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AHRC 'Technologies of Polar Travel' WorkshopPonting image 136

AHRC 'Technologies of Polar Travel' WorkshopPonting image 136

September 5-6, 2007
at the Museum of the Scott Polar Research Institute,
University of Cambridge

Event 2 in The Material Culture of Polar Exploration workshops series

Supported by

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'Technologies of travel' are important for museums. They communicate to a wide range of public audiences a sense of narrative, excitement, and technical skill that play a large part in conveying the aura or even 'cult status' surrounding travel and exploration. But these technologies are problematic for curators, collectors and academics alike. Objects like snow tractors, skis, provisions, and writing implements, are traditionally organised as part of a vague 'Miscellaneous' category, seeming anomalous and individual, rather than fitting into existing, recognizable classification systems. This workshop, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will bring together curators, collectors, and academics to discuss new ways to conceptualise, organise, classify, and display these kinds of material artifacts.'

The workshops are intended to attract a cross-disciplinary audience from researchers, including research students, working in History and Philosophy of Science, History (including History of Art), Geography and Anthropology, as well as curators wishing to explore the museological significance of the artefacts under discussion, and the difficulties inherent in their classification. Participants will be encouraged to consider the multiple cultural resonances of the technologies of travel, the role of technologies in redefining mobility, spaces of exploration and the idea of polar field stations, not only as points of departure but as culturally representative entities.

Attendance at the workshop is free. However, you are kindly requested to register by sending an email to

Background to the workshop

Call for proposals / Register your interest (Registration is now closed)


Details of Participants and Abstracts

Useful links

Getting to the Scott Polar Research Institute

Accommodation in Cambridge