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New Book by Alumnus Shane McCorristine


Shane McCorristine’s cultural history of polar exploration, The Spectral Arctic (University College London Press), looks at the importance of dreams and ghosts in narratives of John Franklin’s attempt to navigate the Northwest Passage. In contrast to oft-told tales of heroism and disaster, this book reveals the hidden stories of dreaming explorers, frozen mummies, rescue balloons, Inuit shamans, and even entranced female clairvoyants who travelled to the Arctic in search of Franklin’s lost expedition. Through new readings of archival documents, exploration narratives, and fictional texts, McCorristine reflects on the complex ways that men and women actually thought about the far North in the past and draws attention to current cultural and political concerns surrounding the location of Franklin’s ships the Canadian Arctic. McCorristine began working on the book during his time as a fellow at the RCC.