Entrepreneurs
Four universities from the U.S., Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Denmark collaborated on a project to build student entrepreneurship in several regions of the Arctic.
"Educating Arctic Entrepreneurs: The Next Generation of Sustainable Pioneers" shares their activities, results, and experiences.
You can read the full report here.
Social Justice, Sustainability, and Research in a Changing Arctic
Dr. Anne Henshaw, PhD.
At our second annual Collaborative Showcase, keynote speaker, Anne Henshaw, PhD. of the global philanthropic organization, Oak Foundation, "explored how participatory approaches to research can support people and communities in the Arctic advance their own priorities, needs, and interest."
Here are some key points from Dr. Henshaw’s talk:
- Within the context of research in the Arctic, you can not advance the participation and empowerment in research without understanding the dynamic interplay and discourse around Indigenous knowledge and western science.
- The Arctic is not simply a laboratory to study change, a place to be saved, or a resource frontier to be developed, but a homeland to more than 400,000 Indigenous Peoples
- Many Arctic science projects have aimed to build partnerships with indigenous communities, but few have used a true co-production of knowledge process that brings together indigenous knowledge holders and scientists equitably from the inception of the project.
- Within Oak Foundation's approach, we focus on supporting projects that value the role indigenous knowledge and science play in decision-making, supporting the participation of local communities in policy processes, building in region capacity, and fostering partnerships and collaboration between academic organizations, civil society groups, and indigenous communities.
- By directly supporting organizations and communities, Oak believes Indigenous Peoples can better represent themselves in the policy-making arena and play an active role in shaping their own futures.
- In 2009 Oak supported a variety of mapping efforts in the Bering Sea. While the project does not represent a complete co-production approach, it was designed from the beginning to include indigenous knowledge holders and scientists from a variety of organizations.
The various projects culminated in large atlases that have laid a solid foundation to advance a precautionary approach to development. They are still used today for marine planning purposes.
- In Dr. Henshaw’s closing points she cited a recent op ed by Sandra Inutiq from the Nunavut Territory in northern Canada who serves as the lead negotiator for the regional organization, Qiqiktani Inuit Association- an association was formed during the Nunavut land claims.
The title of Ms. Inutiq’s piece: "Dear Qallunaat" (white people) includes 21 observations largely aimed at contractors working for the Nunavut government. While Dr. Henshaw encouraged everyone to read the piece in its entirety, she highlighted a few points pertinent for any researcher to consider when working in indigenous communities in the north.
On April 4, 2019, UNE North hosted the Maine-North Atlantic & Arctic Education Consortium's second annual Collaborative Showcase. Once again, we would like to thank our sponsors:
- Maine Port Authority
- New England Ocean Cluster
Our keynote speaker, Anne Henshaw, PhD. spoke to Social Justice, Sustainability and Research in a Changing Arctic. You can read a summary of Dr. Henshaw's talk here.
Thank you all of our members, planning committee, presenters, and attendees, for helping to make the inaugural showcase a success. Here are some moments from the event.
Photographs courtesy of Angie Bordeaux