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Friday, 29 May 2015

Program for 3rd research seminar of "Animals in changing environments"

Here´s the program for the 3rd research seminar of the Norwegian research group of the Estonian-Norwegian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" (EMP151), to be held at University of Stavanger Friday June 5th:
10.00-10.15 Welcome
10.15-11.00 Riin Magnus (University og Tartu): "A semiotic analysis of guide dog teams’ work"
11.00-11.45 Kristin Armstrong Oma (Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger): "The sheep people: the embodied experience of living with and of sheep"
11.45-12.00 Break
12.00-13.30 Paul Thibault (University of Agder) & Morten Tønnessen (University of Stavanger): "Human Perceptions of Wolves and other Animals in Kristiansand, Kautokeino and Rendalen"
13.30-14.30 Lunch
See also the project´s Norwegian home page.

One more exam paper graded

Today I´ve graded one more exam paper in the home exam of Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of Health Studies (course code SVEXPHIL2).

Two plus one explanations of grading

Today I´ve written one explanation of grading in the Multiple Choice exam and two explanations of grading in the home exam of Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of Health Studies (course code SVEXPHIL2).

Thursday, 28 May 2015

4th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference to be held December 4th

The Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference (Dyreetikkonferansen) 2015, to take place at Litteraturhuset, Oslo, will be held Friday December 4th.

190 exam papers graded

Today I finished grading 190 exam papers in Examen Philosophicum, home exam, for University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies (bachelor in nursing).

To take part in Kåkå debate on climate change dissemination

I have agreed to participate in a debate meeting next Thursday (4/6) in the series "Verdikommisjonen" [the value commission] at Kåkå - Kverulantkatedralen in Stavanger. Topic for the debate is: "Hvordan kan folk flest forstå klimautfordringen når ingen kan lese rapporten og verken mediene eller forskerne selv tar skikkelig formidlingsansvar?" [How can people understand the climate challenge, when no one can read the report and neither the media nor researchers take proper  responsibility for disseminating?]

I take part representing University of Stavanger. Elisabeth Eide will offer an introductory talk.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

FRIPRO application "Umwelt Theory For Our Time" completed and submitted

Today I have finished the research application "Umwelt Theory For Our Time" - a 10-page project description; 30-something pages altogether with electronic application and attachments - for Research Council of Norway´s Young Research Talents scheme (FRIPRO, independent research). 11 good colleagues are involved either as Visiting researchers or as members of the prospective project´s Reference Group (and Timo Maran is one of the core researchers).

See also previous posts on FRIPRO and on "Umwelt Theory For Our Time".

Moss field trip cancelled

Our field trip to Moss has been cancelled due to illness.

See also:

Friday, 22 May 2015

Moss interviews to be conducted at Moss library

Today I have arranged a locality for field work interviews to be conducted in Moss, Østfold, next week (May 28th and 29th). The interviews will take place at Moss library.

See also previous posts on video-recorded interviews in the subproject "Representations of Large Mammals especially Wolves" (part of the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis").

Selection panel of the Annual Biosemiotic Achievement Award appointed

The selection panel of the Annual Biosemiotic Achievement Award (see statutes) has now been appointed. Initially it counts the following members: Izabela Witkowska (Springer), Karel Kleisner (appointed by the Editors-in-Chief of Biosemiotics) and Don Favareau (appointed by the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies (ISBS)).

The first award will be given to author(s) of an article in the 2015 volume (nos. 1, 2, 3) of Biosemiotics. The winner will be announced in Biosemiotics #1/2016 and on the ISBS webpage.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Revised conference abstracts evaluated

Yesterday I evaluated 4 revised abstracts as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the September 17-19 University of Stavanger conference "Animals in the Anthropocene".

Steering Committee meeting of EMP151 attended

Today I have attended the Steering Committee meeting of the Estonian-Norwegian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" (EMP151), as the Norwegian Project leader and one of two members of the committee along with PI Timo Maran of University of Tartu.

Conference presentations of "Animals in changing environments" listed

Updates now online: Conference presentations by members of the Norwegian research group in the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" (EMP151). Also in Norwegian.

Some 20 presentations are listed.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

"Animals in changing environments" updated further

Today I´ve updated the Norwegian webpage of the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" - in both English and Norwegian. Updates include:
* Conference presentations (not yet processed by proof reader at time of posting this)
* Research seminars (not yet updated at time of posting this)
* Conference - programme (also in Norwegian)

"A critical reading of the mentions of animals in Norwegian political party programs" written

This night I finished my chapter "A critical reading of the mentions of animals in Norwegian political party programs" (see previous posts). In this study I make use of ecolinguistics, corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Two session proposals revised early February

On February 1st I updated two session proposals submitted to the September 17-19th University of Stavanger conference "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere", on request from the conference´s Scientific Advisory Committee. Namely: The session proposals “Wild animals in the era of humankind” and “Global species”.

See also:

"Animals in the Anthropocene" conference website updated with registration, practical info

The conference webpage of "Animals in the Anthropocene: Human-animal relations in a changing semiosphere" (University of Stavanger September 17-19) has been updated with info on practical information (including hotel accommodation) and registration (including conference fee, conference dinner, guided tour). See also Norwegian versions - praktisk informasjon and registrering.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Abstract for 3rd EMP151 research seminar: "Human Perceptions of Wolves and other Animals in Kristiansand, Kautokeino and Rendalen"

Paul Thibault and I have today composed the abstract below for the 3rd Norwegian research seminar in the Estonian-Norwegian research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis" (University of Stavanger, June 5th).

***
Human Perceptions of Wolves and other Animals in Kristiansand, Kautokeino and Rendalen 
Paul Thibault (University of Agder) and Morten Tønnessen (University of Stavanger) 
This paper presents fieldwork focused on people´s perception of wolves and selected animals which the wolf is often perceived as being in conflict with. The data analyzed in this paper consists of video-recordings of a series of semi-structured interviews conducted in Norway in Spring 2015 in three locations. During these interviews, participants were shown and asked to respond to display materials featuring wolves and other animals – particularly reindeer (Kautokeino, Finnmark) and sheep (Rendalen, Hedmark). Other study animals include hunting dogs, lynx and moose. Reindeer and sheep were selected for study due to their centrality in regional discourses on wolf management. At each of the interview locations (including the pilot study in Kristiansand, Vest-Agder), participants were recruited from relevant interest groups, including environmentalists, hunters, sheep farmers and reindeer herders. 11 interviews are included in the data presented here (4 in Kristiansand, 3 in Kautokeino, 4 in Rendalen). 
Using techniques derived from Multimodal Interaction Analysis (MIA), the study analyzes participants´ accounts of, attitudes to and reactions towards selected display materials. The term ´perception´ used in the title of this paper refers to participants´ experience with, ideas about and attitudes towards the study animals, as revealed in the interviews. Methodologically, display materials were used in order to elicit responses that provide information about the participants´ perceptions of the study animals. The display materials included video clips, audio recordings of animal vocalizations, and images. The semi-structured interviews also included a few standard questions.  
The techniques of MIA were deployed in order to analyze the full range of interviewees´ meaning-making resources, including vocal utterances, gesture, facial expressions and other relevant body movements. The purpose of the MIA was to identify salient cultural thematic patterns, evaluative stances and feelings experienced by the participants in their encounter with the display materials and their recounts of their experiences of the study animals. Furthermore, a comparative analysis was developed of relevant patterns in the data that showed differences and similarities in the perceptions of the different interest groups. Moreover, a comparative analysis was also undertaken based on the different geographical locations where the data was gathered. 
The paper will present preliminary findings concerning the different ways in which interviewees performed and enacted their experiences of the study animals through body dynamics, verbal patterns and orientation to cultural values. The display material included in the interviews were designed to elicit different responses and interpretations, without prompting from the interviewer. In particular the audio clips and images proved, in many instances, to be highly ambiguous and open to diverse interpretations.  
Acknowledgements: This work has been carried out thanks to the support of the research project Animals in Changing Environments: Cultural Mediation and Semiotic Analysis (EEA Norway Grants/Norway Financial Mechanism 2009–2014 under project contract no. EMP151). Laura Kiiroja contributed to cataloguing and coding the video-recordings as a valuable stage in the preparation of the analyses developed in this paper.

Friday, 15 May 2015

11th interview

Today my collaborator Paul Thibault and I have conducted a fourth video-recorded interview in Rendalen - at Åkrestrømmen. This brings the total numbers of interviews in the subproject "Representations of Large Mammals especially Wolves" (part of the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis") up to 11, after 3 of 5 field works have been conducted.

Meeting in Rendalen

Today I have met, along with my collaborator Paul Thibault, with the outfield consultant in Rendalen municipality.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

EMP151 reporting for 2014

In the very beginning of February I reported 2014 activities to the research project "Animals in Changing Environments: Cultural Mediation and Semiotic Analysis" (EMP151).

Three interviews conducted in Rendalen

Today, along with my collaborator Paul Thibault, I´ve conducted three interviews in Rendalen, Hedmark, as part of the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis", specifically the subproject "Representations of Large Mammals especially Wolves". This brings the total so far up to 10 interviews, and some 8-9 hours of video recordings.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

"Uexküllian phenomenology" to be published in Chinese Semiotic Studies

Today I have been notified that the editors of Chinese Semiotic Studies have decided that they will publish my article “Uexküllian phenomenology”. A revised version of the mansucript is due early June.

See also:

To talk at researcher standup, Stavanger, September 22nd

Today I have agreed to take part in a "Forsker Standup" (researcher standup) at Café Sting in Stavanger on September 22nd, as part of Forskningsdagene [literally: the research days], an annual Norwegian academic festival. Work title for my 15 minute presentation: “Om det menneskeskapte økologiske hierarki i Antropocen” [On the human-made ecological hierarchy in the Anthropocene].

Monday, 11 May 2015

Trial lecture attended

Today I attended a trial lecture by Ahmed Bawa Kuyini Abubakar (via videolink) at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies.

Meeting on application

Today I met with my Head of department to discuss my FRIPRO research application, "Umwelt Theory For Our Time".

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Gatherings in Biosemiotics 15: "The ontogeny of precocial vs. altricial Umwelten" accepted

Some time back I was notified that the Scientific Advisory Committee of the 15th international Gathering in Biosemiotics (Copenhagen, June 30 - July 4) has accepted my paper “The ontogeny of precocial vs. altricial Umwelten” for oral presentation.

"Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism" to be revised

I have been informed about the editorial decision of the editors of the book Establishing Cognitive Semiotics concerning my contribution "Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism" - major revisions. A revision is due in June.

Friday, 8 May 2015

National daily Aftenposten cites chronicle on petroleum research

In a news article published by the national daily Aftenposten January 17th, "Derfor bruker de lang tid på å finne ny Statoilsjef" [This is why they take so long finding a new Statoil boss], I am cited, in a caption, as stating that the tax refund arrangements for oil drilling makes research collaborations between universities and private companies parodic.


Interviewed by Dyrebeskyttelsen´s membership magazine on wolves

This week I have been interviewed (via email) by the membership magazine of the Norwegian animal protection NGO Dyrebeskyttelsen [literally "the animal protection"] on hostile attitudes to wolves. I was interviewed in capacity of being associate professor of philosophy at University of Stavanger and chair of Minding Animals Norway.

Working group meeting not attended

Today I could not attend an important meeting at university of Stavanger, due to technical challenges. However, some of what I have written was reportedly referred to at the meeting, and I have send suggestions by email.

See also:

Term of office for UiS board extended to end of year

The term of office for the board of University of Stavanger has been extended from the end of July to the end of December 2015 (the current term started autumn 2011). This is because the university is in a process of merging with the Stord/Haugesund University College (HSH). The two institutions will likely merge with effect from January 1st 2016.

I am currently 2nd deputy representative for temporarily employed education and research staff.

195 MC exam papers graded

This week I have graded 195 exam papers (Multiple Choice) in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of health studies (course code SVEXPHIL2).

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Meeting with Region Stavanger

Monday this week I met with a representative of Region Stavanger, a tourist and convention agency, to discuss possible solutions/options for the September 17-19 conference Animals in the Anthropocene (and, vaguely, other conferences, including prospective ones).

Formal budget for "Umwelt Theory For Our Time" composed

Earlier this week, on Monday, I met with an economist at University of Stavanger to compose a formal budget for my research application "Umwelt Theory For Our Time" (see previous posts),  for the FRIPRO grant scheme, based on a draft I had made. We so did.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Another chapter by Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng selected for Estonian Norwegian ecophilosophy volume

The last few days I have selected an additional text by Norwegian eco-philosopher Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng for inclusion in a forthcoming book in the series Avatud Eesti Raamat with Norwegian ecophilosophy in Estonian translation (to be published by Tartu University Press). The essay is entitled "Kraft-rom mot elve-tid: To kulturer på norsk jord" [Power-space vs. river-time: Two cultures on Norwegian soil]" and was first published in 1984.

See also:

RCN/Ministry of Education does not prioritise Young Research Talents this year

Today I have come to learn that the Research Council of Norway´s FRIPRO program (independent projects) (see previous posts) will not prioritise its Young Research Talents scheme (Unge forskertalenter) as high as it has done the last couple of years. The so-called "Fellesløftet" [joint effort], funded by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with higher education institutions, has this year been earmarked for a new Excellence in research (Toppforsk) scheme for older researchers (to qualify, one must have defended a PhD at least 6 years ago - I defended mine four years ago). The likelihood of getting funds for a Young Research Talents application will therefore be significantly lower than anticipated (closer to 10% than 20%).

This is a pity, given the effort UiS has made with its PRE-FRIPRO course program.

I will apply for funds for the project "Umwelt Theory For Our Time".

Three field trips arranged

The last few days I have arranged field trips (travel, accommodation) to Koppang/Rendalen (May 13-16), Moss (May 27-30) and Stavanger (June 2-5) in relation to the research project "Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis", more specifically the subproject "Representations (both Problematic and Romanticizing) of Large Mammals, especially Wolves". Paul Thibault and I will conduct video-recorded interviews (which are consequently to be catalogued by Laura Kiiroja).

So far we have conducted a pilot study and a field trip to Kautokeino.

Editing of collective monograph

The last couple of days I have contributed to commenting on/editing contributions to the collective monograph Semiotic Methods in the Study of Human-Animal Interactions (Tartu: Tartu University Press, forthcoming in 2016) - first drafts.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Two consultative statements on Norwegian fur industry

Last week I composed and submitted two consultative statements to the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture on whether or not the Norwegian fur industry should be terminated, one on behalf of Minding Animals Norway and the other on behalf of myself as Associate professor of philosophy at University of Stavanger. All consultative statements submitted - around 80 - are to be found here.

My statement as a private person is available here. The statement of Minding Animals Norway is available here.

Portrait of Bergljot Børresen on radio program Ekko

On the Norwegian radio program Ekko (NRK P2) this Saturday, May 2nd, a portrait of Bergljot Børresen was aired, after she received the Minding Animals award 2015 (see blog post) - a fact that was mentioned in the program.

See also the webpage of Minding Animals Norway (post about the award here, in Norwegian).