Departmental Speaker: Dr. Klaus Dodds

Professor Klaus Dodds from Royal Holloway, University of London gave a talk titled: Problematising icy geopolitics? Elemental, metaphorical and volumetric reverberations on Monday, September 9, 2019 to the department of Geography and Political Science (photos below).

Professor Dodds works on geopolitics and security, media/popular culture, ice studies and the international governance of the Antarctic and Arctic. His books include: The World is Not Enough: The Geographies, Genders and Geopolitics of James Bond (Palgrave Macmillan), Scramble for the Poles? The Contemporary Geopolitics of the Arctic and Antarctic (Polity), International Politics and Film (Columbia University Press), and Geopolitics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press). Professor Dodds was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for his achievements in the fields of geopolitics and human geography. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society, and and Honorary Fellow of British Antarctic Survey.






This paper develops further interrogation into ‘icy geopolitics’ and what it might tell us about how we treat substances like ice as geopolitical matter. It brings together various literatures that speak to ice as a substance and substantial matter. Second, ice is represented and experienced in a multitude of ways, from oral cultures of indigenous communities living and working in the Arctic and mountainous environments. This matters again because ice as metaphor is often complicitous with the settler colonial framing of empty, unstable and ungoverned spaces. The paper takes this icy interrogation and brings it into contact with the experiences and struggles of Arctic peoples and states alongside non-Arctic states seek to press their interests in the midst of ongoing melting and thawing.  Icy geopolitics is being reconfigured; melting is said to be ‘triggering’ further expressions of territorial colonization and resource extraction and/or commitment towards indigenous autonomy, stewardship and conservation. The territorial volume is being put to work while at the same time it is being melted, thawed, opened and closed by human and more than human forces.