The idea of this workshop

This two-day workshop will bring together researchers from across the globe interested in exploring the idea of the North before 1800, including prehistoric, ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Some potential questions we would like to collectively address are:

  • How was North defined in the pre-modern age?
  • Who or what was thought to inhabit the North?
  • How do outsider ideas compare to the lived reality of making a home in the North?
  • What was the relationship between indigenous peoples of the North and outsiders?
  • How did the discovery of a new North in the New World change perceptions?
  • Do concepts of North vary across the globe?

We have specifically left the idea of North open so that scholars can explore how it was defined by their historical subjects, unconstrained by 21st century notions of what or where North exists.

The workshop will be intentionally interdisciplinary. We invite papers grounded in history, literature, art history, archeology, or other related humanities disciplines dealing with North anywhere in the world. The interdisciplinary design will facilitate an integrated and comparative cultural study of the pre-modern North.

The workshop is designed as a discussion of pre-circulated draft papers. There will be 12 paper presenters and each paper will be allocated 30-45 minutes for discussion. The intended outcome of the workshop is an edited volume published with an international academic press.


About Dolly Jørgensen

I am a historian of the environment and technology.
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