The non-human world in Swedish national park 

In my research, I am interested in how the non-human world (often depicted as nature) comes into being through national park tourism, which affects societal imaginaries about what and how nature is, but also how it should be treated, preserved, and valued.

In many Western societies, the concept of nature has become one of our time's most widely used keywords representing everything that is not a product of humanity – the non-human world. What often is forgotten is nature's social dimensions, namely how our ways of making sense of and representing nature construct it and our comprehensions towards it. In other words, all things we think we know about nature says as much about ourselves as it says about the world we call nature.

Hamrä National Park.Today, Sweden has 30 national parks located from north to south. Many of these function as popular destinations for nature-based tourism. Photo credit Emelie Fälton In my dissertation, I am interested in how the practice of national park tourism constructs the non-human world through its meaning-making. To enable this, I analyze historical and contemporary materials produced within several corners of the national park tourism: pedagogical installations in the parks, tourism information publications, governmental materials, tourism organization's materials, but also tourists' own stories. By focusing on representations of the non-human world, I unravel and problematize our imaginaries and meaning-making, but also what implications could be the outcome of our ways of constructing the non-human world.

National Park.A central part of my analytical work has been to visit national parks with newly installed pedagogical installations. Here is one such example from Tiveden national park. Photo credit Emelie Fälton

Another major interest of mine is to work with developing methodologies, where I am especially interested in exploring new ways of working with methods inspired by visual culture and discourse analysis. Here, I am interested in how the visual is part of the social and vice versa but also how a discursive analytical perspective could illuminate norms and representations but also power relations, regimes of truth, and knowledge epistemes.

Norrköpings decision arena.Here, my supervisor Johan Hedrén and I are trying out new ways to analyze major materials of photographs in the Norrköping Decision Arena. Photo credit Emelie Fälton

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Academic degree

  • 2016
    PhD Student at Environmental Change
  • 2016
    Master’s degree in environmental science with focus on sustainable development
  • 2014
    Bachelor’s degree in tourism science with focus on nature environments and cultural heritages

 

Teaching

  • Culture, society and media production (bachelor program)
  • Environmental science program (bachelor program)
  • Social and cultural analysis (bachelor program)
  • Science for sustainable development (master program)

Research visits

Visiting PhD student at Tema Q, the Institution for Culture and Society, Linköping University, October-December 2020

Activities:

  • Project leader for the festical Drivhuset. 18-19 November 2017
  • Project leader for Sustainable Futures (Framtidsveckan) 21 April, 2016

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Blog post about the Drivhuset Climate Festival 

A Climate Festival that Crossed Boarders

"It has almost been three months since I, together with two colleagues, could enjoy the climate festival that we had been planning for almost half a year. It was pure pleasure to finally being able to harvest the fruit of our work. I would lie if I said it was easy to organize a climate festival, but I would also lie if I would say that it was not one of the most inspirational things I have done. Now, with some distance to it – I will share my experiences and invite you to take part of one of my latest projects, The Drivhuset Climate Festival".

To The Seed Box Blog

Maher and Sousou Cissoko played world music on Climate Festival

Maher and Sousou Cissoko played world music with roots from both Sweden and Senegal Photo credit: Emelie Fälton

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