Chapter 8. The politics of place names: a summation


  • Urban Wråkberg UiT The Arctic University of Norway



Franz Josef Land, polar exploration, Oslo NSF workshop, Kong Karls Land, Svalbard, Spitsbergen


Remarks at the conclusion of a workshop, sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, and held in Oslo, Norway, from 12-13 May 2015, to discuss the historic place names of the High Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land.  Discussed are new approaches to toponymic research suggested at the workshop, as well as perspective based in the author’s research on the toponymic history of Kong Karls Land in Svalbard.

Author Biography

Urban Wråkberg, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Urban Wråkberg is professor of Northern Studies at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. He conducts research on social, political and scientific issues of the north, with a focus on the Euroarctic and the borderlands of the Barents Region, i.e. the norther counties of Norway, Sweden, Finland and of the north-west of Russia. He has published in English, Swedish, Norwegian, and Russian on the history and ideology of polar exploration. Urban’s work includes particularly influential articles on toponymic studies in the polar regions such as “Delineating a Continent of Ice and Snow: Cartographic Claims of Knowledge and Territory in Antarctica in the 19th and Early 20th Century,” and “The Politics of Naming: Contested Observations and the Shaping of Geographical Knowledge.”