Research Overview

Project title

Sustainability Conflicts and Rural Heritage in Norwegian Tourism

Project description

Honestly, I had a plan, then COVID-19 blasted it to smithereens. I’m working on a new one. Here’s what I’ve got:

My current research project seeks to investigate the ways in which different notions of sustainability are mobilised to varying degrees in central Norway both by Sámi and non-Sámi actors. I am interested in what is considered worthy of sustaining/preserving, by what means, and at what cost, within the practice of tourism.

Biography

I am a German/Scottish doctoral researcher in Social Anthropology with a background in Linguistics. All my education and academic training has taken place in the UK, while my professional (non-academic) work has taken place in Germany.

My research originally concerned senses of place in western Mongolia within the context of Kazakh eco- and ethno-tourism. Both my first and second masters theses were written on this topic: ‘“Another True Kazakh Place”: The Making and Unmaking of Homelands in Western Mongolia’ (2017) and ‘Kazakh Placemaking in the Altai: Nomadism and Tourism in a Mongolian National Park’ (2020).

Since November 2020, I have been exploring similar themes in Sápmi (Indigenous Sámi regions) in Norway. This shift came about both in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prohibited fieldwork in Mongolia, and as a result of a research visit at CARMAH (Centre for Anthropological Research into Museums and Heritage, Humboldt University in Berlin) where I became interested in decolonial action in heritage sites.

I am now preparing to begin fieldwork in Norway in August 2020.

When, Where, Who

This project started in September 2019 at the University of Manchester, supervised by Madeleine Reeves, with secondary supervision by William Wheeler.

Fields & Fieldwork

Fieldwork will take place in Norway over the course of 15 months starting in May 2021: three months of Norwegian language training and twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork.

As for academic fields, although this project broadly sits in Social Anthropology, my work is more accurately situated in the anthropologies of:

  • Tourism & National Parks
  • Museums & Cultural Heritage
  • Indigenous Land Rights
  • Place & Landscape
  • Sustainability

Funding

The project is being funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of its doctoral training scheme. I’m a recipient of the 1+3 studentship, which means I have done a 1-year research masters and am now doing a 3-year PhD. For more information on this funding, check out this guide.

Blog posts

September 2019: The Graduate Desk

October 2019: Go Walk in the Rain

December 2019: Conferring at a Conference

February 2020: 3 Creative Projects I Won’t Be Taking On in 2020 (& the People Who Are Already Doing Them)

March 2020: A Funny Old Situation

December 2020: Everything Changes