Problematising Icy Geopolitics? Elemental, Metaphorical and Volumetric Reverberations
Klaus Dodds | Royal Holloway, University of London
Abstract: This paper develops further interrogation into ‘icy geopolitics’ and what it might tell us about how we treat substances like ice as geopolitical matter. It brings together various literatures that speak to ice as a substance and substantial matter. Second, ice is represented and experienced in a multitude of ways, from oral cultures of indigenous communities living and working in the Arctic and mountainous environments. This matters again because ice as metaphor is often complicitous with the settler colonial framing of empty, unstable and ungoverned spaces.
The paper takes this icy interrogation and brings it into contact with the experiences and struggles of Arctic peoples and states alongside non-Arctic states seek to press their interests in the midst of ongoing melting and thawing. Icy geopolitics is being reconfigured; melting is said to be ‘triggering’ further expressions of territorial colonization and resource extraction and/or commitment towards indigenous autonomy, stewardship and conservation. The territorial volume is being put to work while at the same time it is being melted, thawed, opened and closed by human and more than human forces.
Join us in Geography Room 201 to hear Professor Dodds speak.
Lunch will be served at 12 noon, please RSVP by Wednesday 4th September.