Conceptualizing the North




North, Northern Norway, Arctic, Donna Haraway, Artistic research, Co-creativity


In this article that opens and introduces the special issue Conceptualizing the North, we present our theoretical rationale behind the conceptualization(s) of the north presented both in our article and in the issue as a whole, as well as our approach to the co-creative peer review. Through new material feminist understanding of the north, we acknowledge our kin both past and present, and unfold a spectrum of possible understandings by looking at, reading through, hearing, experiencing, and sensing the north. Ultimately, the issue unites, rather than divides, scholarly and artistic approaches that simultaneously conceptualize and analyse the north.

Author Biographies

Kate Maxwell, Uit The Arctic University of Norway

Kate Maxwell is Professor of Music History, Theory, and Analysis at the University of Tromsø The Arctic University of Norway. Her research interests span both the medieval and the modern, and she is particularly interested in the visual aspects of music in different contexts. She has published on medieval music, popular music, notation, multimodality, gender, and cross-disciplinary music. She is also a clarinettist and graphic composer. She is currently working on the edited collection Queer Textures of the Past with David Carrillo-Rangel, and a book project entitled Music and the Pornographic Spectrum that considers eroticism and music in medieval manuscripts, opera, children's music, popular music, and internet pornography.

Lilli Mittner, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway

Lilli Mittner is trained as a musicologist and practices as a classical violinist. Currently she holds a postdoc position in feminist art intervention at the University of Tromsø The Arctic University of Norway. Lilli is broadly interested in equality issues in art making processes and how people create new spaces of possibilities through alternative perceptions of conventional social practices. In her project she addresses methodological challenges in artists’ practices of working with people living with dementia by diffracting the theoretical basis of art interventions with feminist theory and relational aesthetics. Her research is situated in a broader context of arts-based research and the humanities. Lilli’s scientific background touches upon the fields of history, sociology, pedagogy, ethnology, and psychology of music as well as media and communication studies.

Hanne Hammer Stien, Uit The Arctic University of Norway

Hanne Hammer Stien is Associate Professor in Art History at Academy of Arts and Vice-Director of The Arctic University Museum of Norway and Academy of Fine Arts, UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Her research interests are museology, the history and theory of photography, contemporary art, and Sámi art. Stien's most recent publication is Kunst som deling. Delingens kunst (Fagbokforlaget 2020), co-authored with Merete Jonvik, Eivind Røssaak, and Arnhild Sunnanå. Stien has also curated a number of exhibitions and art projects in public spaces, and she has worked as an art critic. She is a member the artistic advisory board of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), chair of the board of Kunstkritikk, a member of the board of research and development at the Arts Council Norway, and a member of the research group Worlding Northern Art (WONA). Stien is also part of the research project Urban Transformation in a Warming Arctic (URBTRANS), led by Tone Huse.


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How to Cite

Maxwell, Kate, Lilli Mittner, and Hanne Hammer Stien. 2020. “Conceptualizing the North”. Nordlit, no. 46 (December):1–11.