Western Turn

Recent course developments made by NSRG scholars has made its profile and priorities in teaching attractive for international exchange of students and teachers, joint field-courses and collaboration in research

Given the global and circumarctic geopolitical situation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine February 24, 2022, NSRG has shelved its institutional collaborations in Russia. Researcher-to-researcher joint work in research and publication continues with trusted Russian individual scholars. In an ongoing turn to strengthen our Nordic and transatlantic partnerships we have engaged in closer joint work in Finland with leaders of the field-based Calotte Academy. The Calotte Academy is a travelling workshop taking place once or more times each year based on an internationally open Barents Euroarctic network encompassing, apart from scholars, professionals and leaders in towns and municipalities in Northernmost Finland, Norway and Sweden. It has a well-established Russian side that is now on hold but in dialogue.

Since the fall of 2021 the NSRG has re-activated or built new partnerships with prominent North American universities. Exchange of information on the feasibility of co-teaching courses at teaching programs focusing the Circumarctic world is going on with leaders of the program of Northern and Canadian Studies at the School of the Environment of Trent University Ontario and at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. We are reopening research on science diplomacy and security of the Arctic with former partners at Florida State University, Tallahassee. This has resulted in a proposal on a panel being accepted and to be held in November 2023 at the HSS Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon. All academics contacted for the NSRG “Western turn” have an academic track-record proving the value of their interdisciplinary take on northern issues. David Alenga, Peter Haugseth and Urban Wråkberg were a awarded a travel grant from the UiT AUN North-To-North funding program which enabled them to meet colleagues in Canada and the US in the spring of 2023 to develop institutional partnerships in research, on-line courses and student exchange.

Pacific fur seals on the west-coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Photo: Urban Wråkberg

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