PhD Student

Hanne Nielsen


Antarctica is unique in that is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) and is not ‘owned’ by any one nation. Despite this, and the environmental protection built into the ATS, Antarctica has been ‘sold’ in many ways, including via stories, sponsorship, and the use of symbolic tropes.’ This project involves semiotic interpretation of advertisements that feature Antarctica, and textual analysis of advertising brochures and web text. Incisive examples from a range of time periods (Heroic Era, 1950s and today) are used to address the following questions:

  • How have people used Antarctica as an end to achieve monetary goals through sponsorship?

  • How is Antarctica used symbolically to sell things that have nothing to do with the place itself?

  • What themes emerge from advertisements that feature Antarctica?

Gaining an understanding of how Antarctica has been ‘sold’ in various ways and used to facilitate a range of commercial transactions will provide an insight into the ways the continent has been imagined, conceptualised and represented. This in turn will help to create a better understanding of the ways Antarctica has been valued, in a variety of senses.


Associate Professor Dr Elizabeth Leane
Dr Julia Jabour
Dr Nicolá Goc


McColl Fellowship to American Geographical Society Library

SCAR Conference Travel Grant to “Antarctic Wilderness: Perspectives from History, the Humanities and the Social Sciences” Colorado, USA, May 2015

Environment Research Group Travel Grant University of Tasmania, May 2015

First Place in APECS Online Conference “New Perspectives in the Polar Sciences”, March 2015

Elite APA PhD Scholarship to work on project entitled “Antarctica: Not For Sale? Symbolic Representations of Antarctica in Advertising Media” at the University of Tasmania. 2014-2017

social & academic profiles

Authorised by the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre October 2019.

The ACE CRC was established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program.

core participants



other participants

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