WP3: Engineering and resource management

WP3 Leader: Helge Jordheim

This WP overlaps in part with the on-going UiO-funded project Geological Times and New Regimes of Historicity. One PhD-project, in which ethnographic and textual methods are used to study mining on Greenland, more specifically an abandoned cryolite mine, is already underway, supervised by the PI together with a geologist at UiO. Another project, performed by a PD, will start up in August, studying the resource extraction industry, and how Norwegian extraction sites become places of conflict with environmental activists and indigenous critics. In both these projects the entanglement of different time scales and the deployment of various temporal arrangements is at the centre of the investigation. WP3 is designed to strengthen and sharpen these on-going projects, by offering a historical framework and at the same time a counterpoint.

1) The first part of WP3 explores how the mining industry since the 18th century has been a field of knowledge and practice, where different time scales have become entangled and synchronized. Billions of years of geological time have been implemented in the search and extraction of metals and minerals (Rudwick 2005). The location for the study will be the Mining Seminar at Konsberg, Norway, one of the first Mining Seminars in Europe and part of a network of other Mining Seminars in Germany and Eastern Europe. Based on the book collection and lecture plans, the WP will explore how a new temporal arrangement came into being to support and inform the mining industry (Berg, 2011).

2) However, mining is not the only engineering practice which deals with the longue duree of landscape and geological formations. For the second part, WP3 asks how the entanglement of time scales and the emergence of new temporal arrangements changes if the engineering practices in question are not involved in removing land masses to discover metals and minerals, but, on the contrary, in amassing them in order to produce new land. Land reclamation takes place on all four major continents, and has a long history (Van de Ven, 1994). In this process the long durée of the landscape is subjected to the decision- and action-driven time of politics.

PhD Researcher Leonoor Zuiderveen Borgesius is associated with WP3.2.