skip to primary navigation skip to content

John Woitkowitz, MA, MA, PhD

John Woitkowitz, MA, MA, PhD

Research Associate

I am a historian of the Northern and Arctic regions, researching the history of scientific networks and knowledge communities, representational practices, and the construction of Arctic imaginaries.



  • October 2018 – present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, ERC Arctic Cultures (PI: Dr. Richard C. Powell)


  • September 2011 – April 2018: Ph.D., International History, University of Calgary, Canada
  • September 2008 – July 2009: M.A., Diplomatic History, Ohio State University, United States
  • October 2004 – August 2011: Magister Artium, North American Studies, Modern History, and Latin American Studies, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany


As a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the project ERC Arctic Cultures: Sites of Collection in the Formation of the European and American Northlands (PI: Dr Richard Powell), I examine the history of theories of an open polar sea and the ideas of a mythical land beyond the Arctic seas. I focus on the work of German cartographer August Heinrich Petermann and his role in the conceptualization of Arctic exploration, the representation of knowledges, and their influence upon the imagination of the Arctic Ocean across audiences in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Project website:



  • Woitkowitz, John, "Taking the Long View: Arctic Relations and the Historical Imperative,", February 6, 2019.
  • Woitkowitz, John, "Die Arktis trotzt dem Konfliktmythos,", January 28, 2018.
  • Woitkowitz, John, "The Northern Education of Lester B. Pearson," Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien, Vol. 37, no. 1 (2017): 77-98.
  • Woitkowitz, John, "Imagining Northern and Arctic Canada and Canadian Diplomacy in the Early Cold War," 197-211, in Dr. Luigi Bruti-Liberati (Ed.), Interpreting Canada: New Perspectives from Europe (Brno: European Network for Canadian Studies, 2012).

Book reviews

  • Review author of Gordon W. Smith, A Historical and Legal Study of Sovereignty in the Canadian North: Terrestrial Sovereignty, 1870-1939, ed. P. Whitney Lackenbauer (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2014), in Zeitschrift für KanadaStudien 36, no. 1 (2016): 178-80.
  • Review author of P. Whitney Lackenbauer, The Canadian Rangers. A Living History (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2013), in British Journal for Canadian Studies 27, no 1 (2014): 111-12.
  • Review author of Shelagh D. Grant, Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2010), in Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 31, no. 1 (2011): 133-34.


  • May – June 2015: Sessional Instructor, "The Age of Totalitarianism," University of Calgary
  • September – December 2012: Teaching Assistant, "The Contemporary World," University of Calgary
  • September – December 2011: Teaching Assistant, "The Contemporary World," University of Calgary

External activities

  • Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking Countries (GKS)
  • German Association for American Studies (DGfA)
  • German Studies Association (GSA)
  • Canadian Historical Association (CHA)
  • American Historical Association (AHA)