Recently, the British Library opened a new exhibition called ‘Lines in the Ice’ which addresses the quest for the Northwest Passage alongside exploring how the North American Arctic was imagined, mapped, encountered by European explorers. It also muses on indigenous cultures, memories and artefacts, which all seems terribly timely given Inuit oral histories telling stories about the ill-fated expedition of Sir John Franklin.
The exhibition, developed by British Library staff Phil Hatfield (ex RHUL PhD graduate, who worked with Professor Felix Driver) and Tom Harper, also involved collaboration with Rosanna White, a PhD student who is funded by RHUL and the Eccles Centre for American Studies, led by Professor Philip Davies. Phil Hatfield worked closely with Rosanna and myself in the planning stages for the exhibition and it was a great pleasure to be there with him and other RHUL colleagues at the launch event. An account of the exhibition can be read here.
Both Rosanna and I expect to be attending and hopefully participating on 16th March 2015 workshop on Alaska, the Arctic and the US imagination. This will follow on from an earlier event in the day focussing on emerging UK research on the Arctic. Keynote speaker for the Alaska event will be Michael Robinson who wrote a great book on nineteenth century ‘Arctic fevers’.