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New Book from the GRETPOL-project

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.

Janet Martin-Nielsen

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.

A preview of the book is available on the publisher’s website!

Working as a doctoral student in the Nuclearwaters-Project (ERC Consolidator Grant, PI Per Högselius), I focus on the nuclear history of Eastern Europe, especially on the territory of the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Furthermore, I investigate expert cultures in nuclear discourses, with a special interest in water-related issues in nuclear power plant decision-making. In addition, I am intrigued by the entanglement of the commercial, scientific and political interests concerning nuclear technologies, with its sometimes harsh consequences on human societies and the environment. Recently this interest has extended to energy systems as a whole in Eastern Europe, including fossil fuels and renewables. Questions of transition within international energy systems in the face of the climate crisis and recent political developments become more important, as my work progresses.