Arctic Reading List

August 6, 2018

One last post before I turn in for the night, and quelle surprisecopains, it's about books.



My pre-Ottawa expedition prep has included a lot of reading.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but below you'll find some titles that have been particularly helpful to me in preparing to go north.  They're in no particular order except the general order in which I read them.


(Gentle suggestion: Articles are linked [underlined], but if you're interested in procuring any of the books below, search to find your new favorite local bookseller who can see to your literary needs.)


Concerning Franklin and His Gallant Crew


Writing Arctic Disaster: Authorship and Explorations

Adriana Craciun

On of my favorite volumes of literary criticism ever.


Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature

Margaret Atwood

The most famous of the four lecture contained in this slim volume is "Concerning Franklin and His Gallant Crew," but they all provide a window into the imaginative context of the Canadian Arctic and its [geographical and literary] colonization.


Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition

John C. Geiger and Owen Beattie

Be sure your copy is a new one, as the book's been recently rereleased following the discovery of Erebus and Terror. 


Finding Franklin: The Untold Story of a 165-Year Search

Russell A. Potter

Dr. Potter also has a fantastic blog called Visions of the North as well as the Arctic Book Review.


The Spectral Arctic: A History of Dreams and Ghosts in Polar Exploration

Shane McCorrestine


I also want to note that this year the Franklin historical community lost a pole star with the death of Louie Kamookak. Here's a remembrance from the RCGS

Arctic Climate Change and Environmental History


A History of the Arctic: Nature, Exploration and Exploitation

John McCannon 


Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North

Timothy B. Leduc


Thin Ice: Inuit Traditions within a Changing Environment

Nicole Stuckenberger, et al

This book was published as a catalogue to the eponymous exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth, but it stand alone as a good overview of the visual culture of Arctic climate change from the Inuit point of view.


The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change

Charles Wohlforth


Unfreezing the Arctic: Science, Colonialism, and the Transformation of Inuit Lands

Andrew Stuhl


Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History

Stephen Bocking, Brad Martin


A Wilder Time: Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice

William E. Glassley


Our Ice Is Vanishing / Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change (McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series)

Shelley Wright


The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Fight to Protect the Arctic and Save the Planet from Climate Change

Sheila Watt-Cloutier


Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory

Sarah J. Ray and Kevin Maier (eds) (Review)


Indigenous Arctic Cultures and Communities


Documentary: Angry Inuk

Feature documentary by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril about the was in which Inuit have been affected by anti-seal hunt campaigns.  Link goes to the Facebook page which posts current stories about this issue.


Our Ice Is Vanishing / Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change (McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series)

Shelley Wright


Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy, and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic

George Wenzel


Inuit, Whaling, and Sustainability (Contemporary Native American Communities Series)

Milton M. R. Freeman, et al.


The Sea Woman: Sedna in Inuit Shamanism and Art in the Eastern Arctic

Frédéric Laugrand, Jarich Oosten


​Hunters, Predators and Prey: Inuit Perceptions of Animals

Frédéric Laugrand


Inuit Women: Their Powerful Spirit in a Century of Change

by Janet Billson, Kyra Mancini


Inuktutit Tusaalanga

Award-winning online resource for learning the different dialects of the Inuktitut language.


Staging the North: Twelve Canadian Plays

Sherrill Grace, Eve D'Aeth, Lisa Chalykoff (eds)

The one primary source on this list (though if you want to talk about The Terror we can talk about The Terror....)  I'll be teaching Gwendolyn MacEwan's play "Terror and Erebus" in my Introduction to Literature class this fall, which will be focused around the Frankenstein bicentennial and feature all female authors (half of whom are WOC).


ARCUS (The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States) has put together an excellent collection of documents and resources concerning working respectfully and cooperatively with northern communities.


Video: How is climate change impacting indigenous communities in repost regions of Canada?

Indigenous legal scholar Aimée Craft discusses the effects of climate change on remote northern communities in Manitoba not only in terms of impacts on health, economics, and social stability, but also in terms of the threats to language, culture and identity that may be accelerating as a result of the new vulnerabilities caused by environmental impacts.


Environmental Humanities/Cli Fi More Generally


"The swiftness of glaciers: Language in a time of climate change" (Aeon)

Rob Nixon (author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor)


"What in a Word?"  The High-Stakes Ties of Language, Knowledge, and Environment (Bifrost Online)

Shari Gearhard

Another excellent piece from Dr. Gearhard: "How Can Indigenous Knowledge Benefit Science?" (and the associated project).


Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism

Shelley Streeby

White Horizon: The Arctic in the Nineteenth-Century British Imagination

Jen Hill


"How the Environmental Humanities Can Heal our Relationship to the Planet" (Hyperallergic)

Ben Valentine


"The Potential of a Climate Canon" (Bifrost Online)

Joni Adamson


Video: Understanding Cultural-Environmental Connection (Bifrost Documentaries)

Featuring philosopher Kate Soper (London Metropolitan University), ecocritic Hannes Bergthaller (National Chung Hsing University), ecocritic Christopher Oscarson (Brigham Young University) and historian Finn Arne Jørgensen (University of Stavanger).


"When Whales and Humans Talk" (Hakai)

Krista Langlois


Video: "How is culture threatened in this era of accelerated climate change?" (Bifrost Online)

Featuring environmental humanist Stephanie LeMenager (co-editor of the stupendous volume Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities among others).


I also always suggest that people read the UN Fact Sheet on “Women, Gender Equality, and Climate Change”


Goodnight from Ottawa!





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