Annaliese Jacobs F'12

Annaliese  Jacobs
University Associate
History and Classics

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2012
Doctoral Candidate
History
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Companions: Knowledge, Intimacy, and Empire in British Arctic Exploration, 1818-1859

This dissertation examines the networks of knowledge and intimacy crucial to early nineteenth century British Arctic exploration. It focuses on the complex web of “companions” —wives, indigenous guides, sailors, and brother officers—who navigated and narrated the Arctic from the 1820s to the 1850s. In the encounter with a harsh environment and extra-imperial space (as experienced and imagined) categories of race, class, and gender were unsettled, exposing the blurred boundaries between “public” and “private” in this most homosocial enterprise. These intertwined networks of knowledge and intimacy ultimately constructed a close association between polar exploration and British identity, one with enduring power for an imperial nation.