Arcticness - a free book

What is Arcticness?
This free book, edited by Ilan Kelman answers that question, and is being made available by UCL Press.

It can be downloaded as a free PDF, or purchased in other formats. This would make a valuable resource for those keen to broaden the range of perspectives that students are provided on the Polar regions, and the way that they are responding to climate change. It's a reminder that for many millions, the Arctic is 'home'.

Here's a description of the project from the UCL Press website:

Climate change and globalisation are opening up the Arctic for exploitation by the world – or so we are told. But what about the views, interests, and needs of the peoples who live in the region? What about the myriad of other factors affecting the Arctic and its peoples? This book explores opportunities and limitations in engaging with the Arctic under change, and the Arctic peoples experiencing the change, through the lens of understanding Arcticness: what the Arctic means to Arctic peoples socially and physically. The chapters bring together a variety of disciplines, such as law, politics, geography and the arts, to examine what Arctic peoples could learn from and teach elsewhere, across disciplines and across locations. The authors reflect on philosophies of change in tandem with philosophies of the Arctic, particularly as represented by everyday experiences, memories and geographical imaginations.

The editorial introduction by Ilan sets the tone perfectly. It explores the different ways of conceptualising and defining the Arctic, and connects with the exploration of the geographical concept of place. It would be interesting to see the Arctic used as a context for exploring Changing Places. The chapter outlines the importance of indigenous peoples, whose voices are heard throughout the book in other chapters.
I particularly liked Anne Merrild Hansen's chapter on Arcticness insights, where she asked people what it meant to live in the Arctic, and describes the responses in sections titled 'the sounds of quiet', 'isolation and togetherness' and 'meat we eat'. There is a very interesting image showing the characteristics of northerners according to northerners.
Throw in some poetry, intriguing images and personal histories, and other information, and you have a very useful resource for wider reading on the Arctic for those about to teach about the Polar regions.