Arctic Air Workshop

Arctic Air Workshop

This is a past event

A two-day workshop exploring the research potential of an aerial approach to the Arctic.

Air has always enveloped human societies, weighing people down on earth and sea, while simultaneously inducing dreams of escape in the sky. Despite this, air has often been treated as intangible, ahistorical, and placeless. 

This interdisciplinary workshop suggests something different: that Arctic landscapes and seascapes cannot be understood separately from Arctic airscapes. Challenging standard conceptions of air as intangible, ahistorical, and placeless, the workshop will explore how attending to these aerial dimensions might enrich our understanding of the region’s histories and geographies, and asks how an awareness of the aerial might offer alternate perspectives that complicate dominant perceptions of the Arctic.

We invite attendees interested in the 'aerial turn', whether through Arctic exploration, the history of aviation, the cultural geography of air, or the anthropology of the North


  • Peter Adey, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Roald Berg, Universitetet i Stavanger
  • Michael Bravo, University of Cambridge
  • Robert Marc Friedman, Univ i Oslo and Tromsø
  • Tim Fulford, De Montfort University
  • Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen
  • Derek McCormack, University of Oxford
  • Tyrone Martinsson, Göteborgs Universitet
  • Ulrike Spring, Høgskulen i Sogn og Fjordane


Friday, 5 June 2015 - Room 707, Sir Duncan Rice Library

09:00                 Library opens

9:15 – 9:30         Coffee and Tea

9:30 – 10:30        Keynote: Peter Adey 'Like Words Congealed in Northern Air'

10:30 – 11:00      Coffee and Tea

11:00 – 12:30      Session  One: Exploring Arctic Airscapes

  • Roald Berg - 'An Airy Masculinity or an Arctic one?  Roald Admundsen and his men in the sky, 1909-1928'
  • Derek McCormack – ‘Envelopment, Exposure, and the Elemental’
  • Tyrone Martinsson – ‘With the Eagle Over the Ice – Andrée’s photographic journey’ 

12:30 – 1:30        Lunch   

1:30 – 3:00          Session Two: Arctic Atmospheres

  •  Tim Fulford – ‘ ”The very air is vital essence”: a sonic history of the uncanny Arctic’
  • Johan Schimanski – ‘Weather and Entropy in the Imagined Arctic: Arthur Ransome’s Winter Holiday’
  • Ulrike Spring – ‘Moving Colour in the Sky: The art of making the aurora borealis tangible’

3:00 – 3:30          Coffee and Tea

3:30 – 4:30          Future Directions, Chaired by Michael Bravo 

6.30                    Conference dinner: Rustico, 62 Union Row

Followed by a conference dinner, all welcome – please confirm attendance on your registration form.

Costs and Registration (Closes 29 May 2015)

  • Option 1 - Workshop only     £20 (includes refreshments and Saturday lunch)
  • Option 2 – Workshop and conference dinner     £50
  1. Please complete the Arctic Air Registration Form and return to
  2. Please complete registration payment via the University of Aberdeen’s online store.

For the full workshop programme, please see the attached document Arctic Air Programme Arctic Air Additional Information

Various Speakers.
Hosted by
The Northern Colonialism Programme, University of Aberdeen, and the Circumpolar History and Public Policy Research Group, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.
Room 707 Sir Duncan Rice Library

Dr Marionne Cronin Tel: +44 (0)1224 273741 Email:


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