I am currently writing up my thesis for submission.
I hold a MSc by Research in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh (2005), as well as a BA in History and History of Art (2004) and MA in History of Art (2006) from the University of Tromsø, Norway.
Funding for my research has been granted by The University of Edinburgh, The Norwegian Research Council and the Lise and Arnfinn Hejes Fund. As part of my PhD research, I have been a Caird Short-Term Research Fellow at The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (2008).
Arctic Images 1818-1864: Problems of Representation and Imperialism
Abstract: This thesis explores nineteenth-century Western perceptions of the Arctic through analyses of a selection of primarily British visual material comprised of landscape paintings and representations of Arctic exploration and the Inuit people. The images discussed occur in a variety of media, including grand oil paintings, on-the-spot sketches, prints, popular exhibitions, such as panorama, diorama and moving panorama shows, and displays of living Inuit. Comparing this imagery with textual sources such as newspaper and magazine reviews, expedition journals, scientific texts and manuscripts, I question how the Arctic was represented and perceived in Britain over the forty-year period between 1818 and 1864. Do the diverse media, forms of display and different artistic approaches add up to a unified idea about the Arctic, Inuit and explorer, or was the West’s relationship with the North more complex, fragmented and diverse? How do Western encounters with the Arctic compare to colonial histories in the East, in other words, does a similar ‘Orientalist discourse’ exist for the North? In answering these questions, I explore the limits and usefulness of colonial discourse theory, particularly Orientalism.
This article was published on Jul 2, 2010