Keynote Speakers

This year we are happy to welcome

Professor Marianne Elisabeth Lien,

from the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo.

Professor Lien’s distinguished lecture is entitled

Domestication Retold:

Reframing the anthropos of anthropology


Abstract: Domestication refers to a significant historical moment when humans began to grow plants and control animals for food procuring purposes. The Neolithic revolution in the Middle East is often portrayed as the beginning of this journey that allegedly paved the way for human population growth, division of labor, social stratification and state formation. As a story of human progress this narrative reproduces and maintains fundamental dualisms between the ‘civilised and the savage’, the ‘tame and the wild’, and ‘nature and culture’, as well as humans and non-humans.

But what if it did not actually happen that way? What if significant transformations were unintentional outcomes of mutual interaction and non-humans are key agents? What if the origin story is not one, but many, and always unfinished? Drawing on recent research in archeology, as well as nutrition and genetics, I consider the implications for anthropology of a less anthropocentric understanding of domestication. How can multispecies co-evolution help us re-frame the ‘anthropos’ of anthropology? How can we understand current socio-material phenomena as outcomes of lively encounters human in the human non-human contact zone? And what does domestication look like from the Arctic, and from under the water surface? Engaging ethnographies from the margins of domestication, I explore alternative trajectories of relational becoming, as well as alternative futures.

About Professor Marianne Lien

Lien has focused her work on questions regarding consumption, production and marketing for a number of years with a special focus on food and nutrition. In recent years she has also published in the fields of economic anthropology, globalization, nature,  domestication and aquaculture. She is currently director of the research project Newcomers to the farm; Atlantic salmon between the wild and the Industrial (NRC 2008-2013)

She has conducted fieldwork in Norway (Finnmark, Oslo, Hardanger) and Tasmania, Australia. Lien was head of the research program ”Transnational Flows of Concepts and Substances” (NRC 2001-2004). English book publications include “Marketing and Modernity” (Berg 1997), “The Politics of Food” (Berg 2004 coedited with B. Nerlich), and “Holding Worlds Together” – Ethnographies of knowing and belonging” (Berghahn 2007, coedited with M.Melhuus).

Research interests

Thematic: domestication, salmon aquaculture, consumption, economic anthropology, food habits and food production,  nutritional anthropology and STS. 

Regional: The Nordic Region, Norway, Coastal Finnmark, Australia,Tasmania.

We also wish to welcome

Professor Nikolas Kompridis,

Professorial Fellow in the School of Humanities & Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney

Rethinking the Human and the Non-Human in the Age of the Anthropocene

Abstract: The “Anthropocene” poses a number of urgent, inescapable challenges for the human sciences, not least of which is the challenge of what sense they are now to make of their primary object of study: the human. What sense can be made of the human once various forms of anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism have been discarded? How does the object of the human sciences change when inquiries into the human incorporate the normative perspectives of the non-human? Who or what is the figure left standing for the sciences of the human to study?

 About Professor Nikolas Kompridis

“I am a philosopher and political theorist engaged in rethinking some essential concepts of political philosophy – primarily, the concepts of reason, freedom, and critique – in light of two new concepts I’ve been developing, namely, receptivity and world-disclosure. My goal is to shed some light on how a certain kind of change is possible – the kind through which citizens are able to express their own political agency as they respond to the political demands of others.

I’m interested in how people come to change how they think and act, and how such change, in turn, can strengthen practices and institutions of democracy.”

Areas of Research

Critical theory; democratic theory; theories of agency and action; theories of rationality; theories of identity, recognition, and culture; secularism and modernity; the role of social criticism in social change; the renewal of romanticism; and issues in philosophy of art, literature, music and film. Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Adorno, Arendt, Habermas, Foucault, Taylor, Cavell.

For a more detailed biography, publications and videos, click ‘here‘.