Participants 2016-2021

Anna L. Ahlers, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Society and Politics, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages​

Trained in both sinology and political science I am interested in meticulous descriptions and analyses of China’s political system. How to understand the inner workings of a regime that is portrayed as an outdated one-party dictatorship at the brink of collapse by some observers, and as a highly innovative and resilient authoritarian ‘model’ case by others? I have therefore done empirical research on Chinese politics at the sub-national level, in fields such as local public administration, rural urbanization, village elections, and environmental protection. Most recently, I am also working towards integrating my findings into more general and comparative sociological perspectives on politics, as reflected in my planned project on political inclusion in modern autocracies.​

Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen, Associate Professor in Popular Music Studies, Department of Musicology

My research profile lies at the intersection of popular music studies, studies of music record production, and media studies, with a specialization in the impact of digitization on popular music sound and culture. I have been particularly interested in the new musical palette that digitization has offered music producers, and how this in turn has fostered new sonic expressions. Moreover, I have endeavored to develop methodological approaches and a conceptual framework that can accommodate the musical analyses of music-technological parameters. Another enduring research interest is how the digitization of technology has affected sample-based music and remixes, including its aesthetics, distribution, and legal circumstances.


Kjetil Fallan, Professor of Art History, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas

I am a historian specializing in 20th century industrial design and material culture, particularly in Scandinavia and Italy. My current research focuses on how notions of sustainability, ecology, and nature have emerged as key tropes in design discourse since the 1960s. I also have a sustained interest in historiography, theory and methodology. This has resulted in works rethinking the role of national identities in design history as well as on subjectivity in historical scholarship. My interdisciplinary background has prompted investigations into the relations between design history and neighbouring fields such as environmental history, the history of technology, and science and technology studies.


Per Ditlef Fredriksen, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Department of Archaelogy, Conservation and History

My two primary research fields are the late prehistory (Late Iron Age) and historical archaeology of southern Africa and the Nordic Early Iron Age. Common foci in both parts of the world are ceramics and its links to metalworking, technological development, and theory/methodology in archaeology. Interests also include archaeologies of the contemporary, critical heritage studies and the relationship between anthropology and archaeology. In addition to excavations and analysis of archaeological material in Norway, South Africa and Zimbabwe I have also conducted several anthropological field studies in Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa.


Karin Kukkonen, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages

What makes literary narratives particularly gripping and immersive? How does fiction engage the human mind? What role does literature have to play in today’s digitised lifeworld?

These questions inform my research into the beginnings of the novel in the eighteenth century and into the development of storytelling strategies across the centuries and across different media. I approach these issues through cognitive literary study and cognitive narratology (in particular its embodied and probabilistic directions), as well as more traditional reader-response theory. My publications include a book on the cognitive implications of neoclassical literary theory (A Prehistory of Cognitive Poetics: Neoclassicism and the Novel. OUP, 2017) and a book on comics in the twenty-first century (Contemporary Comics Storytelling. Nebraska, 2013).


Elisabeth Staksrud, Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communication

I work on three interlinked research fields 1) Children and online risk and opportunities, including rights-based issues and transgressive online behaviour. In this work I am fortunate to be part of the EU Kids Online Project, cooperating with an interdisciplinary group of researchers from 33 European countries; 2) Freedom of expression and censorship, with a particular interest in new media and regulatory legitimacy and finally; 3) Research ethics, also serving as deputy chair of the national research ethics committee for Social Sciences and Humanities (NESH). For more information about my research, projects and publications see my personal website and google scholar.


Stijn Vervaet, Associate Professor of Central-Europe and Balkan-studies, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages

My research interests lie in contemporary Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian literature and culture, cultural history of the Balkans (19th-21st centuries), comparative literature, and memory studies. I am the author of a book on the construction of national identities in Bosnia and Herzegovina under Austro-Hungarian rule (Sarajevo and Zagreb: Synopsis 2013). Apart from publications related to the cultural and literary history of Habsburg Bosnia, I have published book chapters and journal articles on the representation of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and of the Holocaust in (post-)Yugoslav fiction. Most recently, I co-edited the volume Post-Yugoslav Constellations: Archive, Memory, and Trauma in Contemporary Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian Literature and Culture (De Gruyter 2016, with Vlad Beronja).


Sebastian Watzl, Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas

Most of my research is in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. From there it reaches into ethics and epistemology, general philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, as well as metaphysics. While it engages central philosophical topics, my approach often involves close dialogue with empirical research in psychology, the neurosciences, and the life sciences more generally. Specifically, I am investigating the mental capacity for attention. This work forms the center of much of my research. From there, several branches have developed, or are projected to develop in the future. In what follows I will describe some aspects of my work on attention and some of the branches of research that spring from it – mentioning current research projects as well as future research plans.

Published Feb. 8, 2017 10:40 AM - Last modified Mar. 9, 2018 9:15 AM