Students from the Arctic Studies Master Program at Université de Versailles – Saint-QuenJn-en-Yvelines UVSQ (France) together with Jun.-Prof. Joanna Kodzik (MIARC/UVSQ France) and Dr Sumarliði R. Ísleifsson (University of Iceland) have developed a project about historical sources concerning Indigenous and local food traditions experienced and told by European travelers, scholars, or missionaries as well as Icelanders themselves from the 17th -19th centuries.

Within the framework of the workshop Gateway to the Arctic X “Iceland Environments in a Changing World” held at Sudernes Science and Learning Centre in Iceland and co-organised with the German Polar Institute AWI, REKLIM and the Malaurie Institute, the students will give presentations focusing on book chapters written in English, German, and French about food in Sápmi, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Russia. Source material including well-known accounts such as Johannes Schefferus’ Lapponia (1673), David Cranz’s History of Greenland (1765, Engl. Tr. 1767), Niels
Horrebow’s Natural History of Iceland (1758), Isaac de La Peyrère’s Relation de l'Islande (1663) or Lucas Debes’ description of the Faroe Islands (1676) will be discussed in the context of the circulation of knowledge about Arctic food in early modern times.

The aim of the project is to provide students and participants with a better understanding of European views about the Arctic in the early modern period and to discuss different aspects of constructing knowledge about food in the Arctic like adaptation strategies to cold, health, perception of Indigenous peoples through the description of dietary practices, gender aspects, communal traditions of hospitality or maintaining traditional food production and preparation.

This project will connect past and contemporary discourses about the continuity of dietary practices while addressing the issue of new challenges to maintaining traditions in an entangled and fast-changing contemporary world.

If you want to join us on-line, please contact: