Mawson and Mirnyy Stations: the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory, 1954-61

Collis, Christy (2007) Mawson and Mirnyy Stations: the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory, 1954-61. Australian Geographer, 38(2), pp. 215-231.

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This article focuses on the spatiality of the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) in the important 1954-1961 period. Attending particularly to three key components of polar spatiality—geopolitics, international territorial law, and the built environment—the article analyses the development of the AAT as a unique Australian space. The 1954-1961 period is particularly significant: during this period, the International Geophysical Year brought an unprecedented number of people to Antarctica; the continent’s first permanent colonies were constructed; and, despite Cold War tensions, the 1961 Antarctic Treaty established the spatial configurations and rules which continue to govern the continent today. The article focuses particularly on two key stations in the AAT constructed during this period: Australia’s Mawson Station and the Soviet Mirnyy Station. Mawson is a legal colony, designed to cement Australia’s claim to 42% of the Antarctic continent; Mirnyy, in contrast, is an anti-colony, designed to reject Australia’s claim. How the individual spatialities of these two stations articulate to the broader politics of Antarctican territoriality—and particularly Australia’s claim to the AAT—is the focus of this article.

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3 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 9285
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: 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, Mirnyy Station, cultural geography, polar studies, spatiality
DOI: 10.1080/00049180701422407
ISSN: 1465-3311
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified (200299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Social and Cultural Geography (160403)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Australian Geographer 38(2):pp. 215-231.
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:40

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