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

Stefan Donecker (1977—2022)

In stiller Trauer nehmen wir Abschied von Stefan Donecker, der am 1.9.2022 nach langer Krankheit verstorben ist.

Stefan war maßgeblich an der Gründung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Arktis und Subarktis beteiligt und war über Jahre hinweg aktives Mitglied. Er war Ideengeber und treibende Kraft hinter vielen Projekten und Publikationen, die im Zuge der Vereinstätigkeit realisiert werden konnten.

Immer wieder widmete er sich neuen Themen und verfolgte innovative wissenschaftliche Ansätze. Als Mitherausgeber der zwei ersten Bände der Reihe „Beiträge zum zirkumpolaren Norden — Contributions to Circumpolar Studies“ schuf er die Grundlage für die Publikationsreihe der Arbeitsgemeinschaft. Interessiert verfolgte er bis zuletzt den Fortschritt der Realisierung des dritten Bandes der Reihe.

Wir schätzten nicht nur seine fachliche Kompetenz sondern auch seine kollegiale Geselligkeit bei unseren Vereinstreffen. Persönlich bewunderte ich immer seine analytische, strukturierte, professionelle Herangehensweise sowie seine Ausdauer, Detailgenauigkeit und seinen Fleiß.

Die freundschaftliche Zusammenarbeit bereicherte den Verein und uns, seine Mitglieder. Ohne ihn wäre die Arbeitsgemeinschaft Arktis und Subarktis nicht das was sie heute ist.

Markus Hirnsperger, Obmann AAS und Freund

Nachruf von Roland Steinacher (Universität Innsbruck):

Nachruf von Mitarbeiter*innen des IMAFO, Clemens Gantner und Veronika Wieser (ÖAW):

More than ‘Nature’

Research on Infrastructure and Settlements in the North

edited by Doris Friedrich, Markus Hirnsperger, and Stefan Bauer
Series: Beiträge zum zirkumpolaren
Norden — Contributions to Circumpolar
Studies, Band 3 — volume 3

Vienna: Lit-Verlag, 2022

x, 332 p.: ill., maps, includes bibliographical references, Paperback,
ISBN 978-3-643-91218-3,
Ebook: 29,90 EUR / paperback: 34,90 Eur

The Arctic is often associated with pristine wilderness, natural resources, and climate change. Yet settlements and infrastructure, which have received less attention, play a significant role in Arctic environments. Extractive industries, military activities, and scientific undertakings have driven the expansion of infrastructures.

This book presents current research on Northern towns and Arctic and Subarctic infrastructure. It examines historical developments, the shaping of environments, sustainability, future planning, and associated living conditions, mainly from a social science perspective.

Doris Friedrich is a Senior Fellow at the Arctic Institute and a PhD student at the University of Vienna, focusing on Arctic human-environment relations.

Markus Hirnsperger holds an MA and PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology and Slavic Studies. His research interests include history and nationalism.

Stefan Bauer works as storage manager at the Weltmuseum Wien. His research (MA) focused on Indigenous minorities in Russia (culture, economy, and politics).

For table of contents and preview chapers see:

For details and orders (publisher’s website):

The Arctic and Subarctic Working Group Photography Blog: Cities, Transportation, People and Everyday Life

This blog features photographs from Austrian scientists working in the Arctic and Subarctic: https://aas.photo.blog/

Working title: “More than ‘Nature’: Research on Infrastructure and Settlements in the North”

The Working Group Arctic and Subarctic in Vienna invites scholars to contribute to an edited volume to be published in the fall of 2020. While the Arctic seems inevitably linked to pristine wilderness, climate change, and endangered animal species in popular imagination, the presence of villages, towns and cities, and the infrastructures they rely on, have largely been overlooked and underrepresented. One could argue that, historically, the extraction of resources and their transportation from the North have been prime reasons for the development of infrastructure and the establishment of settlements in the Arctic and Subarctic. In addition to purely economic motivations, ideological, military, political and strategic considerations have played and continue to play important roles.

The aim of this book is to showcase contemporary research about Northern towns and Arctic and Subarctic infrastructures, as well as related aspects and phenomena, mainly from a social science perspective.

The themes and topics of the contributions include but are not limited to:
• Arctic infrastructure
• Living conditions in the Arctic
• Research methods
• Urban-rural relations
• Center-periphery relations
• City life
• Urbanity

We invite contributions from the following disciplines, among others:
• Urban Studies
• Social and Cultural Anthropology
• History
• Northern Studies
• Geography
• Sociology

Interested scholars are encouraged to send an abstract of 200–300 words to the editors by May 15, 2019. Invitations to contribute will be made by June 30, 2019. The deadline for the submission of the article will be October 30, 2019. Peer-review feedback will be sent by February 15, 2020. Submission of the revised articles is due May 15, 2020.

Editors: Working Group Arctic and Subarctic (Doris Friedrich, Markus Hirnsperger, Stefan Bauer)
E-mail: book@sub-arctic.ac.at, Website: www.sub-arctic.ac.at/book


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.

Buch Grönland (Flyer)

Rudi – the famous radio dog of the national radio channel OE1 – goes North. In two episodes he will show kids and interested adults exiting facts about the North.
Find out more on Rudi’s website:http://oe1.orf.at/rudiradiohund
and tune in on on Aug. 18th and Aug. 19th, 2015 at 2.55pm on channel OE1 or listen online later.

Details on the featured episodes:


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]