The Anthropocene in Antarctica: Considering “Fixed” and “More Fluid” Perspectives of Analysis

  • Andrés Zarankin
  • Melisa A. Salerno


Starting in 1995, our research project seeks to learn more about human presence in Antarctica; in particular, though not exclusively, about sealers’ encounters with the South Shetland Islands in the nineteenth century. In this chapter we discuss the material dimension of the Anthropocene in Antarctica from an archaeological point of view. First, we describe our initial approaches to the subject, when we were still constrained by an orthodox understanding of the material world. Second, we critically reflect on our previous work and explore new possibilities for analysis, considering a challenging definition of the material world, bodily experience, and the interconnectedness of the webs of life.


Antarctica Anthropocene Material world Archaeology Webs of life 



We would like to thank Cristian Simonetti and Tim Ingold for discussing with us some of the ideas presented in this chapter. We also want to thank the members of the “Landscapes in White” research project for their help and support. Finally, we extend our gratitude to the Multidisciplinary Institute of History and Human Sciences (IMHICIHU-CONICET, Argentina), and UFMG and CNPq (PROANTAR project) for the financial support. Thanks to the editors of the volume, Marcos A. Torres Souza and Diogo Costa. Luisa Roedel has helped us with the submission of the chapter. The results presented here are our sole responsibility.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrés Zarankin
    • 1
  • Melisa A. Salerno
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Multidisciplinario de Historia y Ciencias Humanas, CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina

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