Thea R. Strand

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Loyola U. Chicago

Grant number

Gr. 10580

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Strand, Thea (Loyola U. Chicago) "Language, Environment, and Transhumant Livelihoods in Mountain Norway"

This ethnographic research project will investigate the mutual environmental, cultural, and linguistic effects of changing heritage farming practices in rural Valdres, Norway, home to the largest intact transhumant farming zone in Europe. Its goals are to add to anthropological knowledge of an understudied ethno-linguistic region and provide a case study for understanding the transformative roles of language and discourse in shaping interspecies relationships and ecologies in the Anthropocene, or the current, human-dominated geological age. Through a combination of participant observation and audio, photo, and video documentation of life and language in the rural stølsvidda, or the mountainous summer-farming ecological zone, this linguistic anthropological project will investigate how a transforming environment, subsistence practices, interspecies relationships, and language mutually shape each other. Pilot research conducted in Summer 2022 constituted the initial phase of this planned multi-year study of discourse, culture, and environment in Valdres, which will be spread over three summer field seasons of approximately six weeks each from 2024-26. This project has the potential to generate important new theoretical insights into the role of language use in human-environment relationships in the Anthropocene, which has not yet received due scholarly attention.