Kjersti Larsen

Image of Kjersti Larsen
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22859968
Username
Visiting address Frederiks gate 2 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: Social Anthropology, Ethnography, Indian Ocean, Northern Sudan, Islam, Rituals and Cosmology, Religion, Mobility and Migration, Gender, Identity, Performativity
Published Sep. 11, 2012 2:23 PM - Last modified Feb. 3, 2021 2:06 PM

Projects

  • Making sense through the senses – exploring the aesthetics of ritual

Research groups

  • Cultural Variation - Materiality, Representation and Society