SH-201 The History of Svalbard (6 ECTS)

Photo: Thor Inge Vollan/UNIS

Reading list

ID:
SH-201
CREDITS:
6 ECTS
START DATE:
January 24, 2022
END DATE:
February 7, 2022
COURSE PERIOD:
Spring semester (afternoon course in January/February), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Lecture summaries; Ca. 20 pages and copies of slides from the 10 lectures. Additional reading of choice (self-study); Ca. 250 pages
COURSE COSTS:
None
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
5/ - students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
All written, printed, and digital material

INSTRUCTORS:

Thor Bjørn Arlov, historiker NTNU/UNIS.
Thor Bjørn Arlov
Adjunct Associate Professor

Course requirements:

This course is open to all enrolled students at UNIS, and to the Longyearbyen public. Only UNIS students (including Arctic Nature Guide students) are allowed to sit the exam.

Academic content:

The point of departure of the course is the gradual colonization and exploration of the circumpolar Arctic from pre-historic times until the modern period. The course discusses early exploitation of Svalbard as a resource frontier with emphasis on whaling and hunting as well as economic activity in the modern era, first and foremost mining and large-scale tourism. An overriding perspective is the interaction between man and the environment through nearly 400 years of resource harvesting.

The history of science on Svalbard will be outlined from its early beginnings in the 18th century until the present, including the more spectacular polar expeditions. Political history includes the question of sovereignty and the emergence of a management regime, local governance and the role of Svalbard in a geopolitical context.

The development of Russian and Norwegian local communities is covered, and in particular the local history of Longyearbyen.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • have a comprehensive overview of Svalbard’s history from its discovery in 1596 until the present day, covering main aspects of economic and scientific activity, politics, social and cultural development.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • have acquired a basic understanding of historical thinking and applied historical method.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • have acquired a wider cultural context for and a historical perspective on their disciplinary studies and life in Svalbard
  • have basic training in critical assessment of source material to form balanced judgment.

Learning activities:

The course extends over two weeks. The course runs Monday–Friday afternoons.

Self-study, ca. 250 pages of relevant literature (see suggested reading list). A web-based written exercise must be approved to sit the exam. During the course there will be a guided visit to Svalbard Museum.

Total lecture hours: 20 h
Excursions: 1 voluntary museum visit

Compulsory learning activities:

At least 80% attendance at lectures. One web-based written exercise.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
 Written exam  3 hours  100%

 

Application deadline: This course cannot be applied for separately.

UNIS students should register online (see instructions in your e-mail). Others: No pre-registration necessary, just show up on the first lecture.

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The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Student inquiries: study@unis.no
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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