Reetta Toivanen as a keynote speaker for the Northern Political Economy Symposium

22.5.2019 13:54

10th Northern Political Economy Symposium takes place on 14-15 November 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland. The theme of the symposium is What is left of development in the Arctic?

The keynote speaker will be professor Reetta Toivanen (Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, Finland). Her topic is “Whose development are we talking about? European fantasies on the Arctic” The presentation address the paradigm that places the people living in the Arctic area, still centuries after the voyages of Pytheas (325 BC) and other European explores, as the object of a European fantasy. Residents of the Arctic are in this paradigm framed as guardians of the treasure chest that is the Arctic and as an ancient people of ‘nature’ rather than “culture” and thus doomed to the unpolitical. The presentation will discuss the different political, economic and military interests that intertwined with this fantasy and ask who could be the beneficiary of the development projects.

Reetta Toivanen is full professor in Sustainability Science (Indigenous Sustainabilities) at the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and a docent in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Helsinki (Finland). She is the vice-director of the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStrorie) funded by the Academy of Finland (2018-2025) and PI of the research consortium ALL-YOUTH funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (2018-2023). She is also a non-resident senior research fellow at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg (Germany). Professor Toivanen's major areas of research and expertise are field research, ethnographic methods, anthropology of law, human rights, ethnic and national minorities, Arctic research, human rights teaching, multilingualism and language policy, and critical feminist theory. Her recent publications: European Fantasy of the Arctic Region and the Rise of Indigenous Sámi Voices in the Global Arena, in Sellheim et al. eds Arctic Triumph, Springer 2019; Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and Practices Assessing Minority Language Maintenance Across Europe, Multilingual Matters 2016 (authored together with J. Laakso, S. Spiliopoulou-Åkermark & A. Sarhimaa) and Linguistic Genocide or Superdiversity? (edited with J. Saarikivi), Multilingual Matters 2016.

Second Call for papers

Papers and presentations covering different aspects of Arctic developments critically are welcome. More information about the call for papers.

The symposium is organized by the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland. Symposium is the side event for the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit Conference 2019, which will take place on 12-13 November 2019.

More information:

Symposium page

Symposium organizer, research professor Monica Tennberg
Northern political economy research group, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland