This panel explores a multitude of lines in the North: e.g. seismic cutlines, pipelines, borders and fences, roads and railways, traplines. We want to address what such lines, often related to resource extraction, entail for Northerners (with emphasis on Indigenous people) and Arctic environment.
Northern and Arctic landscapes are commonly thought to be rural, pristine, and far from the dislocations of the global economy. In fact the Arctic has for over three hundred years been a resource frontier for metropolitan economies providing fur, oil, medicinal products and now hydrocarbons, uranium and heavy metals. This panel explores how local northerners, with a special emphasis on indigenous peoples, build their lives around the ecofacts of extractive industries. One of the profound effects of extractive expansion are the grids and boundaries that allow the movement of governmental, geological and mining machinery/laboratories or forbid access to places of natural or commercial interest. The panel invites papers on the "traplines" that northerners registered to broadcast and protect their tenure of sentient landscapes; the petrochemical seismic "cutlines" that criss-cross the North; the roads and rails of development that connect South and North; or the ethnohistories of parks, parcels, or areas of traditional-nature use. Following Anna Tsing (2015), Ann Laura Stoler (2016), and Donna Haraway (2016), the panel will query how disturbed or "ruined" landscapes can afford novel or unexpected relationships with the environment. It will also examine the difficult relations between lines that allow access and those that restrict access in places of massive appropriation of traditional lands.