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LIFETIMES: Marianne Elisabeth Lien – “Beyond Ethnographic Presentism: Landscapes as Relational Archives”

March 25 @ 2:15 pm - 4:00 pm

LIFETIMES: 25/03/22 Marianne Elisabeth Lien -“Beyond Ethnographic Presentism: Landscapes as Relational Archives”

We are happy to invite you to the second seminar in the LIFETIMES symposium series, exploring timelines and temporalities. This time we will be hearing from Marianne Elisabeth Lien, professor with the Department of Social Anthropology. Here’s an abstract outlining her interests and work.

     “The ‘ethnographic presence’ is anthropologists’ preferred entry point for understanding social relations, cultural difference and even social change. This has implied a certain skepticism towards historical, textual and material artefacts as primary data material.  In this paper I explore how such materials, often seen as ‘secondary’ by anthropologists,  may yield a insight in regions fraught by colonizing policies. Mindful of how silence is often the companion of shame, I propose a multi-temporal ethnography that seeks not only to elicit the past as historical background, but to grasp material traces for what they reveal gaps and absences in the present. My regional focus is Varanger, Finnmark where traces of colonization and atrocities can still be noticed in the landscape.  I ask what material, archival and botanical remains can tell us about the making and un-making of subjectivities and ethnic identities. Tracing the landscape as a relational archive, and the archive as a material site where relations are ordered and negotiated, I explore shifting conditions of possibility and hope amidst multiple life-forms and multiple losses.”

As for recommended reading if this topic intrigues you, Marianne recommends Dreams of Prosperity – Enactments of Growth in: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures Volume 29 Issue 1 (2020) .

The event will be take place in room 489 in P.A. Munchs hus at the University campus Blindern, this Friday 25th March, 14.15-16.00. For those who cannot be present physically, a zoom-link will be provided 15 minutes before the start of the event. If you want to attend digitally, but are still not on the Lifetimes email list, please send an email to me at bard.solas@ikos.uio.no as soon as possible.

Attached to this email you will also find a PDF with an overview of all the planned seminars for this spring.


Well met!


March 25
2:15 pm - 4:00 pm