News Archive 2009-2018

Bowdoin Scholars Among Those Exploring Polar Connections, Past and Present (Chronicle of Higher Education) Archives

American flag and sledges at the North Pole in April 1909. Photograph by Robert E. Peary or Matthew Henson.

American flag and sledges at the North Pole in April 1909. Photograph by Robert E. Peary or Matthew Henson.

Interest in global warming and a “postmodern nostalgia for an imagined age of heroism” have melded to yield an increase in the number of books devoted to the history of American and European polar exploration.

Coverage of the upswing by The Chronicle of Higher Education notes work by the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, specifically how Susan Kaplan, the Arctic Museum’s director and Genevieve LeMoine, curator and registrar, use logbooks, photographs and archaeological data from Robert Peary’s Arctic expeditions to better understand how Peary and his colleagues interacted with and affected the local Inuit population.

“Suddenly you stop and go, here is a whole detailed record that people have taken while they’re in the Arctic, so these are really valuable records,” says Kaplan in the article. “And putting them together and working with paleoclimate people, suddenly these records can start giving you insight into how variable was the climate, what were the average temperatures, and that just adds to the records from things like the Greenland ice core.”

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