Kjersti Larsen

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Visiting address Frederiks gate 2 None 0164 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 6762 St. Olavs plass 0130 OSLO

Academic Interests

Regionally my research focusses on Muslim societies in East Africa and  particularly on the Swahili region and Northern Sudan. Over many years I have conducted ethnographic fieldworks in Zanzibar and in the Bayoda desert in Sudan. Here at the University Museum of Cultural History I am keeper of the part of our ethnographic collections which originates in the various regions of Africa.

Thematically my research is focussed on problems related to gender and identity, rituals and religion, cosmology, aesthetics/morality and everyday parctice, social change and continuity. Fieldwork in Zanzibar and Northern Sudan has also directed my research interests towards themes like migration, mobility, multiculturalism and notions of belonging.

Through the research project Making sense through the senses—Exploring the aesthetics of ritual funded by the University Museum of Cultural History, I have in recent years focussed on the relationship between aesthetics and performativity in Zanzibar society, and particularly on understandings of magic and practices linked to relations between worldly and spiritual domains of existence.

Bacground

Academic educational background:

  • 1995: Ph.D. Social anthropology, Department and Museum of Anthropology, University of Oslo.
  • 1989: M.A. Social Anthropology, Department and Museum of Anthropology, University of Oslo.   

Career background:

  • 2011- : Professor, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.
  • 2001-2010: Assoaciate Professor, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.
  • 2001-2008: Professor II, Department of International Environment and Development, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).
  • 1996-2001: Associate Professor, Department of International Environment and Development, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).
  • 1995-1996: Senior Lecturer. Department and Museum of Anthropology, University of Oslo.

Awards

Externally funded research projects:

  • 2004 -2005: Adaptation to Climate Stress as a Livelihood Struggle: Bridging Conflict and Vulnerability Theory, Norwegian Research Council.
  • 2001-2004: Rural Poverty and Well-being in Countries with Internal Wars: A Comparative Study of Processes of Impoverishment, Displacement and Identity Construction, Norwegian Research Council.
  • 1997-2000: Forced migration of Civil War Victims in Africa. Resource Conflicts, Dilemmas of Return and Long Term Development, Norwegian Research Council.
  • 1991-1994: PhD. Scholarship, Norwegian Research Council.

Visiting research:

  • 2005: Centre d’Études Africaines, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences
  • 2004: International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), Leiden University, Netherlands
  • 2002: International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), Leiden University, Netherlands
  • 2000: Centre for Cross Cultural Research on Women (CCCRW), Queen Elizabeth House (QEH), University of Oxford
  • 1999: Centre d’Études Africaines, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences
  • 1993: Centre for Cross Cultural Research on Women (CCCRW), Queen Elizabeth House (QEH), Oxford University

Appointments

Boards:

  • 2012-          : Board of the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.
  • 2012 -         : Board of publishing for the Humanities and Social Sciences; NOP-HS, Norwegian Research Council.
  • 2011-          : Publishing Committe for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Norwegian Research Council. 
  • 2007- 2010 : FriSam, Science Division, Norwegian Research Council. 
  • 2006-2009  : Board of Trustees, ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) Aleppo, Syria
  • 2003-2005  : Board of Trustees, ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) Aleppo, Syria

Other appointments:

  • 2006-        : Research Committe, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.
  • 2003-2006: Head of Department, Department of Ethnography, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.
  • 1998-2000: Head of PhD. program at Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).

Regional expertise

Africa with a particular focus on East Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Swahili region and Northern Sudan.

 

Tags: Indian Ocean, Northern Sudan, Religion, Rituals and Cosmology, Islam, Identity, Ethnography, Performativity, Mobility and Migration, Gender, Social Anthropology

Publications

  • Larsen, Kjersti; Simonsen, Jan Ketil & Engebrigtsen, Ada I. (2018). Introduction, In Jan Ketil Simonsen; Kjersti Larsen & Ada I. Engebrigtsen (ed.),  Movement and Connectivity: Configurations of Belonging.  Peter Lang Publishing Group.  ISBN 978-1-78707-550-4.  Introduction.  s 1 - 16
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2017). Multifaceted Identities, Multiple Dwellings: Connectivity and Flexible Household-configurations in Zanzibar Town, In Burkhard Schnepel & Edward A. Alpers (ed.),  Connectivity in Motion : Island Hubs in the Indian Ocean World.  Palgrave Macmillan.  ISBN 978-3-319-59724-9.  8.  s 181 - 208
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2017). Review: Calkins, Sandra: Who Knows Tomorrow? Uncertainty in North-Eastern Sudan, New York: Berghahn Books, 2016. Anthropos: Internationale Zeitschrift für Völker- und Sprachenkunde.  ISSN 0257-9774.  (2), s 649- 650
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2015). Pleasures and Prohibitions. Reflections on Gender, Knowledge, and Sexuality in Zanzibar Town, In Erin E. Stiles & Katrina Daly Thompson (ed.),  Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean: Islam, Marriage, and Sexuality on the Swahili Coast.  Ohio University Press.  ISBN 978-0-8214-2186-4.  Kapittel 7.  s 209 - 241
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2015). Reflections regarding Good and Evil: The Complexity of Words in Zanzibar., In William C. Olsen & Walter E.A. van Beek (ed.),  Evil in Africa: Encounters With the Everyday.  Indiana University Press.  ISBN 978-0-253-01747-5.  Kapittel 12.  s 210 - 228
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2015). Verdifulle smykker: Refleksjoner rundt gull og kvinners personlige økonomi i Zanzibar Town, I: Marianne Vedeler & Ingunn Marit Røstad (red.),  Smykker. Personlig pynt i kulturhistorisk lys.  Museumsforlaget AS.  ISBN 9788283050226.  Kapittel 6.  s 133 - 153
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2014). Bodily Selves: Identity and Shared Realities among Humans and Spirits in Zanzibar. Journal of Religion in Africa.  ISSN 0022-4200.  44(1), s 5- 27 . doi: 10.1163/15700666-12301271
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2014). Possessing Spirits and Bodily Transformation in Zanzibar: Reflections on Ritual, Performance, and Aesthetics. Journal of Ritual Studies.  ISSN 0890-1112.  28(1), s 15- 29
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2013). Remedies of restoration : evocation of potency in Zanzibari everyday politics, In Barbara Meier & Arne S. Steinforth (ed.),  Spirits in politics : uncertainties of power and healing in African societies.  Campus Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-593-39915-7.  s 73 - 89
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2011). Fastens materialitet: Ramadanen som en bemerkelsesverdig begivenhet på Zanzibar. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  22(3-4), s 208- 222
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). Chapter 1. Introduction, In Kjersti Larsen (ed.),  Knowledge, Renewal and Religion. Repositioning and changing ideologies and material circumstances among the Swahili on the East African Coast.  Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.  ISBN 978-91-7106-635-0.  Chapter 1.  s 11 - 37
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2008). Far from the Battlefield: Livelihood revival, settlement and modernization among the Hawawir, Northern Sudan, In N Shanmugaratnam (ed.),  Between War and Peace in Sudan & Sri Lanka.  James Currey Publishers.  ISBN 978-1-84701-102-2.  5.  s 77 - 93
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2007). Adaptability, Identity and Conflict Mediation among the Hawawir in Northern Sudan, In Bill Derman; Espen Sjaastad & Rie Odgaard (ed.),  Conflicts Over Land and Water in Africa.  James Currey Publishers.  ISBN 9780852558881.  Kapittel 4.  s 75 - 93
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2007). Dialogues Between Humans and Spirits: Ways of Negotiating Relationships and Moral Order in Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar, In Ulrich Demmer & Martin Gaenszle (ed.),  The Power of Discourse in Ritual Performance: Rethoric, poethics, Transformations.  LIT Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-8258-8300-3.  Kappitel.  s 54 - 74
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Change, Continuity and Contestation: The Politics of Modern Identities in Zanzibar, In Pat Caplan & Farouk Topan (ed.),  Swahili Modernities: Culture, Politics, and Identity on the East Coast of Africa.  Africa World Press.  ISBN 1-59221-046-5.  8.  s 121 - 137
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Change, continuity and contestation: The politics of modern identities in Zanzibar, In Pat Caplan & Farouk Topan (ed.),  Swahili Modernities: Culture, Politics, and Identity on the East Coast of Africa.  Africa World Press.  ISBN 1-59221-046-5.  chapter 8.  s 121 - 145
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Dialogues between humans and spirits: Ways of Negotiating relationships and moral order in Zanzibar, In Ulrich Demmer & Martin Gaenszle (ed.),  The Power of Discourse in Ritual Performance. Rhetoric and Poetics.  LIT Verlag.  ISBN 3-8258-8300-0.  4.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Multiculturalism through Spirit Possession. International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM)-Newsletter.  ISSN 1388-9788.  14, s 14- 15
  • Larsen, Kjersti; Iveland, Kristin & Klausen, Arne Martin (2004). Kulturforskning og gjenstandssamlinger - historie og utvikling, I:  Kulturhistorier i sentrum. Historisk Museum 100 år.  Kulturhistorisk museum, Universitetet i Oslo.  ISBN 82-8084-019-2.  3.  s 60 - 83
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2003). Mobility, identity and belonging: The case of the Hawawir, Northern Sudan, In  In The Maze of Displacement. Conflict, Migration and Change.  Cappelen Damm Høyskoleforlaget.  ISBN 82-7634-540-9.  kapittel 5.  s 106 - 127
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2002). Knowledge, Astrology and the Power of Healing in Zanzibar. Journal des Africanistes.  ISSN 0399-0346.  72(2), s 175- 186
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2002). Mobility, Identity and Perceptions of a Good Life: The Case of the Hawawir, Northern Sudan. Skrifter / Universitetet i Oslos kulturhistoriske museer.  ISSN 1503-0792.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2001). Spirit possession as oral history: Negotiating Islam and social status. The case of Zanzibar, In Biancamaria, Scarcia Amoretti (ed.),  Islam in East Africa: New Sources.  Herder editrice e libreria.  part 2.  s 275 - 273
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2001). Knowledge, Astrology and the Power of Healing in Zanzibar. Journal des Africanistes.  ISSN 0399-0346.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2000). Kosmologi og rituelt liv, I: Finn Sivert Nielsen & Olaf H. Smedal (red.),  Mellom Himmel og Jord. Tradisjoner, teorier og tendenser i sosialantropologien.  Fagbokforlaget, Bergen.  ISBN 82-7674-273-4.  kapittel 8.  s 275 - 307
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2000). The other side of 'nature': Expanding tourism, changing landscapes, and porblems of privacy in urban Zanzibar, In Vigdis Broch-Due & Richard Scroeder (ed.),  Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa.  Nordiska Africa Institutet.  ISBN 91-7106-452-4.  chapter 7.  s 198 - 220
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1998). Morality and the rejection of spirits. A Zanzibari case. Social Anthropology.  ISSN 0964-0282.  6(1), s 61- 75
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1998). Spirit possession as historical narrative: the production of identity and locality in Zanzibar, In N Lovell (ed.),  Locality and Belonging.  Routledge.  chapter 5.  s 125 - 147
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1998). To feel the spirits, to suffer the spirits. Impuls : Tidsskrift for psykologi.  ISSN 0801-2911.  1, s 91- 100
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1993). Kunnskap,initiasjonsritualer og sosial endring: Ulike former for kunnskap i Zanzibar Town. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  1, s 3- 16

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  • Simonsen, Jan Ketil; Larsen, Kjersti & Engebrigtsen, Ada I. (ed.) (2018). Movement and Connectivity: Configurations of Belonging. Peter Lang Publishing Group.  ISBN 978-1-78707-550-4.  228 s.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (ed.) (2009). Knowledge, Renewal and Religion. Repositioning and changing ideologies and material circumstances among the Swahili on the East African Coast. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.  ISBN 978-91-7106-635-0.  310 s.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2008). Where Humans and Spirits Meet: The Politics of Rituals and Identified Spirits in Zanzibar. Berghahn Books.  ISBN 978-1-84545-055-7.  173 s.
  • Larsen, Kjersti & Johnsen, Fred (2001). The Um Jawasir Project, Sudan: irrigated Agriculture and Repatriation of Displaced Nomads. Noragric.  ISBN 82-92277-00-5.  6 s.

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  • Prescott, Christopher & Larsen, Kjersti (2017). Introduction, Beyond Our Crisis: Towards Archaeological Time and Anthropological Space. Show summary
  • Simonsen, Jan Ketil & Larsen, Kjersti (2017). Redaksjonelt. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  28(2), s 71- 72 . doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-2898-2017-02-01
  • Simonsen, Jan Ketil & Larsen, Kjersti (2017). Redaksjonelt. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  28(1), s 5- 6 . doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-2898-2017-01-01
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2016). Qur'an and the Dramaturgy of Healing: The significance of literacy and ritual contextuality in contexts of healing in Zanzibar Town..
  • Simonsen, Jan Ketil & Larsen, Kjersti (2016). Redaksjonelt. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  26(2), s 92- 93 . doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-2898-2016-02-01
  • Simonsen, Jan Ketil & Larsen, Kjersti (2016). Redaksjonelt. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  26(1), s 4- 6 . doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-2898-2016-01-01
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2015). Multifaceted Identities, Multiple Dwellings: Connectivity and Flexible Household-configurations in Zanzibar Town.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2013). Ritual Imagination: A study of Tromba Possession among the Betsimisaraka in Eastern Madagascar. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  (3-4), s 276- 277
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2012). Katharina Wilkens: Holy Water and Evil Spirits. Religious Healing in East Africa. Berlin: LIT. Anthropos: Internationale Zeitschrift für Völker- und Sprachenkunde.  ISSN 0257-9774.  107(1)
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2011). Adornment Outside and In -- Estetisk kraft: Jewellery from Central- and East Africa.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2011). By way of the Qu'ran: Soothing emotional and mundane matters in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2011). Good, Evil and Human Capacity: Reflections on the complexity of words in a Zanzibari context.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). A Body of Spirits. Problems of Identity and Shared Realities among Humans and Spirits in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). A Body of Spirits: Problems of Identity and Shared Realities among Humans and Spirits in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). A Ceremonial Event:The Materiality of Ramadan and Observations of Society in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). Glossary Swahili - English, In Kjersti Larsen (ed.),  Knowledge, Renewal and Religion. Repositioning and changing ideologies and material circumstances among the Swahili on the East African Coast.  Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.  ISBN 978-91-7106-635-0.  Glossary.  s 5 - 7
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). Possessing Spirits and Bodily Transformation in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2009). Preface, In Kjersti Larsen (ed.),  Knowledge, Renewal and Religion. Repositioning and changing ideologies and material circumstances among the Swahili on the East African Coast.  Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.  ISBN 978-91-7106-635-0.  Preface.  s 9 - 10
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2008). Cultural Exchange across the Indian Ocean: Kibuki Spirits in Zanzibar Town.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2008). Regime Change, TV, Video Films and Ethnicity in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2008). Remedies of Recreation: Knowledge, Sorcery and Society in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2007). Mektige gjenstander eller estetiske utrykk?.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2006). Alison Shaw og Shirley Ardener (RED) Changing Sex and Bending Gender. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0802-7285.  (3-4), s 305- 307
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2006). Familierelasjoner, hekseri og (andre) moralske dilemmaer.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2006). Kultursensitivitet og kulturelle koder i muslimske samfunn.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2006). Remedies of Recreation and Multiple Sources of Knowledge: Negotiations, Sorcery and Society in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2006). Uheldige omstendigheter, sosiale relasjoner og forandelighet. En diskusjon omkring helbredelsesritualer og teknologiske hjelpemidler på Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Adaptations in rural livelihoods: Sedentarization policies and nomadic pastoralists in Northern Sudan.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Christian Spirits in a Muslim Society. Intercultural Exchanges and Multicultural Experiences in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). The Power of Ritual Language: Dialogues between Humans and Spirits in Zanzibar Town.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2004). Women,Gender and Gender Socialization: Sub-Saharan Africa, In Suad Joseph (ed.),  The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, vol.2.  Brill Academic Publishers.  ISBN 9004128182.  vol.2.  s 204 - 205
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2003). Christian spirits in Muslim societies: Multiculturalism, religion and identity in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2003). Gifts, rewards and corruptive practices: Anthropological approaches to relationships and institutions.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2003). Religion, identitet og multikulturalisme i swahili samfunn.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2003). The phenomenon of embodiment.
  • Larsen, Kjersti & Hassan, Manal (2003). Sedentarisation of nomadic people: the case of the Hawawir in UmJawasir.
  • Larsen, Kjersti & Hassan, Manal (2002). Perceptions of knowledge and coping strategies in a nomadic community, Northern Sudan.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2002). Forced to Stay- Forced to Migrate: Ways and Meanings of Mobility among the Hawawir of Northern Sudan.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2002). Perceptions of Sedentarisation of Nomads. The Case of the Hawawir in Um Jawasir, Northern Sudan.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2001). Forced to migrate, told to return: The case of the Hawawir of Northern Sudan.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (2001). Initiation rituals, supression and power:Re-searching gender in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1999). Unyago - fra jente til kvinne. Utforming av kvinnelig kjønnsidentitet i lys av overgangsritualer, religiøsitet og modernisering.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1998). Islam, spirit possession and trance in Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1997). Identity, locality and notions of place: The case of Zanzibar.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1995). Where humans and spirits meet: Incorporating difference and experiencing otherness in Zanzibar Town.
  • Larsen, Kjersti (1994). Self, body and spirits in Zanzibar.

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Published Sep. 11, 2012 2:23 PM - Last modified Jan. 9, 2014 3:13 PM

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