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The Whiteness of Antarctica: Race and South Africa's Antarctic History
Arcum, Umeå University, Sweden.
Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
2016 (English)In: Antarctica and the Humanities / [ed] Peder Roberts, Lize-Marié van der Watt and Adrian Howkins, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 125-156 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter considers how Antarctica has been imagined as a white continent—in the sense of race as well as snow and ice. The prevalence of whiteness in descriptions of the continent not only reflects the appearance of its topography, but also the changing values associated with ‘whiteness’ as a racial trope. The chapter focuses on how apartheid South Africa constructed Antarctica as a white continent, particularly a white continent for men. It explores how apartheid South Africa’s involvement in the Antarctic and the experiences of white South African men in Antarctica could be seen as a distillation of mainland attitudes, stripped bare by the harsh and alienating Antarctic environment. The chapter concludes with reflections on the links between cultural, political, and aesthetic concepts of whiteness—and how a physical geographical characteristic can become loaded with additional layers of meaning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 125-156 p.
Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
National Category
History and Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194436DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-54575-6_6ISBN: 978-1-137-54575-6 (Online)ISBN: 978-1-137-54574-9 (Print)OAI: diva2:1040463
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

QC 20161028

Available from: 2016-10-27 Created: 2016-10-27 Last updated: 2016-10-28Bibliographically approved

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