A podcast miniseries investigating why and how ‘monsters’ and ‘monstrosity’ have always influenced the ways in which we have imagined the Arctic and the Far North.  

Each part will be released over a period of three weeks, check below the part’s description and links.

Part 1: Introducing some of the ‘monsters’ that have, traditionally, been located in the Arctic and the Far North, Monica Germanà explores different sources to discuss whether the Gothic is an appropriate cultural reference to read these representations.  

Part 2: As the second episode zooms in on the West Inuit tale of ‘Skeleton Woman’ and some of the many Western adaptations it has inspired, questions of cultural appropriation and deterritorialization come to the forefront of this analysis of the Gothic, the Far North, and the Arctic.  

Part 3: The issue of cultural appropriation, along with considerations about landscape, language, home, and belonging are the focus of an original interview with Gerda Stevenson, award-winning writer, director, singer-songwriter, and author of ‘Skeleton Wumman’.  

Tune in on 6th October for the next episode!


[in order of appearance] 

Dr Monica Germanà – Host, Researcher and Producer  

Tom Muir – voice actor (James Wallace; William Traill Dennison)  

Robbie Hail – voice actor (Journal of a Whaling Expedition)  

Edith Pieperhoff, Skeleton Woman (Red Kite Animations, 2005)  

Olivia Wyatt, Skeleton Woman (2020)  

Sarah Van Den Boom, La Femme Squelette (Papy3D: 2009)  

Maranatha Hay, Skeleton Woman (US Icons: 2017)  

Kristy Strange – voice actor (Mary Carpenter)  

Gerda Stevenson – voice actor (Skeleton Woman) and interview  

Cover Image – ‘Skeleton Woman Roses’ by 32508391 (Pixabay)  

Music by Julius H.  (Pixabay)  


[listed in the order in which they are mentioned in the recordings]    

Claudius Ptolomaeus, Cosmographia (Ulm: Holle,1482). Inc 56 (Special Collections, Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen University)  

Joseph Turner, The Bell Rock Lighthouse (1812)  

Caspar David Friedrich, The Sea of Ice (1824)  

Olaus Magnus, Carta Marina (marine map) (Rome, 1539)  

James Wallace, A Description of the Isles of Orkney (Edinburgh: John Reid, 1693)  

William Traill Dennison, ‘Orkney Folklore. Sea Myths’. The Scottish Antiquary, or, Northern Notes and Queries , 1891, Vol. 5, No. 20 (1891), pp. 167-171 (168).  

Alexander MacDonald, A Narrative of Some Passages in the History of Eenoolooapik [1841] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)  

‘Journal of a Whaling Expedition from Aberdeen to the Davis Straits’, (Special Collections, Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen University, 1831)  

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein: The 1818 Text, Contexts, Criticism, ed by J. Paul Hunter (New York: W.W. Norton & Company: [1818] 2012)  

Edwin Landseer, Man Proposes God Disposes (1864)  

Mary Carpenter, ‘“Skeleton Woman”, ‘Woman of the Sea’”: Stories’, in Echoing Silence: Essays on Arctic Narrative, ed. by John Moss (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1997), pp. 225-230.  

Gerda Stevenson, ‘Skeleton Wumman’, in Letting Go: A Timeline of Tales (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2021), pp. 155-166 (156).

The Storm Watchers (2022)

Quines (Luath Press, 2018)

Tomorrow’s Feast (Luath Press, 2023)  

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women who Run with the Wolves (London: Rider, 1992)  

Rob Stewart, Sharkwater (Freestyle Releasing, 2006)  

Hugh Brodie, Landscapes of Silence (Faber, 2006)  

Margaret Fay Shaw, Folksongs and Folklore of South Uist (1955)