After Ice
280 pages, 6 x 9
20 b&w photos, 3 maps
Release Date:01 Oct 2024

After Ice

Cold Humanities for a Warming Planet

UBC Press

As the climate warms and the hydrological cycle is disrupted, ice is no longer a reliable feature of higher latitudes or winter seasons. What are the human and non-human consequences of the planet’s waning capacity to cool? In other words, what comes after ice?

This collection examines the implications of the end of consistent freezing and thawing cycles. The cryosphere traditionally refers to areas where water is solid, such as places on the planet of snow, ice, and permafrost. Today, a new cryosphere is emerging that encompasses experiences generated by the uncertain horizons of melting ice, and whose future is increasingly determined by human behaviour. In this context, After Ice gathers experts in a wide range of disciplines – environmental history, game studies, Indigenous studies – to articulate aspects of the cold humanities. They investigate ice and its dynamic properties as a foundational element of Indigenous communities in the Arctic, as a commodity with technological and political value, and as a reflection of environmental change and the passage of time.

This original, thought-provoking exploration envisions ice not only as a phase of water but also as a milieu for semantic and embodied sensemaking. It asks us to consider how to define, describe, and materially characterize our warming world.

Researchers and students of the environmental humanities, media and cultural studies, environmental history, northern studies, and new materialisms will find this an important addition to their libraries.

After Ice will be useful to open a conversation about melting materialities under changing climates. Dolly Jørgensen, coeditor of Northscapes: History, Technology, and the Making of Northern Environments
In putting forward the concept of the cold humanities, this book makes a provocative contribution to the field of ice- and cold-related environmental humanities. It is full of excellent scholarship on cold themes and cold places. Adrian Howkins, coeditor of the Cambridge History of the Polar Regions

Rafico Ruiz is currently the associate director of research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Paula Schönach is the senior advisor in sustainability at the Aalto University School of Business and the director of the CLIMATE-research program of the Strategic Research Council, both in Finland. Rob Shields is the Henry Marshall Tory Research Chair and a professor of human geography and sociology at the University of Alberta.

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