Project Members

Torgeir Rinke Bangstad

is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Social Anthropology at the Arctic University of Norway (UiT), in Tromsø, Norway. He earned his Ph.D. degree in cultural heritage studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2014. In his doctoral thesis he explores the ramifications of industrial decline in three different Western European contexts (South Wales, Dortmund and Odda), focusing on different responses within heritage preservation to the ruins, human debris, idle production sites and scarred landscapes that persist long after the collapse of industries. His current research project is entitled “Rebuilt homes, reassembled heritage: Reconstruction housing at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History”. In this project Bangstad aims to explore the memory and materiality of a reconstruction house in Finnmark, Norway, which will be disassembled, moved and reconstructed for ex situ conservation at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History in Oslo.

Hein Bjerck

Hein B. Bjerck is professor in archaeology at The University Museum at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway. He was Cultural Heritage Officer at the Governor of Svalbard in 1996-1999, where he was involved in managing modern ruins – mining enterprises and base camps from scientific expeditions. Co-author of Persistent Memories – a Soviet mining town in the High Arctic (2010, with Elin Andreassen and Bjørnar Olsen). Member of the RuinMemories project: My Father’s things, with Elin Andreassen: Back in Pyramiden and Managing the scars of terror.

Mats Burström

is professor of Archaeology at Stockholm University, Sweden. His doctoral thesis combined large-scale spatial and quantitative analyses of ancient monuments with an interpretative approach. His research then turned to the multitude of meanings that material remains from the past have been ascribed in different cultural contexts. Later areas of interest are the archaeology of the recent past and the relation between material culture and memory. Publications within this field include a textbook and several studies dealing with sites such as a car cemetery, a refugee camp from the Second World War, family belongings hidden in the ground in Estonia during the Stalin era, and a Soviet nuclear missile site in Cuba from the 1962 World Crisis. He has also been working with issues concerning the ideology and practice of cultural heritage management. One such study deals with the difficult heritage left by the Third Reich Harvest Festival in Germany. His current research deals with solid material that has been used as ballast in ships. Enormous amounts of sand, stone, debris and other materials have been transported all over the globe as ballast. The study explores different archaeological contexts where ballast has been dumped, found, re-used and interpreted. The transport of ballast brought new species of plants and animals to different parts of the world. Recognizing ballast as an archaeological material destabilizes the conventional distinction between natural objects and artefacts and points to the interface between cultural and natural histories.

Stein Farstadvoll

is a PhD student in archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology at The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø. He has a BA in culture and social sciences and a MA in archaeology from the same university. In the years between his MA graduation and PhD, he has worked as a field archaeologist for Tromsø University Museum, NTNU University Museum, UiO Museum of Cultural History and the county municipalities of Buskerud and Aust-Agder. His interests within archaeology include archaeological and object oriented theory, archaeology of the contemporary past and archaeological reconstructions. The project title for his PhD project is “The abject heritage of the contemporary world: an archaeological investigation of unwanted and neglected things”. The goal of this project is to explore things that overlooked or deemed irrelevant in the frame of contemporary heritage values and perception of cultural legacy. One of the case studies involves the abandoned 19th century summer villa and park Retiro in the city of Molde on the northwestern coast of Norway. The Retiro property is marked for future redevelopment and restoration, making the present dilapidated park and villa an interesting case for exploring things that fall outside the usual concerns of cultural heritage management and urban development.

Ingar Figenschau

is a PhD student in the Object Matters project. He has a BA and MA in archaeology from the UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, where he graduated in 2012. He has been working as a field archaeologist for Tromsø Museum, Sogn og Fjordane county authority, UiT, and The Sami Parliament. Ingar has been researching medieval and early modern axes and craft production in northern Norway, focusing on the interaction between craftsman, raw material and tools both in production and use. His PhD project is focusing on WW2 POW-camps in Kitdalen, Troms County. Key goals for the project is: (i) to study the camps’ changing post-war identity from “waste” to heritage; (ii) how an archaeolgical approach may help throw light on untold stories of camp lives; and (iii) how the negative and distorting appearance of these WW2 sites affects both us and the surrounding landscape.

Saphinaz-Amal Naguib

is Professor of Cultural History at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo, Norway. The main fields of her research are within Ancient Egyptian religion and art, Heritage, and Museum Studies. Some of her other research interests comprise of international migration and ethnic relations, Coptic and Copto-Arabic hagiographies, and Islamic iconography. Her current research projects investigate the polysemy and polyphony of cultural heritage and the role of museums of cultural history in plural societies. These studies include analyses of heritage both material and immaterial with special focus on aesthetics, cultural contacts, cultural and religious memory, and sustainability. Her latest book is The Formative Past and the Formation of the Future was (2015, co-edited with Terje Stordalen). Some of her latest articles include “Translating the Ancient Egyptian Worldview in Museums” (2013, published in Lotus and Laurel – Studies on Egyptian Language and Religion in Honour of Paul John Frandsen, edited by Rune Nyord and Kim Ryholt) and “Materializing Islam and the Imaginary of Sacred Space” (2015, published in Objects and Imagination; Perspectives on Materialization and Meaning, edited by Øyvind Fuglerud and Leon Wainwright).

Bjørnar Olsen

is professor in archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø. His research interests include contemporary archaeology, memory, thing theory and Sámi studies. His latest books are “In Defense of Things: Archaeology and the Ontology of Objects” (2010), Persistent Memories: Pyramiden – a Soviet Mining Town in the High Arctic (2010, with E. Andreassen and H. Bjerck), Archaeology: The Discipline of Things (2012, with M. Shanks, T. Webmoor and C. Witmore), and Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aestehtics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past (2014, editor with Þóra Pétursdóttir). Bjørnar is director of the Object Matters project.

Þóra Pétursdóttir

a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology at The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø. She completed a PhD from the same University in 2013, with a thesis titled Concrete Matters: Towards an Archaeology of Things. Her research interests lie within archaeology of the contemporary past, critical heritage studies and archaeological theory, and she is the author of articles and book chapters on these issues. Together with Bjørnar Olsen, she is the editor of the book Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past (2014). Her current research is focused on wrack zones and drift beaches in the North Atlantic, in contemporary and historical contexts, and on “drift matter” as archaeological material.

Kerstin Smeds

museologist and professor of museum and heritage studies/museology at the Department of Culture & Media Sciences, Umeå University, Sweden. Originally a journalist, she completed in 1996 a PhD in History at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Through her life, she has lectured on various themes in history and museology. From 1998-2000, she led the project “Material & Ideal” (Ting-Tid-Tanke) at the Finnish Academy. From 2001-2003 she was the Head of exhibitions at the History Museum in Stockholm. Some of her previous research includes such themes as the culture of “liquidification” and the “mummification” and “musealization” of the world, the raison d’être for museums, exhibition theory and analysis of World Exhibitions, and questions on authenticity and objects – the meaning of things. Her current research interest and projects includes “Metamorphoses of value in Material Culture: garbage /disposals as heritage, and our denial of the future” and “Small, private or local museums, their idea, purpose and meaning for their agents. Towards a new understanding of the idea of museums”. She is a member of the board of ICOFOM, International Committee for Museology.

Marek Tamm

(b. 1973) is professor of cultural history at the School of Humanities in Tallinn University and senior researcher in the project “The Making of Livonia: Actors, Institutions and Networks in the Medieval and Early Modern Baltic Sea Region” (2014–2019) financed by Estonian Research Council. He is also Head of Tallinn University Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies and Vice-Chair of the Evaluation Board of Estonian Research Council. Graduated in history and semiotics at the University of Tartu (1998), he earned his master degree in medieval studies from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1999) and his doctorate degree in medieval history from Tallinn University (2009). Author of five books, of some sixty scholarly articles published in Estonian, in English and in French, and editor of six collections of articles. His primary research fields are cultural history of medieval Europe, theory and history of historiography, and cultural memory studies.

Jorunn Veiteberg

is dr.philos. in art history and works as an independent researcher and writer. She is leader of the Research and Development committee in Arts Council Norway, and since 2013 she has been a guest professor at School of Craft and Design Gothenburg University, Sweden. From 2008 to 2012 she led the project “Art Value: A research project on rubbish and readymades, art and ceramics”, which was a collaboration between Bergen Academy of Art and Design and KODE Art Museums of Bergen. As a writer she has been awarded with Torsten och Wanja Söderberg’s Award (1999), Norsk Forms Honorary Award (2010), Norske Kunsthåndverkeres Honorary Award (2013) and Årets nynorskbrukar (2015). Her research interests include contemporary craft art, artistic use of stray found objects, thing theories, life writings and the monography/biography as genres. Among her publications are: Craft in Transition, Bergen Academy of Art and Design 2005; ”A collection of Remnants – a series on knitting”, Kari Steihaug Archive: The Unfinished Ones, Oslo: Magikon 2010; Thing Tang Trash. Upcycling in contemporary ceramics. Bergen Academy of Art and Design 2011; ”The Postmodern Pot”, Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics. The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection. Garth Clark and Cindi Strauss (eds.). New Haven/London: Yale University Press 2012; Konrad Mehus. Form Follows Fiction, Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2012; Torbjørn Kvasbø Ceramics. Between the possible and the impossible, Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2013; ”Avsmak? Nya normer inom konsthantverket på 2000-talet”,Konsthantverk i Sverige del 1, Christina Zetterlund, charlotte Hyltén-Cavallius, Johanna Rosenqvist (red.), Stockholm: Mångkulturellt centrum 2015.

Svetlana Vinogradova

graduated from Leningrad State University (1989), three-year PhD educational courses on the Institute of Economic Problems of the Kola Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences (2005, specialty – regional economy); defended PhD thesis on “Indigenous peoples in context of regional policy for labour market development (case of Murmansk Region)”, Apatity, KSC RAS, 2006. Since 1996 she is working at the Center of the Humanities of Kola Science Centre RAS; present position – Leading Researcher. Fields of scientific interests: sustainable development, social aspects of the Northern and Arctic policy, local communities, indigenous peoples.Svetlana was involved in a number of projects aimed at the regional development, including the forming of the concept of socio-economic development for the Murmansk region until 2025. She has extensive experience in interdisciplinary research, participated in historic-anthropological and sociological investigations, and legal and gender studies. For more than 10 years she has been studying the problems of indigenous population of Kola Peninsula – Sami – including research support for industrial companies to assess social impacts, and acting as an expert for Russian federal and regional governments on indigenous issues. Svetlana is an author of more than 70 publications, including 2 monographs and 10 chapters of books.