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Cultural Impacts of Arctic Exploration

Cultural Impacts of Arctic Exploration Examined

Scholars from the British Museum, Canada and California will participate in UC Riverside events Nov. 19-20.

(November 12, 2009)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – “The Journals of Knud Rasmussen,” a documentary film based on the diaries of Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen about the impact of Christianity on traditional Inuit culture in the 1920s, will be featured in a symposium at the University of California, Riverside on Thursday, Nov. 19.

The symposium – Arctic Visions: The Journals of Knud Rasmussen – will begin at 1 p.m. with the screening of the documentary by Isuma Productions, Canada’s first Inuit independent production company, in Interdisciplinary Building Room 1128.

A roundtable discussion will follow at 3 p.m. featuring: Jonathan King, keeper of the collections of the British Museum; Michael Bravo, university senior lecturer in geography and a scholar in the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University; Nelson Graburn, Thomas Garden Barnes Endowed Chair, Canadian Studies Program in the Department of anthropology at UC Berkeley; and UCR’s Adriana Craciun, professor of English, and Michelle Raheja, assistant professor of English.

The symposium precedes a one-day conference – The Oceanic Turn in the Long Eighteenth Century: Beyond Disciplinary Territories – on Friday, Nov. 20, that will feature scholars from California, Canada and England discussing the significance of oceans rather than nation states as a way of organizing the study of history, culture and literature. The conference is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the UCR Alumni and Visitors Center, 3701 Canyon Crest Drive.

Conference participants include: King of the British Museum; Bravo from the Scott Polar Research Institute; UCR’s Craciun; Margaret Cohen, professor of comparative literature at Stanford University; Christopher Connery, professor of literature at UC Santa Cruz; Neil Safier, assistant professor of history at the University of British Columbia; and Patricia Seed, professor of history at UC Irvine.

Both events are free and open to the public. Parking costs $6.

The Arctic Visions symposium is sponsored by UCR’s Department of English and Center for Ideas and Society. The conference is sponsored by the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and UCR’s Department of English and Center for Ideas and Society. Craciun is the faculty organizer for both events and can be reached at



The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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