Cold Colonies: Antarctic Spatialities at Mawson and McMurdo Stations

Collis, Christy & Stevens, Quentin (2007) Cold Colonies: Antarctic Spatialities at Mawson and McMurdo Stations. Cultural Geographies, 14(2).

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In 1954, a small team of Australian men landed at Horseshoe Harbor and began constructing Mawson Station: the permanent colonization of Antarctica was initiated. Two years later, Americans began the construction of their major Antarctic base, McMurdo. Although Antarctica is routinely represented as an empty wilderness, over the last fifty years, tens of thousands of humans have occupied the continent, most of them living in Antarctica’s 40 national bases. What kinds of spaces are these Antarctican colonial settlements? How do they function materially, ideologically, legally, and, important for this article, spatially? This article explores the anatomy of two of the oldest and most populous of these spaces, Mawson and McMurdo stations: it attends to their physical environments and to the geopolitical epistemologies that shape them; it is thus a study of two distinct Antarctican spatialities. This article is part of a larger endeavor to account for the heterogeneous cultural geographies of the polar south. It works towards a definition of contemporary colonialism in its Antarctican context. In a previously-uninhabited continent governed by scientific internationalism, yet subject to disputed territorial claims and conflicting geopolitical spaces, colonialism takes on specific localized forms; this article attends to the unique colonial spatialities of two key Antarctican settlements.

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10 citations in Scopus
15 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 5974
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The author manuscript version of this article will be available 12 months after publication. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
Keywords: Antarctica, Australian Antarctic Territory, Mawson station, McMurdo Station, spatiality, colonies, colonialism
DOI: 10.1177/1474474007075356
ISSN: 1477-0881
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Historical Studies not elsewhere classified (210399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) (210303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified (200299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sage Publications
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:40

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