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2017 HASS Conference flyer

A conference hosted by the University of Tasmania, Hobart, 5-7 July 2017

Conference Description

Antarctica rarely makes it onto the map of the humanities and social sciences. While artists have produced responses to the continent for centuries, non-scientific researchers have been reluctant to venture intellectually into the far southern latitudes. The continent’s lack of an indigenous or permanent human population, together with a popular Antarctic exceptionalism which frames the continent as immune to the political, social and economic forces that affect the rest of the globe, has made it seem off-limits to analysis outside of a scientific framework.

Increasingly, however, public attention is being drawn to Antarctica, as the surface of its ice plays host to tourists, proliferating stations, heroic re-enactments, and national manoeuvring; its icy depths reveal the environmental history of our planet; and its ocean currents ominously undermine the glaciers around its edges. While scientific efforts are crucial, understanding the Antarctic region – past, present and future – requires contributions across the disciplinary spectrum. This conference aims to bring together humanities, creative arts and social sciences researchers interested in the Antarctic, fostering a community of scholars who can act in concert with natural scientists to address the issues that face the Antarctic region.

Deadline for Abstracts: 3 March 2017 (see Call for Papers below)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. Sanjay Chaturvedi (Panjab University)
  • Prof. Anne Noble (Massey University)
  • Prof. Tim Stephens (University of Sydney)

Details of the keynote speakers are in the pdf Conference Booklet (800 KB) .


General Registration and registration for the Conference Dinner are now closed.

Conference Dinner 

At the Black Footed Pig, 8 Brook Street, Hobart, on Thursday 6th July, 7:00 – 10:00pm

Travel Bursaries

The HASS and History Expert Groups may be able to provide a limited number of travel bursaries for researchers (including postgraduate students), based upon quality of abstract, travel costs and financial need.

The HASS and History Expert Groups are pleased to announce the following successful recipients for Travel Bursaries; Ignacio Cardone, Andrea Colombo, Johanna Grabow, Rachel Innes, Sumitra Jayaseelan, Kanae Komaki, Ephaphrus Mamabolo, Victoria Nuviala, Ria Olivier, Will Lucas Silva Pena, Gabriela Roldan, Daniela Sampaio, Fernanda Soares, Pablo Wainschenker. Congratulations!

Conference Programme

The pdf Conference Programme (91 KB) and the pdf Conference Booklet (800 KB) are available from the SCAR Library.

Venue, accommodation and travel information 

The conference is located on the historic Hobart waterfront at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, 20 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point, Hobart.

Travel information and things to do in Hobart are in the Conference Programme.

Call For Papers

We invite papers from a broad range of disciplines – including history, literary and cultural studies, creative arts, sociology, politics, geography and law – that engage with the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean. Contributions from scientists interested in engaging with the HASS community are encouraged. Both proposals for individual papers (20 minutes with 10 minutes question time) and interdisciplinary panels are welcome.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Antarctic texts and subtexts
  • Antarctic cryoscapes
  • Anthropocene Antarctica
  • Ice cores as cultural and political objects
  • Submerged issues in the Antarctic region
  • Connections and collaborations between the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences (particularly oceanography and bathymetry)
  • History of polar science
  • Antarctic historiography
  • History and politics of the Southern Ocean
  • Digging into the past: archives, artefacts, archaeology
  • Subantarctic islands: histories and cultures
  • Postcolonial Antarctica
  • Ice and identity politics
  • Islands and ice
  • Antarctic nationalisms
  • Polar geographies and geopolitics
  • Antarctica and the global commons
  • Transpolar connections
  • Polar mobilities, vertical and horizontal
  • Antarctic tourism and travel
  • Inhabiting the ice: structures and dwellings
  • Polar heritage and museums
  • Antarctic aesthetics
  • Antarctica and emotions
  • Antarctic futures

Abstracts of up to 250 words, including a short bio note, in WORD doc format, should be emailed to antarcticassag[at] by 3 March 2017, with notification of acceptance by 31 March 2017. There will be an opportunity for selected papers to be expanded into one or more publications stemming from the conference.

For enquiries please contact antarcticassag[at]

This is the third joint conference of the Humanities and Social Sciences Expert Group and the History Expert Group of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. Local sponsors include the Multidisciplinary Environment Research Group, the Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath, and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (University of Tasmania).

Convenor: Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth Leane (School of Humanities/IMAS, University of Tasmania)

Advisory Committee: