TitleIn these latitudes
NameRoutledge, Karen (author), Lears, T. J. Jackson (chair), Schrepfer, Susan (co-chair), Fabian, Ann (internal member), Clemens, Paul (internal member), Trott, Christopher G. (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Arctic regions—Discovery and exploration—American,
DescriptionIn the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a stream of popular narratives celebrated the struggles of European and American explorers who pushed out to the edges of their known worlds. Many of these adventurers travelled through Inuit homelands in the North American Arctic, recording their surroundings as inherently forbidding and desolate. These explorers are part of an arctic survival mythology that extends much further and deeper. In this environmental and cultural history, I consider lesser-known survival narratives drawn from oral histories and archival sources, namely stories of American whalers in Inuit territory, Inuit families in the United States, American and Inuit polar expedition members, and Inuit who remained in their homeland as it changed around them. I compare the strategies these individuals employed to survive physically, psychologically, and culturally when they faced hardships such as starvation, malnutrition, and disease. My four chapters are structured around different ways of marking ecological and social time, and they are centred on the rich maritime region of Cumberland Sound on Baffin Island, in what is now Nunavut, Canada. I argue that Inuit and Americans often saw each other’s latitudes as inhospitable, and that divergent cosmologies shaped their perceptions of unfamiliar sites. Together, these unconventional arctic narratives demonstrate that the definition of a harsh environment is relative, and they offer alternative ways of thinking about individual and cultural survival.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Karen Routledge
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.