Monday, November 10, 2014

Indigenous Resources: Decolonization and Development

Conference Call for Papers - 'Indigenous Resources: Decolonization and Development'
Nuuk, Greenland, 30 September-04 October 2015

This academic conference explores the cultural, political, economic, and environmental effects of decolonization processes, with emphasis on island and Arctic societies. With small populations and limited habitable land areas, decolonization influences Arctic and island communities in special ways. Colonialism introduced global economics, politics, and culture to many societies. Once the colonial power is expelled or seeks to withdraw, indigenous peoples often face limitations to sovereignty, human resources, and economic capacity that make it difficult to overcome the challenges associated with geographic isolation and peripherality. This conference will consider experiences of decolonization from the perspectives of island studies, political science, anthropology, economics, postcolonialism, and other academic traditions. Presenters will include representatives from academia, government, and NGOs.

Presentations are invited to address questions such as:
• How do indigenous societies make the cultural transition away from colonial domination?
• What political comprises are made to balance desires for self-determination and economic vitality?
• Can indigenous societies compete in the global economy without losing their identity?
• How can indigenous societies manage global environmental problems?
• Can indigenous societies and former colonial powers build mutually beneficial relationships?
• How do ethnic groups brought together by colonialism cope with decolonization?
• How does decolonization differ relative to the former colonial power (Denmark, France, UK, USA, Spain, etc.)?
• How are island communities and Arctic societies in particular affected by decolonization processes?

Nuuk: An Arctic indigenous capital.
Greenland, a self-governing region of Denmark, is both the world's largest island and the only Arctic indigenous territory with an agreed-upon path toward independence. Yet with a population of just 57,000 and a reliance on Danish aid and labour, Greenlanders have struggled to independently benefit from their wealth of natural resources and proud Inuit culture.

Nuuk's status as Greenland's capital has granted it outsized political, cultural, and economic importance relative to its small population (16,500). Founded by a Danish missionary in 1728, Nuuk is home to Greenland's parliament, university, museums, a shopping centre, modern high-rises, decaying apartment blocks, expanding suburbs, and persistent divides between Inuit and Danish residents. Nuuk illustrates both the promise and the pitfalls of development after decolonization.

On 30 September-2 October, delegates will explore Nuuk, speaking with local residents, politicians, and businesspeople concerning Greenland's progress toward political, economic, and cultural independence. Delegates will also take a day-long boat tour out into the fjords to better understand the harsh yet beautiful nature that helped shape Greenlandic society. 3-4 October will be devoted to academic presentations held at Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland.

How to make a presentation.
The deadline for presentation proposals is 30 April 2015. However, to take advantage of early registration rates and ensure that you have time to seek funding from your institution or government, we recommend that you submit your abstract early:

Web address:
Sponsored by: Island Dynamics and Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland

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