Þóra Pétursdóttir is Associate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. Her research combines contemporary archaeology, heritage studies and environmental humanities and draws mainly on the theoretical frameworks of New Matierialisms and Posthumanities. Her previous work has focused on (among other matters) the topic of material memory and suggested a more constructive understanding of processes of decay/ruination/fragmentation in heritage contexts. She has also explored understandings of the Anthropocene in archaeology and reflected on how climate change challenges archaeological thinking and practice. Her work has always transgressed and problematised the boundary between nature and culture. This divide, and the “nature of heritage” writ large, is also the focus of her current research where notions of sustainability and more-than-human ethics are of central concern. Þóra is the editor of Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past (with B. Olsen, 2014), After Discourse: Things, Affects, Ethics (with B. Olsen, M. Burström and C. Desilvey, 2020) and Heritage Eecologies (with T.R. Bangstad 2021). Þóra is currently affiliated with the research projects Unruly Heritage: Anarchaeology of the Anthropocene (The Arctic University of Norway), Heritage Experience Initiative (University of Oslo), My Favourite Things: Material Culture Archives, Cultural Heritage and Meaning (University of Iceland), Collecting Norden (UiO) and Gendering the Nordic Past (UiO). She is the PI of Relics of Nature.
Jamie Lorimer is Professor of Environmental Geography in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. His past research explores the histories, politics and cultures of wildlife conservation. Projects have ranged across scales and organisms – from elephants to hookworms. Jamie is the author of Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation after Nature (Minnesota, 2015) and The Probiotic Planet: Using Life to Manage Life (Minnesota, 2020). Probiotic Planet argues that a shift is underway in important parts of the Western world in which citizens and scientists are using life to manage life: reintroducing species and managing ecologies to deliver desired functions and services. Jamie has explored this shift in past work on rewilding, looking at the introduction of keystone species like beavers. His current research explores the social and environmental dimensions of livestock farming in the context of the concerns about the relationships between agriculture and global heating.
Emma Waterton is Professor in the Geographies of Heritage at Western Sydney University. She was a Research Councils UK (RCUK) Academic Fellow at Keele University from 2006–2010 and a DECRA Fellow at WSU from 2012–2016. Her interests in the field of heritage studies have developed across four key areas: (1) unpacking the complex set of relations that constitute the discourse of heritage and its erasures; (2) understanding heritage encounters via the application of affect theory; (3) pioneering experimental approaches to data capture; and (4) critically exploring the intersection between heritage and practices of social governance, particularly with regard to social inclusion and community engagement. She is author of the monographs Politics, Policy and the Discourses of Heritage in Britain (2010, Palgrave Macmillan), Heritage, Communities and Archaeology (co-authored with Laurajane Smith; 2009, Duckworth), The Semiotics of Heritage Tourism (co-authored with Steve Watson; 2014, Channel View Publications) and Geographies of Commemoration in a Digital World: Anzac @ 100 (co-authored with Danielle Drozdzewski and Shanti Sumartojo, forthcoming, Palgrave Pivot) and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Landscape Research.
Kyrre Kverndokk is Professor of Cultural Studies at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, at the University of Bergen, Norway. His past research explores the the practice and politics of Second World War memory, the history of folklore studies, the cultural history of natural disasters, and climate change temporalities. He has published widely, both academically and publicly, on the ethnography of climate change and on how understandings of climate crisis are realised through current discourses. Kverndokk is the author of the book Naturkatastrofer: En kulturhistorie/Natural Disasters: A Cultural History (2015) and editor of the volume Climate Change Temporalities: Explorations in Vernacular, Popular, and Scientific Discourse (2021). Kverndokk is the PI of the research project The Future is Now: Temporality and exemplarity in climate change discourses.
Caitlin DeSilvey is Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus, where she is Associate Director for Transdisciplinary Research in the Environment and Sustainability Institute. Her research into the cultural significance of material and ecological change has involved extensive collaboration with archaeologists, architects, ecologists, artists and others, and has informed new approaches in heritage practice, focused on accommodating process rather than securing preservation. Her monograph, Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving (UMP 2017), received the 2018 Historic Preservation Book Prize. Recent publications include After Discourse: Things, Affects, Ethics (Routledge 2020), an edited collection stemming from a 2016-17 fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo (with Pétursdóttir), and Heritage Futures: Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices (UCL 2020), a co-authored volume arising from work on the Heritage Futures research project. She is currently leading a Heritage Futures follow-on project with the National Trust and Historic England, Landscape Futures and the Challenge of Change (2020-2022), and collaborating with the colleagues at the Copenhagen Medical Museion on The Living Room project.
Christina Fredengren is Associate professor/researcher at the Archaeological Research Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Stockholm University and head of research at the National Historical Museums in Sweden. Her research is rooted in archaeology but is also highly interdisciplinary and brings together the fields of heritage studies, curatorship, gender/feminist studies and Environmental Humanities. Of particular interest to her current work are questions about Deep Time, materiality, ethics, intragenerational justice and care, which feature in her ongoing projects, “Checking in with Deep Time” (Formas/Swedish Research Council) “Water of the Times” (Swedish Science Council/Berit Wallenberg foundation), and “Curating Time” (Formas/Mistra). Christina heads the Stockholm University Environmental Humanities Research School and is among the founders of the Stockholm University Environmental Humanities Network. She is also scientific leader and member of the Seed Box, an environmental humanities collaboratory, and affiliated researcher at the Posthumanities Hub at Tema Gender, both at at Linköping University.
Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir is an Icelandic artist based in Reykjavík. Her practice considers ideas and definitions of time, place and the systems we use to understand the natural world as it meets, overlaps and is interpreted within human environments. In her current projects she explores manifestations of the Anthropocene through objects like drift matter and excavated plastic artifacts, among other things. Her project Island Fiction is a visual research and exploration on Surtsey, since humans made their first steps on the island. In her ongoing archival project Future Fragments, she documents plastic artifacts preserved in the National Museum of Iceland found in topsoil across the country. Alongside her art practice Þorgerður has contributed to various international exhibition projects, art festivals and publications. She is a part time teacher at Iceland University of the Arts and Reykjavík School of Visual Art. From 2014 – 2018 she was the Director of The Living Art Museum in Reykjavík, a non-profit, artist-run museum founded in 1978. She is also co-director of Staðir / Places, a biannual exhibition project and mobile residency in the Westfjords of Iceland. http://www.thorgerdurolafsdottir.info
Alexa Spiwak is a PhD fellow at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. Her academic interests include industrial, historical and contemporary archaeology, as well as heritage studies, materiality and conservation. Her Masters research, undertaken at Memorial University of Newfoundland, explored the trans-Atlantic transfer of industrial practices within a historical context, namely slate quarrying in association with the early 17th-century colony of Avalon. Her explorations of defunct slate quarries, coupled with her training and experience as a conservator, led her to begin pondering how the post-industrial landscapes of the Anthropocene fit within traditional heritage discourse. Her PhD project, tentatively titled Splitting Stones: Exploring the Slate Heritage Landscapes of the Anthropocene, traverses the blurred boundary between “natural” and “cultural” heritage in an effort to better understand the complex entanglements of human and non-human actors within industrial landscapes and how they relate to the (re)creation and care of heritage. This project is also in partnership with HEI: Heritage Experience Initiative at UiO.
Sanne Bech Holmgaard
Sanne Bech Holmgaard is a PhD fellow for the Relics of Nature project at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation, and History at the University of Oslo. Her research interests include human-environment interactions, environmental and social change as well as the use and management of natural resources and natural heritage. A former researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, Sanne has previously worked extensively with human dimensions of natural resource management, focusing on current and historical land-use, human and societal dimensions of wildlife management, traditional knowledge, and climate change in the High North. Building on these perspectives, Sanne’s current PhD project will investigate how natural heritage is being produced, maintained, and reconstructed during processes of social and climatic change. Based on case studies of environmental change impacting areas of natural heritage in Northern Norway, Svalbard and Greenland, her project will investigate processes of disruption, restoration, preservation and performance of heritage and the environment, including efforts to preserve and exploit natural resources and values. Being trained as a social anthropologist, her PhD project will also explore ethnographic approaches to the study of natural heritage, environmental disruption, and climate change.
Katherine Burlingame is a postdoctoral researcher for the Relics of Nature project at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation, and History at the University of Oslo. Her research connects archaeology, heritage studies, and landscape geography with a theoretical basis in landscape phenomenology. Her doctoral monograph Dead Landscapes – and how to make them live, in which she developed a heritage landscape analysis model, was awarded an outstanding dissertation prize by Lund University’s New Society of Letters (Vetenskapssocieteten). Crossing different time periods and geographical areas, Katherine’s research profile is defined by a curiosity about the past, how it is communicated and experienced today, and how humans find meaning in, and connect with, the many-layered landscapes of the past and present surrounding us. Her postdoctoral project focuses on the UNESCO world heritage cultural and natural Laponian landscape in northern Sweden to analyze shifting landscape encounters, use-values, perceptions, and management of natural and cultural heritage in a changing climate. The project proposes the concept of ‘rewilding humans’ to develop an environmental ethic in heritage studies that considers a wider range of voices and helps bind us with(in) the natural landscapes to which we are all intrinsically connected.
Elisabeth Aslesen is a recent MPhil graduate (Spring, 2020) and Research Assistant at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. In line with her research interest in archaeological knowledge production and identity construction, her MPhil thesis, “The Root of All: Gender, identity and difference in 4th-6th century Voss and Hardanger”, is a re-theoretisation of archaeological gender categorisation in mortuary material. This thesis was nominated for the Centre for Gender Research (STK) award 2020 at the University of Oslo. She is the research coordinator for Relics of Nature.
She is the editorial secretary for the archaeological research journal Primitive Tider. Aside from Relics of Nature, she is currently affiliated with the Gendering the Nordic Past (UiO) project. She will start her PhD with the Body-Politics research project at the University of Leicester in June 2022.