Later this year, Janet Martin-Nielsen‘s new book, “A Few Acres of Ice: Environment, Sovereignty, and Grandeur in the French Antarctic” will be published by Cornell University Press. This book stems from the GRETPOL project which took place at KTH Stockholm and the University of Stavanger over the past three years.
A Few Acres of Ice is an in-depth study of France’s complex relationship with the Antarctic, from the search for Terra australis by French navigators in the sixteenth century to France’s role today as one of seven states laying claim to part of the white continent. Martin-Nielsen focuses on environment, sovereignty, and science to reveal not only the political, commercial, and religious challenges of exploration, but also the interaction between environmental concerns in polar regions and the geopolitical realities of the twenty-first century. She details how France has worked (and, at times, not worked) to perform sovereignty in Terre Adeìlie, from the territory’s integration into France’s colonial empire to France’s integral role in making the environment matter in Antarctic politics. As a result, A Few Acres of Ice sheds light on how Terre Adeìlie has altered human perceptions and been constructed by human agency since (and even before) its discovery.