European Association of Social Anthropologists

EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

Tilting the globe: creativity, transition and stasis in the circumpolar north

Eleanor Peers (University of Aberdeen) email
Jenanne Ferguson (University of Nevada-Reno)


In order to submit proposals, and for more information, please visit the EASA website here.

This panel, focused on the Circumpolar North, explores how moments of transition in space, perception, or relationship shape knowledge transmission and engagement of practices. In examining forms of creativity in practice, we locate how stasis can be enfolded into change.

This panel seeks to analyse the impacts of both physical and technologically-mediated transition on knowledge and practices in regions of the circumpolar North. Often viewed from the outside as peripheral and devoid of cosmopolitan, global interactions, we seek to resituate (sub)Arctic spaces as central hubs for human movement and contact, both cultural and linguistic (Pietikäinen and Kelly-Holmes 2013). In doing so, we reach beyond conventional linear accounts of change, and the geopolitical spaces they invoke.

Human life consists of the continuous re-situation of practice through the ongoing flow of being and becoming (Ingold 2011). Due to accelerated and often unpredictable patterns of transition, the flow and transmission of knowledges and practices are being both facilitated and interrupted on different scales than in the past. New cultural and linguistic environments and the contact encounters they produce lead to new interpretations, reinventions and understandings of both knowledge and practice in a period of "re-settling." Indeed, what happens when people "stay" and remain in the same physical place, but are faced with "movement" and change in various social, political or ideological forces are also highly relevant for this panel. By challenging linear models of change and destabilizing chronological assumptions, we reveal how creativity is engaged and developed as places and relationships change.

Focusing broadly on changing patterns of knowledge transmission and renegotiation of practices, panellists might consider relationships with the natural environment; transformation among immigrants to/from the North; nomadic lives across the North; and the latent space/time between stasis and transformation.

In order to submit proposals, and for more information, please visit the EASA website here.