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Online Talk#18: Time, Technology, and Nature at the Norwegian Cabin

Saturday, 15 April 2023, 10-11 AM JST

Speaker: Finn Arne Jørgensen (Professor, Environmental History, University of Stavanger)

The leisure cabin is a central part of Norwegian culture. Traditionally a simple wooden house located in the mountains, by the sea, or in the forest, the cabin is a weekend and holiday getaway for many Norwegians. While the cabin draws on hundreds of years of history, it is also full of modern tensions: what should a cabin look like? How should it work? What should the relationship between the cabin and the surrounding landscape be? What should one do at the cabin and how should one do it? These are not simple questions, but are at the center of extended cultural controversies in Norwegian society.

This talk will introduce the cabin as a historical, cultural, and material phenomenon before exploring how Norwegian cabin owners use technology to negotiate their relationship to time and nature at the cabin. It will draw on concepts like authenticity and technological mediation in order to understand how the experience of nature cannot be separated from the technologies through which we experience it.

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