Depths and Surfaces Conference

Depths and Surfaces: Understanding the Antarctic region through the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • University of Tasmania, Hobart, 5-7 July 2017
  • Keynote Speakers: Prof. Sanjay Chaturvedi (Panjab University), Prof. Anne Noble (Massey University) and Prof. Tim Stephens (University of Sydney).
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. For more, see the Depths and Surfaces page.