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Nordic Anthropocene Media. Between screen and green life.

Open workshop at Aarhus University: Nordic Anthropocene Media. Between screen and green life.

Info about event


Monday 20 September 2021,  at 13:00 - 16:00


Building ADA/333, Katrinebjerg Campus, Aarhus University, Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N

Registration: Deadline September 10th. The event is free. You need to register in advance.

Contact persons:
Anne Marit Waade, Professor, Media and Journalism studies, AU (amwaade@cc.aud.dk)
Student assistant: Naja Schultz Petersen 201805664@post.au.dk


Environmental Humanities has emerged as an interdisciplinary and powerful international field of research. We have invited leading international scholars to present their work on Anthropocene media in a Nordic context: 

  • Robert Saunders, Professor, History, Politics, and Geography, SUNY (USA)
  • Irina Souch, Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Cultural Analysis, UoA, Amsterdam (NL)
  • Julia Leyda, Professor, Art and Media Studies, NTNU, Trondheim (N)
  • Henrik Bødker, Associate Professor, Media and Journalism, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Heather A. Swanson, Assoc. Prof., Anthropology, Center for Environmental Humanities, AU (DK)
  • Chair: Lill-Ann Körber, Professor, Nordic Studies, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Chair: Anne Marit Waade, Professor, Media studies and Journalism, Aarhus University (DK)

Hosts: The research programme Cultural Transformations is hosting this event in collaboration with research centres at Aarhus University: Centre for Environmental Humanities (CEH https://ceh.au.dk), ReNEW (Re-imagining Norden in an Evolving World, https://projects.au.dk/refereret/renew/) and NAU (Nordic Research at Aarhus University, https://arts.au.dk/en/nordic-research-at-aarhus-university/.

Perhaps more than anywhere else, the notion of the “good Anthropocene” (see Arias-Maldonado 2019) finds purchase in northern Europe. With its small, wealthy populations, dense woodlands, and smartly-designed cities, the Nordic countries are well-branded as sustainable and environmentally-friendly when compared to nearly any other region on the planet (see Frig and Sorsa 2020). Norden seems to be at the cutting edge of achieving a “brave new world” where fossil fuel use and endless waste-making give way to “agroecology, green roofs and buildings [and] distributed renewable energy systems” combined with “a reawakened sense of wonder, an ethic of care, and aesthetic and cultural production” associated with the planet (Buck 2015, 369). Part of this gestalt is the self-congratulatory stance of the Nordic governments which are keen to be seen as the most progressive state actors with regards to sustainability and care for the environment, even as Norway’s economy is dependent on hydrocarbons and the other countries offshore environmentally-degrading elements of industrial production. Moreover, this image of a sustainable Norden is one alloyed to the benevolent exceptionalism of Nordicity (Browning 2007), from the region’s reputation as a socialist utopia outside cutthroat realm of globalised capitalism, to the deluded notion that the northern countries are free of the colonial legacies that plague their western European counterparts Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Regarding on of the most pressing issue of our time – the climate crisis – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland hold key positions of influence, not only as “nations of the north,” but also as models for less-affluent countries to follow in terms of sustainability and environmental policy (Witoszek and Midttun 2018). Hence, it is vital to scrutinise the Nordic media when it comes to the threatened ecologies of the High North.rAt this workshop we will look at the role that media play in this context. We include both fiction (film, television) but also journalism.

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