Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Rockwell Kent and Early 1930’s Greenland: A Comparative View of Environmental, Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Greenland (Award# 1524176)

PI: Defibaugh, Denis (dldpph@rit.edu)
Phone: (585) 475.7525 
Institute/Department: Rochester Institute of Technology,  
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Colleen Strawhacker (colstraw@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences |

Project Web Site(s):
Data: http://scholarworks.rit.edu/
Data: http://www.arkiv.gl/
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=15...
Data: https://www.groenlandica.gl/web/arena

Science Summary:
This project combines visual, historical, and anthropological methodologies to approach social, cultural and environmental change in four Greenlandic communities. The project centers around the work of Rockwell Kent, an American artist and writer, who resided in Greenland in the early 1930s and produced photographs, art, and literature about his time in the country. Kent’s rare historic lantern slides, not viewed in Greenland since their production, will be displayed and discussed with contemporary community members in the four locations where they were originally taken, Illorsuit, Sisimiut, Nuuk, and Uummannaq. Community members will be interviewed about Kent and changes that have occurred in these communities since the 1930s. In keeping with Arctic Social Sciences Program initiatives, the project provides comparative study, research partnerships, and educational and interactive collaboration with community residents. Workshops will be held with students in each community, during which pupils will be taught photographic techniques to produce their own images. PI Denis Defibaugh, RIT Professor of Photography, in collaboration with Co-PIs Jette Rygaard, Lecturer in Literature and Media at Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland), Axel Jeremiassen, PhD student at Ilisimatusarfik, and Susan Vanek, PhD student in anthropology at Binghamton University will produce an ethnographic study with still photographs and video incorporating both oral histories and archival materials. The research will provide insight into how Inuit communities in Greenland define themselves during a period of rapid social, cultural, and environmental change incurred by modernization efforts, political transitions, economic shifts, and the construction of regional and national identities. The project will further the development of community-based participatory research methodologies and will have a crucial student research training and capacity-building aspect in the form of collaboration with Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland.

Logistics Summary:
This project centers around the work of Rockwell Kent, an American artist and writer, who resided in Greenland in the early 1930s and produced photographs, art, and literature about his time in the country. Kent’s rare historic lantern slides, not viewed in Greenland since their production, will be displayed and discussed with contemporary community members in the four locations where they were originally taken, Illorsuit, Sisimiut, Nuuk, and Uummannaq. During 2016 and 2017 a field team of 1-4 will conduct numerous workshops with students and semi-structured interviews with community members, both about Kent and about changes that have occurred in these communities since Kent last visited in the 1930s. Then in 2018 a field team of two will meet with students that participated in pervious workshops in Sisimiut, Uummannaq, and Aasiaat (the majority of relocated families from Illorsuit were moved to Uummannaq and Aasiaat). Researchers will focus on working with the students to craft captions for their photos and discuss their communities and experiences with the project. They will also visit the museum and archive in Ilulissat to research Rockwell Kent material.

CPS will provide intra-Greenland travel between the communities, lodging in Sisimuit, Uummannaq, and Ilulissat (and lodging, support and food in Kangerlussuaq if required due to weather delays). All other logistics, including lodging in Aasiaat, will be provided and arranged by the researchers from the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2016Greenland - Illorsuit05 / 25 / 2016 10 / 17 / 20165
2016Greenland - Kangerlussuaq03 / 08 / 2016 08 / 15 / 20165
2016Greenland - Nuuk04 / 21 / 2016 11 / 10 / 20164
2016Greenland - Sisimiut06 / 03 / 2016 10 / 21 / 20165
2016Greenland - Uummannaq05 / 20 / 2016 10 / 17 / 20165
2017Greenland - Illorsuit03 / 08 / 2017 03 / 21 / 20171
2017Greenland - Kangerlussuaq04 / 04 / 2017 08 / 17 / 20172
2017Greenland - Nuuk02 / 02 / 2017 06 / 12 / 20172
2017Greenland - Sisimiut05 / 16 / 2017 05 / 26 / 20173
2017Greenland - Uummannaq02 / 27 / 2017 04 / 03 / 20171
2018Greenland - Kangerlussuaq06 / 30 / 2018 08 / 23 / 20181
2018Greenland - Nuuk05 / 07 / 2018 05 / 21 / 20182
2018Greenland - Sisimiut04 / 27 / 2018 05 / 04 / 20182
2018Greenland - Uummannaq05 / 07 / 2018 05 / 14 / 20182
 


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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "1524176", IPY = "ALL" 
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