2021 SCAR SC-HASS Biennial Conference

The Global Antarctic
Photo provided by The National Institute of Polar Research

The Global Antarctic

Message from the Convenor

I would like to welcome all Antarctic humanities and social science scholars and stakeholders to the 2021 biennial academic conference of the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS) under Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). For the first time in its history, the SC-HASS biennial conference comes to Asia, and Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) is proud to host the conference, back-to-back with the 14th Polar Law Symposium (November 21-23) .

Despite the continuing uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, vaccinations, and international travel restrictions, following a concrete request from the Chief Officers of the Committee, Kobe PCRC has decided to hold the conference initially in hybrid format, but in any event, as a last resort, in entirely online format. The hybrid conference will consist of a limited number of in-person live events at Kobe, Japan, and several online opportunities such as online poster/PPT presentations, online live seminars broadcast through internet, online panel discussions recorded for later on-demand viewing on the website, etc. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is considering carefully the logistical and financial feasibilities for the details of the hybrid conference system. The LOC will finalize the conference format as well as a general scheme of the conference program in late September, taking into consideration the number of abstracts received and accepted and the participants’ preferences regarding their means of participation.

The abstract submission portal has opened on June 1 and will remain open until August 2, so please be prepared to engage in this exciting biennial event of the SC-HASS. There will be no fee for submitting an abstract.

With the agreement of the Chief Officers, we now have decided to waive registration fees for both in-person and online participation in the conference. (updated July 26, 2021)

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Convenor, 2021 SCAR SC-HASS biennial conference
Professor and Director, Kobe University PCRC

Theme and Events

The Global Antarctic

The conference theme is “The Global Antarctic,” chosen to signify both the global nature of the conference this year – with participants physically located in all parts of the world – and the diversity of connections between Antarctica and people around the globe. As is customary for SC-HASS meetings, we welcome proposals from all geographic and disciplinary perspectives, and from scholars of all career stages.

Highlight of the Event

Lewander Lecture by Professor Cornelia Lüdecke

Keynote Lecturer

Prof. Dr. (em.) Cornelia Lüdecke
University of Hamburg
The founder of the SCAR Action Group on History

The main keynote lecture at each SC-HASS conference honours the memory of Lisbeth Lewander (1956-2012), a pioneering scholar of gender, politics, and history in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Lewander Lecture for 2021 will be given by Professor Cornelia Lüdecke. In addition to serving for many years as Professor of History of Natural Sciences at the University of Hamburg, Cornelia was the founder of the SCAR Action Group on History in 2004, which developed into the SCAR Expert Group in History, and became a forerunner to the current SCAR Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences. Cornelia’s many publications have focused on German activity in both polar regions, the history of Antarctic exploration, and the history of oceanography. Cornelia will use her lecture to reflect on the growth of Antarctic humanities and social sciences in the past twenty years and on the importance of building a research community. The lecture will be broadcast online. 


Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences

SC-HASS is a community of researchers working on diverse aspects of the humanities and social sciences as they relate to Antarctica. Its membership includes historians, legal scholars, tourism scholars, anthropologists, literature scholars, archaeologists, musicologists, political scientists, and many others. Previous SC-HASS conferences have been held in locations such as Ushuaia (Argentina), Hobart (Australia), Cambridge (UK), Fort Collins (USA), and Stellenbosch (South Africa). A key goal of the Committee is to help strengthen local and regional networks in Antarctic humanities and social sciences. As such, we hope that by meeting in Kobe the Committee will contribute to this growth in Japan and in East Asia, while also providing an important meeting space for scholars at the leading edge of international research.

About the 14th Polar Law Symposium

To interested polar legal and policy scholars

Kobe PCRC will be hosting the 14th Polar Law Symposium also in hybrid format on November 21-23, 2021. Polar Law Symposium is an annual academic gathering of scholars, students, indigenous representatives and practitioners to discuss the international law and policy challenges faced by both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Please do consider submitting an abstract also to the Symposium as well as staying on in Kobe for a few more days if you plan to physically attend the conference.


Abstract Submission Portal

Abstract Submission Portal has opened on June 1 and will remain open until August 4.
The Submission Portal has been closed as of GMT 2359 on August 4.Thank you for your submission.

Please ensure that you read the Call for Abstracts before submitting an abstract.
Please use the model abstract format and send it in PDF through the Abstract Submission Portal.

For any inquiry regarding the abstracts,
please contact the Chair of the Academic Planning Committee:



Registration is planned to open from the end of September 2021.
With the agreement of the Chief Officers, we now have decided to waive registration fees for both in-person and online participation in the conference. (updated July 26, 2021)

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The Global Antarctic
2021 SCAR SC-HASS Biennial Conference


Academic Planning Committee

Peder ROBERTS (University of Stavanger)

Local Organizing Committee

Conference Secretary
Wakako MASUDA (Kobe PCRC)


For inquiries:

Photo provided by The National Institute of Polar Research