Event Details

Arctic Domus team members to present research at ICASS IX

Arctic Domus team members to present research at ICASS IX
12 November 2016 - 12 June 2017

Arctic Domus team members and PhD students will be chairing sessions and presenting papers (listed below) at the upcoming Ninth International Congress on Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS). The conference will run from 8-12 June 2017 in Umea, Sweden. 

For the full program and schedule, visit the ICASS IX website.


Session number 01.01: The Hunting-Herding Continuum Past and Present: Palaecological, Cosmological, and Climate Narratives Across Eurasia

Chair name: David G. Anderson

Abstract: Arctic peoples past and present have thrived on their alliance with wild and/or domestic animals. This panel invites papers reflecting on the specific landscapes where this alliance has been articulated. We welcome paleoecological studies documenting long-term continuities between people and animals in the soil chemistry and pollen record, studies of local knowledge grounded in botanical and biological observations, detailed narrative studies which speak to the spiritual qualities of place, and studies which document how global changes in climate and industry are affecting these alliances. We are especially interested in comparative papers which compare two or more Eurasian sites.

Session number 11.02: Language and responsibility: an ecological approach

Chair name: Laura Siragusa & Jenanne Ferguson 

Abstract: Our panel focuses on the relationship between language use in both written and oral forms and (notions of) responsibility. Besides posing the question of whose responsibility is it to retain heritage languages? (Henne-Ochoa and Baumann 2015), we welcome papers that examine the multiple manifestations of responsibility in language use which are deeply intertwined with the place in which people live. We seek to take an ecological approach, and therefore, we encourage session participants to investigate how responsibility for language is performed on the ground in relation to other human beings, non-human animals, and more broadly the environment in which people live. How are multiple responsibilities negotiated? In this way, we hope to advance a new conceptualization of language responsibility which locates it between the notions of agency and power. If Susan Philips (1999:194) claims that ‘the power of language lies in its reality creating capacity’, and Laura Ahearn (2001:112) defines agency as the ‘socioculturally mediated capacity to act’, we wonder to what extent and in which domains of language use speakers hold responsibility, and how sociocultural mediation takes place. Who, then has the power to take responsibility for a language? We invite papers that seek to explore not only ways of speaking, but also ways of writing. This includes the analysis of legislative measures and policy-making processes – to what extent do they affect the relations between people, their languages, and place? We encourage ethnographically-grounded papers from Indigenous language speakers and activists, northern residents, and language policy makers.

Session number 15.07 People and Fishing Places of the North

Chair name: Paula Elise Schiefer & Sarah Moritz

Abstract: Understandings of “place” are shaped by interactions that “take place” in locales that constitute home for many, human and non-human persons. We want to bring close attention to these interactions by considering people, animals and their relations with each other at a particular setting. The panel will emphasise the role of fish in rivers, oceans and other watersheds, which are now often under threat. The session invites contributions that highlight the social entanglements that constitute a triad of fish, people and places. Such place-based relationships may include foci on fishing spots, fish camps, fishing structures or other places where fish is processed and fishing as a practice and way of life is passed on through generations. Places may further include fish farms, aquacultures and scientific laboratories that deliver (un)conventional and new representations of “home places”, domestication and husbandry of (formerly) “wild” species. These are representations we seek to examine critically. Discussions should highlight the intricate social connections between, humans and animals, water and land as “place”, created by relations between people and fish. We consider the importance of these places as arenas for social, cultural and political interactions, where fish is harvested, fisheries related knowledge and (fishing) techniques are created, gain meaning and are passed on in posterity. What happens in and to these places if fish do not return abundantly, watersheds dry out, pollution occurs or management restrictions are enforced that break the cultivation of fishing lives and homes? The session seeks to explore how knowledge regarding human-animal relations is established and maintained in certain places, as well as the complex transformations that can occur within these ties.

Session number 15.13: Architectures, Affordances, and Domestication

Chair name: Robert Wishart & Peter Loovers

Abstract: Following recent shifts in understanding of domestication away from projects of domination and control to co-existence, mutualisms, symbiosis, and co-habitation now is a better time to theorise the structures of domestication as well as the affordances of the environment, materials, and understandings of well-being.

This panel investigates the following, but not exclusive, themes:
- A re-evaluation of structures of domestication. How might we understand fences, corrals, traps, caches etcetera beyond the usual foci or frameworks of domination and control?
- An inquiry into the affordances of the landscapes of domestication and structured places. How might the land be part of the mutual relationships of humans and animals?
- Often missing in analysis of domestication are the structures of communication. How might harnesses, tethers, ropes etcetera serve other communicative roles beyond constraint?

We welcome papers that want to address these themes along the lines of material studies, design anthropology, human-animal studies, post-humanist approaches, vernacular architecture, making and craftsmanship, and linguistics amongst others.



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