Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion
research group

Environmental Humanities

The research group brings together an interdisciplinary group of research faculty and PhD students with an interest in environmental issues.

A marker on top of a mountain
Stone cairn above Bergen.

Main content

Our research encompasses a vast range of human interactions with the physical world, from ancient migration to contemporary climate resilience.

The Environmental Humanities research group is an interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars in the fields of history, archaeology, cultural studies, linguistics, literature, media studies, political science, social anthropology, science and technology studies, and beyond. Its composition reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field of environmental humanities, which bridges the divide between the natural sciences and the humanities, as well as that between the academy and society, by applying humanistic methods and modes of thought to environmental subjects.

Our research encompasses a vast range of human interactions with the physical world, from ancient migration to contemporary climate resilience. Please see individual members’ profiles and biographies for further details on our research interests, affiliations, and areas of expertise.

Course package in Environmental Humanities

The Environmental Humanities group is currently developing a package of courses, united by a common theme, to help guide students interested in pursuing further studies in the field. This package will include core training in Environmental Humanities as well as topical courses on Blue Humanities, environmental ethics, climate history, and more. To register your course as part of the package, or to submit a suggestion for a new course, please complete this form. Further information for students will be provided once the package is finalized

Programme 2024

29-30. JanResearch Group Retreat, Norheimsund
15-16. Feb

Presentation of short film "The Bonding", by artist Michelle Letelier, and conversation with Letelier and Martin Lee Mueller (University of Oslo, author of Being Human Being Salmon).
Presented by The Last Workshop: Latin America and the End of the World

23-24. MayFinal workshop, The Last Workshop: Latin America and the End of the World

Selected Projects

Group members engage with scholars from around the world with support from the European Research Council, the Norwegian Research Council, and other major funding entities. The following is a partial list of ongoing projects.

THE LAST WORKSHOP: Latin America and the End of the World

The Last Workshop: Latin America and the End of the World

In barely three decades, reports about the state of the world went from the euphoric “end of history” to the rather gloomy “end of humanity”. In between, globalization exerted an unprecedented pressure on natural resources, accelerating the Anthropocene, and tested local political and social arrangements. The last workshop analyses the manifold ways in which the idea of the end of the world materialized in Latin America. It is a conversation about different ends of different worlds in the social, cultural, natural, economic, historic and labor realms.


CALENDARS: Co-Production of Seasonal Representations for Adaptive Institutions

Principal investigator: Scott Bremer

The CALENDARS project empirically explores the ways people perceive and effect seasonal patterns in different communities and fields of activity, focusing mainly on places in New Zealand and Norway. A central concern is how peoples’ cultural calendars of seasons can support or hinder their adaptation to rapid changes in seasonal rhythms, through climatic but also other environmental and social changes. The overall objective of the project is to advance knowledge and understanding of how seasonal representations shape and are shaped by institutions, and to critically appraise the quality of these representations for contributing to successful adaptation to seasonal change.

Read more: Project webpage 


CLIMLIFE: Living with climate change: motivation and action for lifestyle change

Principal investigator: Kjersti Fløttum

The CLIMLIFE project studies how Norwegian citizens relate the challenges of climate change to their normal, day-to-day life choices. As part of this project, researchers from linguistic, media, political and natural sciences conduct surveys and use multiple tools of language analysis to develop knowledge about how Norwegians are confronting – or failing to confront – the realities of our changing climate.

Read more: Project webpage


Gardening the Globe: Historicizing the Anthropocene through the production of socio-nature in Scandinavia, 1750–2020

Principal investigator: Kyrre Kverndokk

This project is an interdisciplinary and international research project exploring the historical processes through which nature has been conquered, controlled and commodified in Scandinavia during the last 250 years. Its principal objective is to examine the relationship between Western modernity and the emergence of the Anthropocene by exploring the historical processes that have led to the Anthropocene as an increasing intensification of attempts to conquer, control and utilize nature. The project hosted an international conference at UiB in the spring of 2022 and participants are working on multiple publications. Beginning in the spring of 2023, the Gardening the Globe project holds a reading group open to members of the research group.

Read more: Project webpage 


The Norwegian Researcher School in Environmental Humanities (NoRS-EH)

Contact: Kyrre Kverndokk

In cooperation with NTNU, UiA, UiO and UiS, the Environmental Humanities research group runs the Norwegian Research School in Environmental Humanities (NoRS-EH). The research school was created as a transdisciplinary initiative meant to strengthen the Norwegian humanities' contribution to environmental research and the large, global challenges the world is facing. Every other August, the Environmental Humanities Research Group organizes and runs a course on climate research for PhD candidates who are members of the research group as well as for international participants. The final cycle of this course will take place in the summer of 2024.

Read more: Researcher school webpage 


Quantifying the impact of major cultural transitions on marine ecosystem functioning and biodiversity

Contact: Ramona Harrison

Ocean conservation is a global concern, but researchers say we don’t currently know what the oceans were like before major impacts caused by humans. Using sediments, shells and bones, and a host of cutting-edge analysis techniques, the SEACHANGE project aims to find out. The interdisciplinary project will test the scale and rate of biodiversity loss as a result of fishing and habitat destruction over the last 2,000 years in the North Sea and around Iceland, eastern Australia and the west Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the earlier transition from hunter-gatherer to farming communities in northern Europe around 6,000 years ago. The project will discover how depleted the current marine environment is, what measures are needed to help biodiversity to recover, and how long this might take.

Read more: Project webpage

Past events

16. Nov

Kl. 12-14

Lecture by Mariano siskind (Literature, Harvard University): Towards a Cosmopolitan Loss: An Essay on Latin American Nature at the End of the World. Presented by The Last Workshop: Latin America and the End of the World

26. Oct

Kl. 12-14

Lecture by Mark Healey (History, University of Connecticut): Natural (?) Catastrophes at the end of the world.
Presented by The Last Workshop: Latin America and the End of the World

17. Oct

Kl. 11-12

Louis-Emmanuel Pille-Schneider: Tempestuous temporalities. The Joola’s last voyage and its memorialization in Fatou Diome’s Les Veilleurs de Sangomar
Location: Online

13. Sept

Kl. 11-12

Environmental Humanities Research Group general meeting. Lunch provided. 
Location: Øystensgate 3, Seminarrom 1.

4. Sept

UiB Latin America and the Caribbean Conference, "Winds of Change and Streams of Solidarity."
Registration required; see program for details. Sessions of special interest to the research group include the following:

Kl. 10:30-11:15, Keynote by Terje Tvedt, "Streams of water history: Perspectives of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe"

Kl. 12:15-1:45, Panel discussion: "Water and Resources in the Last Frontier."

Kl. 15:15-16:45, Panel discussion, "Energy transition in the global economy: impacts for Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe."

Location: University Aula

30. Aug

Kl. 11-12

Johanna Gunn, "Referencing in climate change discourse - a polyphonic study of academic discourse, political communication, and written press." 
Location: Øystensgate 3, Seminarrom 1

31. May

Kl. 11-12

Runa Falk, "Mitigating climate change: Norwegian citizens' perceptions of individuals' role. 

Location: Øystensgate 3, seminarrom 1

11. April

Kl. 14-16

Douglas Northrop: Earthquakes and Empire Along the Eurasian Frontier
Location: Sydneshaugen Skole, Aud.