Anthropology of the North

Anthropology of the North


One of the signature specializations of our Department is our research in Arctic and boreal communities around the circumpolar North.  We have specialists working in every region of this increasingly important region ranging from the Russian Federation, to Scandinavia, to Northern Canada.  Our northern research is broad-based, intersecting with our museum and collections research, our work on environment, religion and arts and craft. We work collaboratively with many indigenous communities and are active in many international networks such as the University of the Arctic.

We edit the 'Arctic Worlds' book series with Routledge and the journal 'Sibirica' with Berghahn.


Siuraarjuk, a camp 3 hours across the sea ice from Igloolik, Canada.

Photo: Nancy Wachowich.

Current projects

Arctic Domus: Emplacing Human-Animal Relations in the Circumpolar North
David Anderson, Rob Wishart, Peter Loovers, Laura Siragusa, Sara Schroer, Maria Nakhshina

Social-Ecological Transformations: Human-Animal Relations Under Climate Change in Northern Eurasia (HUMANOR)
David Anderson

Personal Transcripts of Land Entitlement Expeditions
David Anderson, Elena Volzhanina
This project is funded by a British Academy Leverhulme Trust: Small Grant and examines the diaries and correspondence of biologists and geographers travelling with indigenous peoples in Siberia in the 1930s.


Aberdeen’s anthropology department has developed an effective synergy between research and teaching on topics related to the circumpolar North. The Anthropology of the North undergraduate fourth year option is a focus for this and many staff have taught on this course. Circumpolar case studies are also drawn upon to complement our teaching at all levels of our program. In our teaching, we explore what it is to be a contemporary Inuk, Greenlander, Alaskan, Evenk, Saami, Sakha or Kamchatkan in today’s world. We use examples from all of these northern regions, and others, to help us think about anthropological concepts.