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A History of Antarctica in Twenty Novels

13 Dec 2017
Bentleys, University of Canterbury

Antarctica is the subject of a surprisingly large volume of literature. Since the turn of the nineteenth century, when humans began to venture into high southern latitudes in significant numbers, hundreds of novels have been written in response to the region. They vary markedly, from ‘literary’ pieces by acclaimed writers through to those that are unabashedly commercial.

This presentation offers a new perspective on the history of humanity’s relationship with the far south. Focusing on twenty novels published in English over the last 250 years, chosen for their influence, their historical significance or simply their quirkiness, this talk will give listeners a small taste of the richness and diversity of Antarctic fiction.


Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth Leane holds an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship split between the School of Humanities and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. With degrees in both science and literature, she is interested in building bridges between disciplines, and particularly in bringing the insights of the humanities to the study of the Antarctic. She is the author of South Pole: Nature and Culture, Antarctica in Fiction, and Reading Popular Physics and the co-editor of Considering Animals and Imagining Antarctica. A past recipient of an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship, Elizabeth is currently co-chair of the Humanities and Social Science Expert Group within the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and Arts Editor of The Polar Journal

When is this event on?
Ticket info

Free event

Doors open 5:30pm, talk begins 6:00pm

Presented by

The Antarctic Office

Where can I find this event?

90 Ilam Road