Preaching to the Converted: Reflections on Lecturing in Antarctica

Ingo Heidbrink


Antarctic tourism, since its beginnings in the 1960s, is an ever-growing industry and the cruise-staff of nearly every cruise to Antarctica includes at least one historian. This article discusses whether lecturing on board an Antarctic cruise is merely entertainment for the passengers and a unique chance for the respective lecturer to travel to Antarctica or if lecturing about Antarctica in the specific surrounding should be considered as an integral element of research about Antarctic history as well as the history of the Southern Oceans. Based on personal experience, the author argues that lecturing on board an Antarctic cruise is an important element of Antarctic historical research as there is no permanent or native population and thus this might be the only way to bring the results of analytical historical research via an audience that cares about Antarctica into the larger societal discussion.

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