Western Turn

The recent development of the course content of the UiT Bachelor of Northern Studies 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 negotiated to deepen joint work in Finland with leaders of the field-based so-called Calotte Academy. This is done in negotiation with the CA’s funder Prof. Lassi Heininen at University of Lapland. 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 BNS UiT AUN staff 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 between us and 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. Environmental and Russian studies at Columbia University NY is part of our research contacts so far. All academics contacted or re-connected with in this “western turn” are enthusiastic of the interdisciplinary take on the northern issues of our Bachelor of Northern Studies (BNS) program. NSRG course developers were a awarded a travel grant from the funding program North-To-North that will make possible visits in Canada and the US in 2023 to develop institutional partnerships in joint 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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