Exploitation or Preservation? Your Choice!

New publication!

My chapter ” Exploitation or Preservation? Your Choice! Digital Modes of Expressing Perceptions of Nature and the Land” is now available for reading (open access). It is published in the book The Environment in the Age of the Internet. Activists, Communication, and the Digital Landscape (Ed. Heike Graf, Open Book Publishers).

You can read below the information posted by the publisher about the book. See Open Book Publishers for accessing the pdf or if you wish to order a copy!

 

This timely and necessary book examines the impact of digital media on how we talk about the environment. The Environment in the Age of the Internet is an interdisciplinary collection that draws together research and answers from media and communication studies, social sciences, modern history, and folklore studies. Edited by Heike Graf, its focus is on the communicative approaches taken by different groups to ecological issues, shedding light on how these groups tell their distinctive stories of “the environment”. This book draws on case studies from around the world and focuses on activists of radically different kinds: protestors against pulp mills in South America, resistance to mining in the Sámi region of Sweden, the struggles of indigenous peoples from the Arctic to the Amazon, gardening bloggers in northern Europe, and neo-Nazi environmentalists in Germany. Each case is examined in relation to its multifaceted media coverage, mainstream and digital, professional and amateur.

Stories are told within a context; examining the “what” and “how” of these environmental stories demonstrates how contexts determine communication, and how communication raises and shapes awareness. These issues have never been more pressing, this work never more urgent. The Environment in the Age of the Internet is essential reading for everyone interested in how humans relate to their environment in the digital age.

 

 

 


A Linguistic Landscape Study

I am currently working on a project about the linguistic landscape of Umeå (see slideshow below for a brief presentation and preliminary results).

 

Umeå's Linguistic Landscape

https://slate.adobe.com/cp/Hrs7E/

 

This is a pilot study that investigates Umeå’s linguistic landscape that I conduct togheter with colleagues (researchers and teachers) with experience and interest in multilingualism and multilingual environments, from a minority and Indigenous perspective.

The languages available and visible around us, displayed in public places, have become the focus of a rapidly growing research area called linguistic landscape studies (see eg Shohamy and Gorter, 2008). A linguistic landscape is created by the combination of various forms of official and non-official signs, top-down and bottom-up, ie “Road signs, advertising billboards, street names, place names, commercial shop signs, and public signs on government buildings [in a given] territory, region, or urban agglomeration” (Landry & Bourhis, 1997: 25).

Scholars within this field of research are interested in the consequences and impact of linguistic landscapes on language revitalization and language learning. A linguistic landscape in a certain area does not only have an informative and symbolic function; it also affects a language’s vitality (Landry & Bourhis, 1997: 45).

How the Sámi languages, for example, are visible in the landscape, illustrate a hierarchical relationship between languages (Salo, 2012). Attitudes towards a language, and thereby their the visibility and use in public places, affect a language’s potential for learning and revitalization (Grenoble & Whaley 2006; Hyltenstam & Stroud 1991).

We are now working on a tool for mapping the languages we have documented in the city. I will share the results in a next post!

 


Från kolonisation till gruvexploatering: Nyttoperspektiv på naturen i Sápmi förr och nu

New publication!

An article that I wrote together with my UmU colleague Daniel Andersson has now been published in the journal Kulturella Perspektiv (nr 1, 2016) in a special issue about Environmental Humanities.

The article is in Swedish and will be available as a pdf on the journal’s website in a few months.

Here follows a short abstract in English.

From Colonization to Mine Exploitation. Resource Perspectives on Nature in Sápmi Now and Then

 

Nature is found at the centre of important place-making processes in northern Sweden today. One example is conflicting discourses surrounding mining exploitations in reindeer herding areas. In this article, we discuss these processes in the light of the settler colonisation during approximately 1750–1850. Then, as well as now, a resource perspective on nature positions different ways of living of the lands against each other. Although the Swedish state in some regards have been replaced by global corporations, and the local people that are against the mines also turn the struggle to a global level, the situation today bears much in common with what happened during the colonisation in 18th and 19th centuries. We argue that a deeper understanding of contemporary processes – and their historical contexts – is needed in order to prevent conflicts and tensions between groups of people.

 

180451_kulturella-perspektiv-nr-1-2016-omslag


Small Data and Ethics

My article on ethics and digital data in Indigenous contexts has now been published in a volume edited Gabriele Griffin and Matt Hayler at Edinburgh University Press, Research Methods for Reading Digital Data in the Digital Humanities.  My contribution in the book discusses ethical decision-making in research processes dealing with small samples of digital data, more specifically in relation to principles defined by Indigenous methodologies.

 

 

omslag


DH Nordic

This week, I participated to a conference  on Digital Humanities in Oslo. It was the first conference organized by the organisation Digital Humanities in the Nordic countries.

I presented a joint paper with my Humlab-colleague Anna Johansson, “The blindspot of Digital Humanities or What Ethnography can contribute.” Our presentation addressed the relation between digital humanities (DH) and digital ethnography (DE) with focus on the significance of small and thick data for understanding digital culture. Ethnography as the process and product of qualitative research is applied in several disciplines in the humanities in order to describe, explain and understand cultural practices, constructions and interactions. Although ethnography is an important method for the study of digital culture, it is rarely addressed in literature about DH. Our paper discusses the relation between DH and DE and explain how and why DE can be a productive contribution to DH with focus on reflexivity and ethics.

Longer abstract available here.

 

 


#DigiGiella16

Under Samiska veckan i Umeå arrangerar vi en konferens på temat hur digital teknik kan bevara och utvecklar de samiska språken. Detta är ett samarbete mellan Sametingets språkcentrum, SSR, Umeå Universitetet och Umeå kommun (se nedan).

Jag har de senaste åren arbetat med ett forskningsprojekt om digital teknik för kunskapsproduktion och kunskapsöverföring. Idén med konferensen föddes under projektets gång och som ett resultat av presentationer och diskussioner om verktyg, applikationer och mjukvaror som skapas för att stärka de samiska språken.

 

Se programmet: Preliminärt program_sv

 

Samiskt språkcentrum arrangerar under Ubmejen biejvieh – Samiska veckan en konferens för att belysa hur den digitala tekniken kan bevara och utveckla de samiska språken. Målgruppen är samiska språkarbetare, modersmålslärare, samiska föräldrar, samordnare i samiska förvaltningskommuner och övriga som har intresse i samiskans utveckling.

Hur kan den digitala tekniken hjälpa till att stödja de olika samiska språken? Kan de samiska språken erövra mer plats i den digitala världen eller är det bara framtidsdröm?

Programmet består av inspirerande föreläsningar, diskussioner och panelsamtal bl a kring användningen av appar, sociala medier och nätbaserad undervisning i samiska.

Ambition är att genomföra denna konferens varje år under tre år i samband med Ubmejen Biejvieh.

Medarrangörer är HUMlab och Institutionen för Språkstudier vid Umeå universitet, Kompetenscentrum för flerspråkighet och För- och grundskolan vid Umeå kommun samt SSR – Svenska Samernas Riksförbund.

När? Måndag 7 mars, kl. 9-16
Var? HUMlab X, Konstnärligt Campus, Umeå. Konferensen är gratis, men antalet platser är begränsat.

Anmälan sker senast den 26 februari 2016 till språkkonsulent Patricia Fjellgren vid Samiskt språkcentrum via mejl Patricia.Fjellgren@sametinget.se eller telefon 063- 15 08 57.

 


Årskrönika 2015 

Det nya året kan inte börja utan att avsluta det gamla… Så här är några tillbakablickar på det som har varit:

Sameradion sammanfattar 2015 i ljud och bild: Nyårskrönikan

Hálgu ger oss en överblick över vad som spelats, vad vi lyssnat på och vad vi röstade fram som bästa låt: Från Mellojojk till Klimatjojk.

“Klimatjojken”, “klimatmarschen” och det fortsatta starka engagemang från Sápmi i miljökampen är det som jag kommer att minnas mest…

 

Uppdatering:

Den 6 februari, på Samernas nationaldag, sände SVT Jahki Sámis (året i Sápmi). Programmet finns på SVT play i en månad.

 


Docent!

 

 

Jag är numera docent i samiska studier!

Vilket innebär också att Samiska studier har numera en docent i ämnet!

Vad betyder det? Jo, en docentur i Sverige innebär att man har en vetenskaplig produktion som motsvarar en avhandling efter doktorsexamen samt en pedagogisk kompetens i form av bl.a. undervisningserfarenhet samt utbildning i högskolepedagogik.

För min del innebär det ingen större förändring – det är ju bara en titel – men det känns givetvis bra att ha fått en extern expertbedömning på det jag har jobbat med de senaste åren.

För samiska studier som forskningsområde är det en positiv utveckling. Umeå universitetet var ganska länge utan professor, med få aktiva doktorander och få studenter. För ca 1 år sedan antogs flera doktorander i samiska studier. Antalet avhandlingar med samisk tematik har ökat markant de senaste åren. Under 2015 blev Mikael Vinka professor i samiska vid Umeå Universitet, och i juni disputerade Hanna Outakoski med en avhandling om samiska och flerspråkighet. Jag vill gärna se min docentur – den första i ämnet Samiska studier – som en del av en förstärkning av området vad gäller forskning och utbildning.


Indigenous People and Mobile Technologies

New book in the Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture series!

Indigenous People and Mobile Technologies examines how mobile technologies are being embraced by Indigenous people. I contributed to the volume with the chapter “Mobile technology in Indigenous Landscape” about a mobile linguistic landscape in Sápmi.

 

 

 

omslag copy

 

“This book explores how mobile technologies are overcoming disadvantage and the tyrannies of distance, allowing benefits to flow directly to Indigenous people and bringing wide-ranging changes to their lives. It begins with general issues and theoretical perspectives followed by empirical case studies that include the establishment of Indigenous mobile networks and practices, mobile technologies for social change and, finally, the ways in which mobile technology is being used to sustain Indigenous culture and language.”


Digital Ethnology and Folklore: new international working group 

The International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) has a number of working groups that focus on specific areas of research.

We can now proudly announce a new working group for Digital Ethnology and Folklore! Together with my colleague from UW Robert G Howard, I will co-chair the group and we invite you to subscribe to our mailing list on the working group’s webpage.

Mission statement

Researchers of ethnology and folklore have made the study of everyday life their focus, and those everyday lives are being transformed by continual access to the Internet through personal computers, phones, and other mobile devices. As these technologies have become ubiquitous, the questions researchers must ask are not just about how these technologies work or about the media products they disseminate, but about the massive impact digital practices are having and will continue to have in the daily expression of our shared culture. These practices raise new questions for ethnologists and folklorists.

How do everyday media creations empower people to express themselves? What impact does digital dissemination have on traditional forms and practices? How does the more fluid relationship between institutional and everyday media production affect our shared cultural heritage? What methods can be used to document and archive network-based everyday expression? In short, how are these technologies shaping the way we live our daily lives?

Because these technologies necessarily interact with what happens offline, the relationship, interplay, tensions, and overlaps between the online and the offline create a complex reality that the fields of folklore and ethnology are increasingly called on to address. At the same time, the manifold uses of the Internet and other technologies have created a need for investigation, perspectives, methods, and tools in order to try to understand the implications of these growing modes of expression and forms of practice.

The working group on Digital Ethnology and Folklore (DEF) addresses this need by creating an arena that fosters dialogue between ethnologists, folklorists and other SIEF scholars engaging with digital technologies in their research — including digital culture, digital practices, implications of the digital for our methods, tools, theoretical frameworks and ethical considerations. While scholars of media and communication attempt to address the digital technologies and their products, the ethnological perspectives bring a unique and important focus on the people behind, beside, in front of and inside these digital technologies. Further, folkloristic approaches to cultural expressions in the digital environments are an invaluable contribution to research on digital media and digital technologies.

The working group offers a platform that forwards research in Digital Ethnology and Folklore in order to strengthen and develop the research collaborations already being fostered by SIEF. Further, the working group on Digital Ethnology and Folklore seeks to identity new directions, shifts and emerging issues in our academic disciplines in relation to the uses of digital technologies.