My White Infinity: Constructions of post-heroic Antarctica in a selection of first-hand narratives by women.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The 'Heroic Era' of Antarctic exploration is usually situated in the first quarter of the 20thcentury, or from around 1895 until the First World War. During this period the economicfocus of exploration shifted to one of 'geographic and scientific discovery'�, typically by'national land based exploring expeditions'� (Ferguson 1995: 5).For women, however, it could be argued that their 'Heroic Era' did not begin until the end ofthe 1940s, and continued into the 1970s. This is the era of female 'firsts': the first women towork in Antartica, to visit the South Pole, to traverse the continent on foot, and to travel astourists. Unlike the first 'Heroic Era', this one is characterised less by the physical challengesposed by the natural environment than by the man-made barriers of masculine andinstitutional resistance to women's presence.Beginning with Jennie Darlington's 1957 account of her year on the Antarctic Peninsula withthe Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, and ending with the 2015 The Antarctic Book ofCooking and Cleaning, this review discusses the ways in which the selected narratives bothunmake and remake the legacy of the Heroic Era as they represent Antarctica's changinghuman landscape, and the authors' presence within it.
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