Indigenous Resources: Decolonization and Development (Nuuk, Greenland, 30 septembre-4 octobre 2015)

Conference Call for Papers:
Indigenous Resources: Decolonization and Development
30 September-04 October 2015, Nuuk, Greenland

This conference explores the cultural, political, economic, and environmental
effects of decolonization processes, with emphasis on island and Arctic
societies. With small populations and limited habitable land areas,
decolonization influences Arctic and island communities in special ways.
Colonialism introduced global economics, politics, and culture to many
societies. Once the colonial power is expelled or seeks to withdraw, indigenous
peoples often face limitations to sovereignty, human resources, and economic
capacity that make it difficult to overcome the challenges associated with
geographic isolation and peripherality. This conference will consider
experiences of decolonization from the perspectives of island studies, political
science, anthropology, economics, postcolonialism, and other academic
traditions. Presenters will include representatives from academia, government,
and NGOs.

Presentations are invited to address questions such as:
• How do indigenous societies make the cultural transition away from colonial
• What political comprises are made to balance desires for self-determination
and economic vitality?
• Can indigenous societies compete in the global economy without losing their
• How can indigenous societies manage global environmental problems?
• Can indigenous societies and former colonial powers build mutually beneficial
• How do ethnic groups brought together by colonialism cope with decolonization?
• How does decolonization differ relative to the former colonial power (Denmark,
France, UK, Portugal, Germany, USA, Spain, etc.)?
• How are island communities and Arctic societies in particular affected by
decolonization processes?

About Nuuk:
Greenland, a self-governing region of Denmark, is both the world’s largest
island and the only Arctic indigenous territory with an agreed-upon path toward
independence. Yet with a population of just 57,000 and a reliance on Danish aid
and labour, Greenlanders have struggled to independently benefit from their
wealth of natural resources and proud Inuit culture. Nuuk’s status as
Greenland’s capital has granted it outsized political, cultural, and economic
importance relative to its small population (16,500). Founded by a Danish
missionary in 1728, Nuuk is home to Greenland’s parliament, university, museums,
a shopping centre, modern high-rises, decaying apartment blocks, expanding
suburbs, and persistent divides between Inuit and Danish residents. Nuuk
illustrates both the promise and the pitfalls of development after

About the conference:
On 30 September-2 October, delegates will explore Nuuk, speaking with local
residents, politicians, and businesspeople concerning Greenland’s progress
toward political, economic, and cultural independence. Delegates will also take
a day-long boat tour out into the fjords to better understand the harsh yet
beautiful nature that helped shape Greenlandic society. 3-4 October will be
devoted to academic presentations held at Ilisimatusarfik/University of

How to make a presentation:
The deadline for abstracts is 30 April 2015. However, to take advantage of early
registration rates and ensure that you have time to seek funding from your
institution or government, we recommend that you submit your abstract early:

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