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New Developments in Postcolonial Studies

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Edited By Malgorzata Martynuska and Elzbieta Rokosz-Piejko

This book analyses the applicability of postcolonial theories and contemporary issues, and also revisits previously tackled cultural, social and literary phenomena. The contributions examine contemporary social, economic and cultural processes. The authors look back at older cultural texts, coming from either former colonies or former colonisers. They furthermore refer to the fact that theories of postcolonialism are currently more frequently applied to study countries originally not classified as colonial. They attempt to define and explain the experiences of the native peoples of colonial territories in various historical situations of dependence.

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The Long Road to the South Pole: Post-colonial Antarctica (Johanna Grabow)

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Johanna Grabow

The Long Road to the South Pole: Post-colonial Antarctica

Abstract: The article aims to integrate Antarctica into the post-colonial discourse. It examines various engagements, such as Richard E. Byrd’s exploration work. The strategic placement of research stations, the Antarctic Treaty and the ubiquitous role of science on the continent is furthermore evaluated with regard to postcolonial perspectives.

Key words: geopolitics, exploration, Antarctica, expeditions, research stations.

1.   Antarctica and Its Disregard by Post-colonial Scholars

Antarctica is the coldest, the windiest, the driest, and the highest continent on earth. It is a continent of scale and superlatives, one of the last large-scale ecosystems of our planet. Antarctica is, in contrast to its counterpart on the other pole, also the only continent without an indigenous population and their corresponding creation myths. It is therefore a place with no own language, no own culture, legends or history; a blank canvas that can be filled with our ideas, dreams and stories. Instead, sounds become muffled, smells are deep-frozen and colours disappear. The enormous icy wastes are an inhospitable place, still difficult to access and whoever manages to set a foot on the frozen south, will have a temporary stay.

In European and Western imagination, Antarctica has always been a strange and beautiful place, a land that is actually frozen water. The continent is located just off the edge of our maps, but “a space at whose heart...

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