UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


What does Antarcticness mean? New book edited by Prof Ilan Kelman explores

10 February 2022

A new book, edited by the IRDR's Professor Ilan Kelman, takes a look at the concept of Antarcticness from diverse perspectives.

Book cover of Antarcticness showing people standing in snow

‘Antarcticness’, published by UCL Press, joins disciplines, communication approaches and ideas to explore meanings and depictions of Antarctica. Personal and professional words in poetry and prose, plus images, present and represent Antarctica, as presumed and as imagined, alongside what is experienced around the continent and by those watching from afar. These understandings explain how the Antarctic is viewed and managed while identifying aspects which should be more prominent in policy and practice.

The authors and artists place Antarctica, and the perceptions and knowledge through Antarcticness, within inspirations and imaginations, without losing sight of the multiple interests pushing the continent’s governance as it goes through rapid political and environmental changes. Given the diversity and disparity of the influences and changes, the book’s contributions connect to provide a more coherent and encompassing perspective of how society views Antarctica, scientifically and artistically, and what the continent provides and could provide politically, culturally and environmentally.

Offering original research, art and interpretations of different experiences and explorations of Antarctica, explanations meld with narratives while academic analyses overlap with first-hand experiences of what Antarctica does and does not – could and could not – bring to the world.

The book is available to buy now from UCL Press or you can download a free pdf version.