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Watercolor painting from 1851 by Canadian natives. The picture shows a man with long, dark hair dressed in beige feathered leather jacket with white fur collar.

Umeå Arctic Seminar October 2019

Time Friday 11 October, 2019 at 12:00 - 13:00
Place Universitetsklubben


Dr Eavan O’Dochartaigh is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow based at Humlab and Arcum, and will hold a seminar about

Arctic Visible: Picturing Indigenous Communities in the Nineteenth-Century Western Arctic


This talk introduces the new postdoctoral project, ARCVIS (2019-2021), based at Humlab with the support of Arcum and the Department of Language Studies. The project aims to gather, contextualize, and map over a thousand nineteenth-century visual images of indigenous people and their localities in the western Arctic (primarily modern-day Alaska, Arctic Canada, and Greenland). The core data includes sketches, paintings, and photographs, as well as engravings and lithographs in periodicals, and published travel narratives created by ‘explorers.’ Through the display and analysis of picture and text, the project will make visible the indigenous people who were key to the success or failure of expeditions from the south.

ARCVIS will ultimately make available an open-access online platform. This will contain a geospatial database of visual works designed to encourage use by a general audience (as well as by scholars across disciplines with an Arctic focus). Much of the data is currently held by various archives around the world, primarily outside the Arctic itself. Some of these images are available online but a significant portion cannot be easily accessed and their inclusion in the database will be prioritised. The research will disrupt the grand narrative of heroic polar exploration and will seek the input of local communities in the Arctic during the project lifespan, encouraging a greater sense of ownership over the material.

As the project is in its early stages, preliminary data and database structure, as well as emerging problems, questions, and gaps in the data will be explored in this talk.


Since we offer lunch we kindly ask you to register for the seminar, no later than Monday, October 7

Registration is at the end of the page




Dr Eavan O’Dochartaigh is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow based at Humlab and Arcum.


Her current project gathers and maps nineteenth-century visual representations of indigenous people in the western Arctic.


She is a recent graduate (2018) of the Department of English at National University of Ireland, Galway, where her PhD thesis examined the visual culture created by the exploration of the Northwest Passage in the 1850s, and is a graduate of the MPhil in Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (2005).


Additionally, she has over ten years of experience as a consultant archaeologist and illustrator, working in Ireland, the UK, and Iceland.

Staff photo Eavan O Dochartaigh
Eavan O Dochartaigh
Postdoctoral fellow
Read about Eavan O Dochartaigh
Anngelica Kristoferqvist
Read about Anngelica Kristoferqvist
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