Anthropology research seminar with Janne Flora (University of Aarhus): Taste as Infrastructure: Perspectives on human-animal relations in Greenland

Taste as Infrastructure: Perspectives on human-animal relations in Greenland

The idea that Inuit hunt for calories and physical survival, is one of the most popular and prevailing narratives about the Arctic. Another one is about souls, and the notion that animals never really die, but reincarnate, provided proper treatment by humans. While neither are wholly untrue, both conceptions nevertheless tend towards utilitarianism, essentialism, and struggle to find place within realities of Anthropocene land- and seascapes. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research carried out in different areas of Greenland, this presentation will explore how taste – the taste of animals, the taste of places, and of seasons – may be perceived as kind of infrastructure within which hunters and their families navigate and understand the landscape and the animals they hunt. Such perspective allows new understanding into the shaping and reconfiguration of human-animal relations within new realities of thinning sea ice, stock depletion, pollution, and regulated hunting. 

Janne Flora is Associate Professor at the department of Anthropology, Aarhus University. She received her PhD from University of Cambridge, Scott Polar Research Institute in 2009, and has carried out ethnographic research in Greenland for around two decades. She is author of Wandering Spirits: loneliness and longing in Greenland (Chicago, 2019), and currently PI of the research project: Hunting Life: explorations of biosociality in Greenland (Carlsberg Foundation).

When: 12.04.24 kl 10.15–12.00
Where: TEO-H1 1.343
Location / Campus: Tromsø
Target group: Studenter, Besøkende, Inviterte, Enhet, Ansatte
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