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Falling off the Map: South Africa, Antarctica and Empire, c. 1919-59
Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. (Arcum)
2015 (English)In: Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, ISSN 0308-6534, E-ISSN 1743-9329, Vol. 43, no 2, 267-291 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the first half of the twentieth century, despatches about the coldest corner of the British Empire were circulated to three, sometimes four, of its southern neighbours under the British crown: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Falklands. Of these four, South Africa seemed the least interested in Antarctica, despite the keen interest of some influential individuals and a strategy of bringing Antarctica into the imperial fold through British dominions that were proximate to Antarctica. In this context, we ask how South Africa viewed itself in relation to the Antarctic to the south and the British metropole to the north. We discuss the key activities that connected South Africa to Antarctica-whaling and weather forecasting. Moreover, we consider some of the enterprising plans for a South African National Antarctic expedition, and what these plans reveal of South Africa's perception of itself as a southern country. This article interlinks with a growing scholarship that is critical of treating Antarctic history as politically and culturally isolated, including showing how the relatively simple natural and political ecology of the Antarctic can throw into relief multiple national and international concerns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 43, no 2, 267-291 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103224DOI: 10.1080/03086534.2014.982409ISI: 000353413600005OAI: diva2:812573
Available from: 2015-05-19 Created: 2015-05-18 Last updated: 2016-08-22

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van der Watt, Lize-Marie
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