Cold colonies: Antarctic spatialities at Mawson and McMurdo stations

Article


Collis, Christy and Stevens, Quentin. 2007. "Cold colonies: Antarctic spatialities at Mawson and McMurdo stations." Cultural Geographies. 14 (2), pp. 234-254. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474007075356
Article Title

Cold colonies: Antarctic spatialities at Mawson and McMurdo stations

ERA Journal ID5930
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCollis, Christy (Author) and Stevens, Quentin (Author)
Journal TitleCultural Geographies
Journal Citation14 (2), pp. 234-254
Number of Pages21
Year2007
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1474-4740
1477-0881
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474007075356
Web Address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1474474007075356
Abstract

In 1954, a small team of Australian men landed at Horseshoe Harbor and began constructing Mawson Station: the permanent colonization of Antarctica was initiated. Two years later, Americans began the construction of their major Antarctic base, McMurdo. Although Antarctica is routinely represented as an empty wilderness, over the last fifty years, tens of thousands of humans have occupied the continent, most of them living in Antarctica’s 40 national bases. What kinds of spaces are these Antarctican colonial settlements? How do they function materially, ideologically, legally, and, important for this article, spatially? This article explores the anatomy of two of the oldest and most populous of these spaces, Mawson and McMurdo stations: it attends to their physical environments and to the geopolitical epistemologies that shape them; it is thus a study of two distinct Antarctican spatialities. This article is part of a larger endeavor to account for the heterogeneous cultural geographies of the polar south. It works towards a definition of contemporary colonialism in its Antarctican context. In a previously-uninhabited continent governed by scientific internationalism, yet subject to disputed territorial claims and conflicting geopolitical spaces, colonialism takes on specific localized forms; this article attends to the unique colonial spatialities of two key Antarctican settlements.

KeywordsAntarctica; Colonialism; Spatiality
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440601. Cultural geography
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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