Maps and Madmen

Maps and Madmen: Examining how the dominant conceptualizations of the Canadian Arctic have evolved
Speaker: Dr Danita Burke # Aberystwyth University
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Introduced by
Date and Time
27th Feb 2014 17:00 - 27th Feb 2014 18:30
Seminar Room 3, Chrystal Macmillan Building

Canada is a state that often self-attributes to the existence of a strong attachment to its Arctic region, but the Arctic is changing in many ways and the politics and international interest in the region are evolving too. The presentation is based upon an excerpt from research that examines how the idea of homogenous conceptualizations of the Arctic in Canada have developed through a historical examination of Canada’s relationship with its Arctic region and how these conceptualizations influence Canada’s approach toward its unresolved disputes within the Canadian Arctic region. The presentation focuses upon an excerpt of this research leading up to the first big incident to draw international and domestic attention to the presence of, and emotiveness of, Canadian ideas about the Arctic and Canada’s sovereignty in the region – the 1969 S.S. Manhattan dispute.

The presentation looks at how certain conscious and unconscious actions have laid the foundation upon which the dominant conceptualizations of the Canadian Arctic have evolved. Knowing where characteristics of these conceptualizations came from and why they were included in the way that they were will help to understand why Canada approaches its unresolved disputes in the Arctic in the manner that it does.