The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region [PCC 586B/JSIS 582/QUAT 504]

JSIS 582 or OCEAN/ESS/ATMOS 586 or QUAT 504

Cr/NC credits



Location: OCN 425

Schedule: Mondays 12:30-2:30PM

Department: Cross-listed

Quarter: Fall

JSIS 582 Special Topics: The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region

OCEAN/ESS/ATMOS 586 Current Research in Climate Change: Arctic Science & Policy

QUAT 504 Special Topics in Quaternary Sciences

Faculty: B. Fitzhugh, Anthropology; V. Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences & Canadian Studies; J. Deming, Oceanography; C. Ingebritsen, Scandinavian Studies & European Studies

As a result of climate change, the Arctic is fast becoming a region of considerable scientific and geopolitical interest. In the Arctic, global warming is occurring at twice the rate of the rest of the planet - for the first time in history we will witness the emergence of a new ocean. At the same time, the Arctic is a focus for global geopolitics with unique characteristics including the prominence of environmental security and, the effective role of Arctic indigenous peoples in international affairs. The Arctic is now a top foreign policy priority for Canada, Russia, the Scandinavian countries and the United States as well as for sub-national entities such as Québec and Alaska. Even China, Japan, Singapore, India and the Republic of Korea now have a role on the Arctic Council. The Arctic is a paradox - it serves as the global barometer for climate change while presenting new ways forward in global geopolitics. How do we understand the complexities of this “new” global region?

This seminar will explore the Arctic as an emerging region in the 21st century from a variety of perspectives - climate and ocean change, human rights, changes to the cryosphere (sea ice, permafrost, glaciers), indigenous concepts of Arctic territory, fisheries management and economics, community security (education, health, housing and food), international customary law, past human-environmental dynamics, global geopolitics, resource extraction and environmental ethics, and the interactions between the Arctic indigenous peoples and state entities in the policy dialogue.

The purpose of this seminar is to bring together students and faculty from across the U.W. to explore Arctic challenges and themes from an interdisciplinary perspective. The seminar will help advanced students develop policy-relevant, interdisciplinary research projects (individually or in teams) that could win two subsequent quarters of fellowship support for completion and publication. The seminar will include lectures by U.W. faculty, researchers and outside experts, and provide substantial brainstorming time for students and faculty to explore potential research projects. Students will then develop and write research proposals in conjunction with colleagues and faculty advisors.

Research proposals will be considered for Mellon Foundation Research Fellowships of $5,000 to support research and writing through Winter and Spring quarters, 2014. In Spring Quarter students will present their research at U.W. symposium and prepare manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed publications. Fellows will receive $3,000 during Winter Quarter, and another $2,000 in Spring Quarter (after papers have been submitted).

Students are encouraged to participate in the fall seminar even if they do not intend to compete for a Mellon Research Fellowship.

More information:
Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies,
Ben Fitzhugh, Antropology,

This course and the research fellowships are made possible thanks to funding from a three-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, Bridging Regional Divides & Making 'the Global Turn': Sustaining Area & International Studies at the University of Washington. The U.W. received the grant for its area studies programs, enabling eight Title VI National Resource Centers in the Jackson School of International Studies to build their programs for students, educators, and the community. This course is part of the grant project, “Re-imagining Area/International Studies in the 21st Century: The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region” to enable the Canadian Studies Center and other partnering units to build an Arctic academic program at the U.W.