The Fictional North

full name / name of organization: 
Sue Matheson, University College of the North, Manitoba, Canada
contact email: 

The University College of the North invites submissions for an upcoming conference,
The Fictional North, to be held at The Pas Campus in The Pas, Manitoba, March 30-
April 1, 2010.

Iconic images of the North, the relationship of North to South, and ethnographic models
of "Northernness" often promote political and cultural paradigms from elsewhere. At
best they reveal little about the North or Northerners; at worst they may be downright
misleading. Ironically, Western culture has enshrined North as that direction in relation
to which all others are defined, yet its topography eludes definition. North is not one but
a number of Netherlands; and like all frontiers, the North is in its essence imaginative, its
being magicked out of ice and snow, muskeg and tundra. Storytelling is its generative
principle, the activity through which the North, and Northerners, call themselves into
being. This year, the Fifth Annual UCN Conference invites presentations from
disciplines that investigate the fictional North. Together, let us explore North in terms of
the marvellous, the mysterious, the mythological, and the merely untrue.
Abstracts, papers or stories are invited on any aspect of the following topics: Tall Tales
and the North; The Lure of Gold in the North; Northern Storytelling; Fictions about the
Aboriginal North; Ice and Snow; Animals and the North; The Ethnographic North;
Northern Histories; Northern Stereotypes / Northern Icons; (Hi)stories and Travelogues
of Northern Exploration; Northern Myths and Legends; Hollywood's North; Mysticism and
the North; Northern Tragedies; The North and Comedy; The Supernatural North;
Northern Documentaries.
It is anticipated that selected papers will be published as a compilation of conference
proceedings. Proposals for both individual and panel presentations are welcome.
Abstracts of 250 words (with accompanying biographical information of no more than
one page) should be submitted by mail, fax or email by January 15, 2010 to:
Sandra Barber
University College of the North
Faculty of Arts and Science
504 Princeton Drive
Thompson, Manitoba R8N 0A5
Fax: (204) 677-6736