Life, Ice and Ocean: Contemporary Antarctic Spaces

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Although ‘The Antarctic’ is certainly one (very) big space, it is also a region composed of many spaces. These abut, overlap, compete, inter-connect,
are separate and distinct, formal or informal, temporary or permanent, strictly or loosely bounded. The Antarctic and Southern Ocean region is not a ‘homogenous wilderness – majestic and wild and entirely uniform’, but, as Christy Collis has argued, ‘a complex cultural space’.1 Conceptions and treatments of Antarctica as a totality or whole are historically and geographically specific, products of the imperialist visions of, successively, the British in the 1920s and 1930s and
the Americans and Soviets in the early Cold War.2 In disaggregating and disassembling the larger Antarctic space into smaller parts (which do not necessarily add up to one coherent whole), we can see how Antarctic politics operates at several geographical scales ranging from the intensely local to the global. It is a region in which complex and diverse environments sustain a multitude of human projects and activities that respond to and produce a variety of spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on the Politics of Antarctica
EditorsKlaus Dodds, Alan D. Hemmings, Peder Roberts
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781784717681
ISBN (Print)9781784717674
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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