Call for papers : International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, Canada, May 22-26, 2014

Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to announce IASSA (International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences) conference which be held in at the University of Northern British Columbia, in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada from May 22-26, 2014.

The theme of the conference is: Northern Sustainabilities.
The conference website is:

We present here just several panels and wait for your papers (

CISU5 Histories of Resilience in Human-Animal Relations in the Circumpolar North
Covenor - David Anderson (

Relationships between human persons and animal persons is one of the most prominent features of Northern societies across the Arctic. These relations have become strained in recent years with different communities, state actors, and ‘stakeholders’ arguing for exclusive control over encounters, or with projects for conserving or restoring subsistence landscapes. In this panel, we invite participants to explore situations of long-term co-dependence of animal persons and human persons on each other and to query the mechanisms that threaten these relationships. We invite a wide range of papers ranging from bioarchaeological studies of how the physical forms of humans and animals are interlinked, to histories of science and technology which question the stable categories that are used to describe these relationships. In particular, we would like to explore certain careers in human-animal relationships such as the changing importance of dogs and reindeer in mechanized market economies and the way that landscapes are ‘restored’ by the introduction or translocation of arctic species. We would also like to take seriously the way that indigenous communities express concern for the well-being of fish and animals which in other knowledge communities are only knowable through instruments and monitoring.

CULK1 ARAN: Arctic Anthropology of Nights: Narratives, Movements, and Ecologies of the Dark in Northern Spaces
Covenors - Veronika Simonova & Vladimir Davydov (,
The word ARAN translates from the Evenki language as ‘a place for dwelling’. We find this indigenous term to be the best metaphor for the main goal of this session: to find out, discuss, and ‘dwell’ various approaches to nocturnal social life, landscape knowledge, and perception changes conditioned by natural and expected darkness. To a large extent, academic interest in relation to nighttime is vague and far from recognized topic developed by scholars who shared a mutual intellectual space. We rather find scattered islands of attempts to conceptualize nocturnal social life and relationships with the environment, to document changes in human perceptions, narratives, mechanisms of adaptation, relationships between human and non-human actors caused by darkness.
For example, geographers reflect mainly on using light technologies in the dark in urban spaces; economists and sociologists primarily speak about nighttime economies and labour dynamics; those who do cultural studies prioritize speaking about fears of ghosts and dangers of various kinds based largely on mythology and folklore. In the past, from mid-19th century, Arctic travelers documented their nocturnal observations in their diaries pointing out cultural and perceptual difference of day and night. Anthropology is, in fact, barely represented by a selective linguistic investigations and is almost invisible in these debates.
We propose to open a discussion for scholars belonging to different spheres of Arctic social sciences to speak about local experiences, concepts, and dynamics in relation to the northern nights (including, but not necessarily, polar nights). We believe that understanding nocturnal activities, movements, narratives, and ecologies are unfairly under-researched and that they have great significance for understanding and achievement of sustainability in local cultures. We invite anthropologists to share their observations and field experiences in this session, and we also welcome interdisciplinary approach as a powerful method to discover the ‘terra incognita’ of the night as natural and cultural phenomenon. Although our main focus is indigenous populations of the Arctic regions around the world, we also welcome papers based on ethnographic research done among non-indigenous groups, both rural and urban, living in the northern territories.

CULK7 Identity Governance, Ethnography, and Local Knowledge in the Circumpolar North
Covenor - Dmitry V.Arzyutov (

This panel invites papers investigating how late 19th century and early 20th century ethnographic concepts have played an important role in how Northern peoples have come to be known as sovereign peoples, and thus become either the objects of governance or the subjects of self-government. We invite papers from all regions of the circumpolar North which examine the politics of naming – and renaming - peoples, collective expression, and how juridical subjects are created. The panel will feature several contributors investigating the influence of ‘etnos’ theory in the Siberian Arctic both in the Soviet period and in the present day. We would welcome contributions on the political influence of other ethnographic concepts such as ‘band’ and ‘tribe’, the Steward’s idea of an ecological ‘cultural core’, the distinction between ‘status’ or ‘non-status’, or the concept of an urfolk. We are especially interested in the contrast between ethnographic/legal ways of seeing a people and the way that identity is conceived locally in local languages.