Call for Chapters: A Companion to Arctic Cinema

Luis Rocha Antunes's picture
Call for Publications
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, Film and Film History, Indigenous Studies

Editors Emma Vestrheim and Luis R. Antunes are pleased to announce the preparation of A Companion to Arctic Cinema (under contract with Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 2018) and to ask for expressions of interest in contributions to the book.

A Companion to Arctic Cinema is a collection of original essays authored by experts and leading scholars in a range of topics that provide a comprehensive overview of the history and variety of forms of films made in the Arctic regions of the globe.
Major contributions have recently been made that encourage us to appreciating the cultural, aesthetic and intellectual importance as well as the timeliness of Arctic Cinema. Arctic Cinema is not only a geographically limited form of cinema nor any of kind of creative and cultural movement with limited conceptual importance. On the contrary, issues of liminality, identity, ecology as well as issues of race, gender, genre and politics raised by Arctic Cinema are strong enough to place it at the forefront of contemporary discussions on film. Our first and foremost goals with the publication of this Companion to Arctic Cinema is to create schoalry interest and appreciation for the depth and complexity of the ontological issues that guide cinematic creation in the Arctic regions of the globe.
Anne Stenport and Scott Makenzie deserve the credits of coining the concept of Arctic Cinema and developing the first frames of reference on different typologies and issues connected to Arctic film. Stenport’s and Makenzie’s work on Arctic Cinema is an important contribution and impulse just as much as it is an invitation for us to expand its multiple layers, branches and complexities that can only be fully addressed through the work of a range of film and culture scholars that can comprehend the various issues that give substance to Arctic Cinema. Despite the important contributions already made through several publications on Arctic cinema, much is yet to be done. Arctic cinema is still often considered a subdivision of Nordic cinema, and this Companion to Arctic Cinema assumes the responsibility to contribute to a broader understanding of Arctic Cinema that gives it its deserved place and autonomy within film studies. As result of the Symposium on Arctic Cinema that the editors of this Companion organized at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Institute for Comparative Research on Human Culture and the Department of Art and Media Studies, we managed to gather an impressive array of papers and discussions around various topics related to Arctic Cinema and we have been inspired and stimulated to publish this Companion to Arctic Cinema as a way to offer new research and a comprehensive overview of the topics for film and media scholars but also for a wider audience of readers spanning from different disciplines related to Arctic studies. The vision guiding this Companion to Arctic Cinema is based on our belief that Arctic Cinema is not just a sub-division within Nordic cinema, but an object of research with ontological, and why not ecological, importance and autonomy in the context of film studies.
   This Companion to Arctic Cinema seeks to take advantage of this extremely timely topic of research. Our goal is to gather scholars with research interests connected to Arctic forms of cinema with the aim of promoting a discussion and presenting this idea of Arctic Cinema in relation to an ecologic ethnography of the Nordic regions of the globe. The Arctic has recently been subject of interest within scientific fields, but it has not received the same degree of attention from film studies. This will, however, change and we believe it is imperative to include film studies in the academic discussions leading to a deeper understanding of the Arctic, since it is our conviction that film has a potential to make use of its aesthetic and experiential qualities to trace the identity of the Arctic in angles that can appeal to film scholars, anthropologists, literature scholars and other fields of cultural studies.
        Arctic Cinema gives expression to an eco-ethnography that represents, through different film genres and modes, how local and regional cultures but also geography and climate have been depicted by film and translated into film aesthetics. Some directors, such as Jan Troell and Knut Erik Jensen, have revealed the Arctic in captivating new ways, showing that the Arctic is not about snow and ice alone but about how local cultures relate to those sensory elements. Moreover, the Arctic has a history that is not exclusively environmental but is cultural and ethnographic too. There are numerous aspects why Arctic Cinema is such a strong and emergent line of research on the fields of film and ethnographic studies. The main reason is that it results from a confluence of elements that function in two ways. One one hand, the Arctic Cinema serves as an ethnographic investigation of its local communities. One the other hand, it projects those cultural and ethnographic elements onto a global context. Film is a privileged medium to record many of the experiential aspects of the Arctic and it is through the authorial language of some of the directors from the Arctic Cinema that those experiential aspects find a global projection and reach audiences that may never have been acquainted with the Arctic but are nevertheless exposed to it in its cinematic form.
        Due to the privileged geographical position that the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, as an institution, occupies within the Nordic context, we have managed to establish a number of contacts and expand a considerable network with scholars that have been dealing with films made above the Arctic circle. We believe the first Companion to Arctic Cinema will be an opportunity to gather the first globally comprehensive study of Arctic Cinema with studies from scholars based in the regions of Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Finland, Russia and Sweden.

DEADLINE: Please submit an abstract (300 words) and a short biographical note to and to by no later than January 31st.
Chapter will be between 5000 and 7000 words.

Submit any queries to or

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

Thank you and best wishes,
Emma Vestrheim and Luis R. Antunes

Contact Info: 

Emma Vestrheim, Cinema Scandinavia (

Luis R. Antunes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (

Contact Email: