Arctic trophy hunters, tourism and masculinities, 1827-1914
Trophy hunting in the Arctic happened in an intersection between tourism, expeditions and hunting. This study contributes to a discrete history of masculinity within the context of trophy hunting organized from North Norway and to a broader understanding of Arctic masculinity in general. As trophy hunting expeditions are primarily a male, even masculinist, tourist practice, an analysis from a gender perspective is unavoidable. By taking an empirical approach I investigate different performances of masculinity in written accounts of Arctic trophy-hunting expeditions from the period 1827–1914. The use of masculinity as a pivot demonstrates that a modification of the prevailing perception of Arctic masculinity is necessary. While the general understanding is dominated by an emphasis on physical strength, roughness, ingenuity, restless energy and strong will to self-realization, qualities connected to the traditional values and knowledge of trappers, sailors and explorers, my analysis shows that trophy hunting introduced aristocratic ideals such as gentlemen’s sport, self- discipline, hunting morals, care for nature and distribution of knowledge to their home communities. Trophy hunting in the Arctic made possible performances of different forms of masculinity, not only the conquest and mastery of nature, but also the interest in and care for nature. Women also accompanied as family members and hunters, and women took part in the hunt more often than has been commonly noted.
Manuscript version. Published version available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08003831.2016.1238173