“A Southern Perspective on the North”
“With the Head up North”


December 1st, 2015, 7pm, Depot, Breite Gasse 3, Vienna

Editors: Sophie Panzer, Christina Simmel
Authors: Suzanne Bontemps, Sophie Panzer, Christina Simmel
Glossary: Gertrude Saxinger

Gazprom City – a report about life at the other end of the gas pipeline: ‘If you’re at home and you want to make yourself a nice cup of coffee in the morning, and you turn on the stove but there is no gas, then you know that something must have happened in Novy Urengoy.’ What connects Europe to a city in the polar circle? The Gazprom company exploits the gas fields around Novy Urengoy. More than half of the natural gas extracted in Russia is produced there. A substantial portion of this gas is exported to European countries.

10.-13.November, Vienna, Austria

Abstract submission deadline 1.8.2015

The 1st Central European Polar Meeting will be held in November 2015 in Vienna. This meeting is a memorial to the Austrian polar explorer and scientist Julius Payer (1841-1915), to commemorate his achievements for the international polar sciences. It is jointly organized by the Committee on Polar Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Centre for Polar Ecology, Czech Republic, and the Austrian Polar Research Institute, in cooperation with the National Committee for Global Change of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The 1st Central European Polar Meeting will bring together polar researchers including distinguished scientists and the next generation of polar researchers, from Central European countries and around the globe. This meeting is one of the first international activities of the newly established Central European Polar Partnership, which aims at increasing the visibility and coordinating polar research in and among the participating countries.

Conference-Poster [pdf]

Info: http://www.polarresearch.at/conference/

AURA/AURORA Intervention & Round Table discussion on Art & Science collaboration

22.05.2015, 19h

Durchhaus Art Space, Werdertorgasse 17, 1010 Vienna

A Polar evening with a panel discussion on the magnificent Aurora Borealis in science & art and a review of Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship 2013-2015. Hosted by A.A.S., the Canadian Embassy and other Arctic related partners.

Detailled invitation: Aurora Event 22052015_invitation [pdf]

The breath-taking Polar lights – Aurora – fascinate, scare and raise questions about the unknown. Therefore, they are matters of inquires in natural sciences as well as in the humanities and social sciences. At the same time they inspire societies in creating collective myths, stories and agency. Not least, they inspire artists to reflect, interpret and intervene with this spectacle. This event unravels and contests perceptions of the Aurora phenomena among artists and scientists.

Aura/Aurora (Bettina Schülke [AT/FI)] and Nina Czegledy [CAN/HU])

This is the most recent phase of the ongoing art & science project presenting an interactive interpretation of the Polar Lights – Aurora Borealis and Australis, the magnificent and dynamic spectacle that has retained a near-mythical status in circumpolar cultures over millennia. The dazzling geo-physical phenomenon, typically observed in the Circumpolar Regions is not only a brilliant spectacle but it also makes visible the invisible world of electromagnetic activities.

Art & Science

The collaboration between art & science has the potential to create new knowledge, ideas and processes. New ways of seeing, experiencing and interpreting can lead to benefits in both fields. This round-table discussion aims to explore trans-disciplinary collaborations within the creative process of art, science and technology in the context of the Polar Lights.


Dr. Gerti Saxinger (Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology & Austrian Polar Research Institute APRI),

Doris Kaltenbacher (Durchhaus Art Space):

Introduction by the hosts Mark Bailey, Ambassador of Canada to Austria: “The Arctic, its economic and social development: Looking back on Canada’s achievements for the People of the North during its Arctic Council chairmanship 2013-2015”

Canadian Arctic images
Panel Discussion: Aura/Aurora – a science and arts perspective

Food and Wine Reception

Registration (organisational reasons only):


Bettina Schülke, Artist, PhD Cand., University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design

Nina Czegledy, Artist, Curator, Senior Fellow University of Toronto, Concordia University Montreal, Hungarian University of Fine Arts.

Dr. Stefan Donecker, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Medieval Research.

Dr. Margarete Jahrmann, Artist, Curator, Dozentin for Game-Design, ZHdK Zürich, University of Fine Arts Vienna.

Dr. Werner Gruber, Lecturer, Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Vienna and Director of the Planetarium Vienna, Science Busters.

Chair: Dr. Verena Traeger, Curator, Institute for Social- and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna & Spokesperson of the “Working Group Circumpolar Regions and Siberia” at the German Association of Anthropologists

Collaborating partners

Embassy of Canada in Austria

Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Uni Vienna

ZKS: Centre for Canadian Studies, Uni Vienna

Durchhaus Art Space

APRI: Austrian Polar Research Institute

AAS: Working Group Arctic and Subarctic

Working Group for Circumpolar & Siberian Regions at German Association of Anthropologists (DGV)

AAS hosted a session at the 10th Anthropology Days on 23rd of April 2015. This time the focus was on Arctic Extractive Industries – community (Susanna Gartler) and political implications (Miguel Roncero as well as Felix Jaitner). Furthermore, we had a look into the Arctic mining discourse of the 16th century by Stefan Donecker.
All presentations as download:

Susanna Gartler: Hunters, Gatherers and Mining Companies: Aboriginal-Business Relations in the Case of First Nation Miners in the Yukon Territory [pdf]

Miguel Roncero: Arctic Resources: Development for Whom? An analysis of Artic policies and strategies from a resource‐fairness approach [pdf]

Stefan Donecker: Resource Extraction in the North: A Political Issue in the 16th century [pdf]

Felix Jaitner: Resource Dependency – Russia beyond a Resource curse? [pdf]

CALL FOR PAPERS für den Arktis und Sibirien Workshop bei der DGV Tagung 2015 in Marburg

Das Koordinationsteam der RG Zirkumpolargebiete und Sibirien lädt Sie zu dem Workshop “Departures in the Circumpolar North and Siberia“ / „Aufbrüche im Zirkumpolaren Norden und Sibirien“ (Ausschreibungstext siehe unten) bei der kommenden DGV-Tagung in Marburg vom 30.9.-3.10.2015 ein.

Als Gastredner hat Mark Nuttall, University of Alberta CAN, zugesagt.

Inhaltlich orientiert sich der Workshop am übergreifenden Thema der DGV-Tagung 2015 „Krisen. Re-Formationen von Leben, Macht und Welt”. Nähere Informationen zur Tagung und die Call for Papers der anderen Workshops finden Sie unter: www.dgv-net.de.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass auf der Tagung pro Person nur ein Vortrag gehalten werden darf. Der Workshop wird in Englischer Sprache durchgeführt werden, mit der Möglichkeit Vorträge auch auf Deutsch zu halten.

Vorschläge für Präsentationen in Form von 1. einem Abstract (max. 1200 Wörter) sowie 2. einem kurzen Abstract für das Programmheft (max. 300 Wörter) senden Sie bitte bis zum 15. Februar 2015 an: zirkumpolargebiete-sibirien@dgv-net.de

Workshop-Organisation: Verena Traeger, Sophie Elixhauser, Gerti Eilmsteiner-Saxinger, Joachim Otto Habe

Über eine rege Teilnahme würden wir uns sehr freuen!

“Departures in the Circumpolar North and Siberia”

In situations of crisis established structures are breaking apart. Crises, however, also create opportunities for change and new beginnings. In the Circumpolar North, the preparation for crises involving complex decision-making and departures formed part of people’s daily lives for thousands of years. Moreover, survival strategies based on subsistence were part and parcel of a continual adaptation to changing environments and living conditions.

In the recent past, the circumpolar region has undergone far-reaching changes induced by colonialism and missionary activities leading to forced relocation and the introduction of a settled lifestyle, boarding schools and capitalist or socialist economic systems, accompanied by massive resource exploitation. Environmental pollution and climate change are becoming ever more acute, affecting subsistence and mobility practices, people’s environmental perceptions and sense of place, the stability of food security and cultural identities. Past crises have continued to affect the inhabitants over the course of many generations up until the present. A loss of indigenous traditions, languages and oral history as well as a lack of prospects, a rising propensity for violence, high suicide rates and drug abuse are some of the consequences. Across the Arctic region and Siberia various responses may be observed, and different solutions with regard to resource control, political self-determination and the recognition of indigenous rights are being developed. They reflect national sovereignty and democratic processes and show that people are ready to actively shape their future. This workshop invites broader theoretical, applied and comparative contributions as well as thematic papers and ethnographic case studies from the Circumpolar North and Siberia (presentations can be held in English or German).

„Aufbrüche im zirkumpolaren Norden und Sibirien“

In Krisensituationen brechen stabile Strukturen auf. Gleichzeitig bieten Krisen Chancen zu Veränderungen und zum Aufbruch. Im zirkumpolaren Norden waren die Vorbereitung auf Krisen und damit verbundene Entscheidungssituationen und Wendepunkte seit Jahrtausenden Teil des Lebens. Auf Subsistenz aufbauende Überlebensstrategien waren zudem stets mit der Anpassung an sich verändernde Lebensumstände (v.a. Umwelteinflüsse) verknüpft.

In der näheren Vergangenheit kam es zu besonders rapiden Veränderungen durch Kolonialismus und Missionierung und damit einhergehende Zwangsumsiedlungen und Einführung von Sesshaftigkeit, Internatsschulen sowie kapitalistischen oder sozialistischen Wirtschaftssystemen mit teils großflächigem Rohstoffabbau. Umweltverschmutzung und Klimawandel werden immer virulenter, wodurch Subsistenz- und Mobilitätspraktiken sowie Vorstellungen von Landschaft und Natur massiv beeinflusst und Nahrungssicherheit sowie kulturelle Identitäten instabil werden. Vergangene Krisen wirken über viele Generationen bis heute nach. Verlust von indigenen Traditionen, Sprachen und oral überliefertem Wissen, Perspektivenlosigkeit, steigende Gewalt, Drogenmissbrauch und hohe Suizidraten sind einige der Folgeerscheinungen. Rund um den nördlichen Polarkreis und in Sibirien beobachtet man vielseitige Reaktionen. Unterschiedlichste Lösungen in Bezug auf Ressourcenkontrolle, politische Selbstbestimmung und die Anerkennung indigener Rechte und Interessen wurden und werden entwickelt. Diese spiegeln nationalstaatliche Souveränität und Kontrolle sowie demokratische Prozesse wider und zeigen die Bereitschaft zum Aufbruch auf vielfältige Weise. Dieser Workshop lädt Beiträge ein, die sich entweder mit vergleichenden Überblicksthemen aus Theorie und Anwendung oder mit regionalspezifischen, thematischen Detailfragen aus dem zirkumpolaren Norden und Sibirien beschäftigen. Vorträge können in englischer und deutscher Sprache gehalten werden.

Invitation to APECS Austria Kick-off evening & APECS Austria Photo and Poster exhibition “Fieldwork in the Arctic and Subarctic”

Monday April, 28th 7 p.m.

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
NIG – Neues Institutsgebäude, 4th floor
Universitätsstr. 7
1010 Vienna

Opening talks:
Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter Schweitzer
(Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute)

Univ. Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter
(Department of Department of Terrestrial Ecosystem Research, Univ. of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute)

Mag. Sigrid Schiesser
(Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna, APECS Austria)

On April 28th, we celebrate the foundation of APECS Austria, which is part of the international and interdisciplinary Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS). APECS provides a platform for interdisciplinary networking and exchange of researchers working in Arctic and Subarctic regions.

The photo and poster exhibition “Fieldwork in the Arctic and Subarctic” shows the diversity of Arctic and Subarctic environments, and gives insights into daily lives of residents and researchers. The photographs of the exhibition illustrate the context of research in Polar regions beyond conventional formats of texts, tables and numbers.

The exhibition will be open on workdays from April 28th until May 16th.
We are looking forward to meeting you, APECS Austria

APECS Invitation [pdf]

The Embassy of Canada in Austria, in cooperation with the University of
Vienna and a number of other renowned partners, is pleased to announce

“Arctic Evening”

Thursday, December 5, 2013, 18:45Uhr
Institut für Geographie und Regionalforschung (NIG)
1010 Wien, Universitätsstr. 7/ 4.Stock: Hörsaal 4C (Trakt C/Raum C409)

Welcome words by the Embassy of Canada

Short presentation (in English) of the book “Wege zum Norden. Wiener Forschungen zu Arktis und Subarktis”, published recently by A.A.S. (Working Group Arctic and Subarctic) with discussion

Presentation by Prof Dr. Whitney LACKENBAUER (University of Waterloo/St. Jerome’s University) on followed by a discussion moderated by Prof. Dr. Peter SCHWEITZER (University of Vienna, Austrian Polar Research Institute & Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology)

After the discussion you are kindly invited to refreshments. Please register at vienn.events@international.gc.ca or by phone +43 (1) 531 38-3284

The trial of ‘Alten Thiess’, 1692/93. A werewolf conception of life.

A lecture by Dr. Stefan Donecker

March 28th, 2012, 6:30 pm

University of Vienna’s main building, Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1, 1010 Wien lecture room 45

Im Jahr 1691 stand ein rund 85jähriger lettischer Bauer, der “Alte Thiess”, in Jürgensburg – dem heutigen Zaube in Lettland – als vermeintlicher Hexer und Werwolf vor Gericht. Der betagte Angeklagte verblüffte die Richter mit einem bereitwilligen Geständnis: Er war ein Werwolf, und er war äußerst stolz darauf – denn die Werwölfe, so Thiess, seien Diener Gottes und würden in aufopferungsvollen Kämpfen die Fruchtbarkeit des Landes gegen den Teufel und sein Gefolge verteidigen.

Stefan Donecker, historian and AAS member gives a lecture about a trial of a werewolf in 1692. The fascinating documents give insights into northern Europeans society at the end of 17th century, especially on the social construction of body, gender and ethnicity.

Im Zuge des Vortrages soll diese Vorstellung eines gesellschaftsdienlichen Werwolfs, die mit der gelehrten Dämonologie des 17. Jahrhunderts völlig unvereinbar war, untersucht werden. Der Prozess des “Alten Thiess” ist eine faszinierende Quelle – nicht nur wegen der markanten Persönlichkeit des sturen, unbequemen und dabei irgendwie liebeswerten Angeklagten, sondern auch aufgrund der einzigartigen Einblicke in die soziale Konstruktion von Körper, Geschlecht und Ethnizität in einer bäuerlichen Lebenswelt an der äußersten Peripherie Europas. Am Beispiel dieses historischen Dokuments möchte ich verdeutlichen, wie Impulse aus dem frühneuzeitlichen Nordosteuropa in die Lehre am Institut für Geschichte eingebracht werden könnten.

Working Group Arctic and Subarctic members at the ICASS VII

June 22-26, 2011; Akureyri, Iceland

Working group Arctic and Subarctic members at the ICASS VII. ICASS is the International Arctic Social Science Organization and the conference is held every three years. The theme of the conference in 2011was: Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the International Polar Year.

Our AAS members Stefan Donecker, Gertrude Eilmsteiner-Saxinger, Silvije Habulinec, Elena Nuikina, and Elisabeth Öfner took part in this conference.

Link: For detailed program and abstracts refer to the website of the IASSA

Museum of Natural History
March 26-28th 2009, Vienna

Organized by the Austrian Polar Research Association

Vom 26. bis 28. März 2009 fand im Naturhistorischen Museum Wien das 3. Österreichische Polarsymposium tatt. Die Österreichische Gesellschaft für Polarforschung lud, Polarforscher und Polarophile, im Zuge des Internationalen Polarjahres zu einer Tagung ein.

Aline Ehrenfried, Stefan Bauer und Gertrude Eilmsteiner-Saxinger nahmen für die Arbeitsgemeinschaft Arktis und Subarktis an der Veranstaltung teil und präsentierten aktuelle Forschungsvorhaben.

Präsentation der AAS von Aline Ehrenfried als pdf zum download: AAS Präsentation (pdf)
Programm zur Veranstaltung: Programm (pdf)
Bilder der Veranstaltung: Bilder