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Gro Ween featured in special issue of the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies

26 August - 26 November 2014

Gro Ween is an editor of a special issue of the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies, and is also featured as an author and co-author in this latest issue of the journal.

Writing Nature

Kristin Asdal, Gro Birgit Ween


This special issue of the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies is interested in how nature, in different versions and forms, is invited into our studies, analyses, and stories. How is it that we “write nature”? How is it that we provide space for, and actually describe the actors, agents, or surroundings, in our stories and analyses? The articles in the issue each deal with different understandings of both the practices of writing and the introduction of various natures into these. In this introduction to the issue the editors engage with actor-network theory as a material semiotic resource  for writing nature. We propose to foreground actor-network theory as a writing tool, at the expense of actor-network theory as a distinct vocabulary. In doing this and pointing out the semiotic origins to material-semiotics we also want to  problematize a clear-cut material approach to writing nature.

Tracking Nature Inscribed: Nature in Rights and Bureaucratic Practice

Gro Birgit Ween


Indigenous people live in places that non-indigenous people generally consider nature. As these peoples’ livelihoods often are in this nature, their lives are frequently bureaucratised in ways that most of us would never encounter. This article describes my long-term effort to find ways to explore such bureaucratic processes in practice as part of my contribution to an environmental anthropology. I describe how I methodologically and theoretically explore such processes by using two examples of my writing, the articles “Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella nasjonalpark: Naturforvaltning som produksjon av natur/sted” and “Enacting Human and Non-Human Indigenous Salmon, Sami and Norwegian Natural Resource Management”. The first text describes Sami reindeer herders fighting the establishment of a national park. The other concerns an attempt of the Directorate of Nature Management to reregulate sea salmon fishing. Comparing these two articles, I show the variety of bits of nature that are materialised in bureaucratic process. Agency within such bureaucratic processes is explored with references to the materialities of the coined terms, texts bits, conventions and other legal references, as well as the numbers produced in the documents. Circulated, these bits of nature certainly influence the outcome of environmental controversies – they can contribute to naturalising particular narratives or foreseen outcomes.

A full text of both articles may be downloaded here:



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