Workshop University of Oslo: Engaging Environments — Analyzing lay knowledge and popular action on nature, the environment and climate change

[From Workshop homepage]

This international workshop seeks to stage a wider discussion of environmental knowledge, politics, participation, and democracy.

In 2014, Norway celebrates a dual anniversary: that of Norway’s oldest environmental organization Naturvernforbundet (Friends of the Earth Norway), founded 1914, and of the Norwegian constitution, drafted 1814.

These centennials will serve as the point of departure for the international workshop “Engaging Environments”, which seeks to stage a wider discussion of environmental knowledge, politics, participation, and democracy.

Key questions are:

  • How do people know, relate to, and act upon nature and the environment? How have people’s relations to nature changed during the past century?
  • How do lay people organize to show and promote their support for nature? How do environmental organizations work, and how have they worked in the past? In what ways do they speak for or speak to the general population?
  • How do lay people and NGOs bring about and circulate knowledge? How do they seek to intervene in politics, and what is the impact of their interventions?
  • How does public participation in the environmental field compare to other sectors in society? How do the Norwegian experiences, traditions, and institutions compare to those of other Nordic nations, and internationally?

The workshop seeks to combine analytical approaches from History, Sociology, and Anthropology and contrasts the Norwegian case with empirical examples from Britain, Germany and the Nordic countries.

The workshop program will include short lectures and conversations with invited keynotes. Participants will take part in subsequent joint discussions of workshop topics, grouped into short presentations of their own research work and interests. The program will be finalized when all participants are confirmed.

Keynote speakers:

Practical information:

Time: 22-23 May, 2013

Place: Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK), University of Oslo, Norway

Participation: Limited number of places. There is no call for papers. Please submit a short presentation (max. 250 words) of your research interests and how they relate to the workshop topics to Beate Trandem ( by April 21, 2013. Acceptance notification by April 23.

Participation is free. Lunch both days and dinner in downtown Oslo on the first day will be covered.

The workshop is hosted by Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK) and the interfaculty research program Kultrans (Cultural Transformations in the Age of Globalisation), both at the University of Oslo.

Organizers: Ann-Sofie Kall and Hilde Reinertsen (TIK, UiO).


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