More-than-human humanities research group!

Category: Humus Economicus Collaboratory


Warmly welcome to Färgfabriken on Saturday 2 April!

Saturday 2 April, 13:00-16:00 hrs, at KONSTHALLEN FÄRGFABRIKEN, Lövholmsbrinken 1, Liljeholmen, Stockholm.



In the FORMAS-project Reclaiming Futures – Storying Change teenagers and researchers engage in a conversation on climate change, environmental issues and our relationship to ecology. Now, we show off some of the results from these conversations – a series of short films and a festival program curated and produced by the kids themselves!

Time: Saturday 2 april 13.00 to 16.00 hrs

Venue: Konsthallen Färgfabriken, Lövholmsbrinken 1, Liljeholmen, Stockholm. 

Reclaiming Futures is a modus operandi, a way to take back the futures from the past settings still shaping the world to come. In particular, Reclaiming Futures is a way to empower young people’s position in the public debate on environmentalism and climate governance. The climate is an issue for more than technocrats, experts, politicians and academics – it is for everybody.

Environmental research is not just about numbers, data and statistics. It is also about us as people, and how we relate to the environment, to life and death (and for whom) on this planet. It is about how we see ourselves in relationship to the environment we are changing – do we think ourselves outside it or are we part of the world? If we are to understand the impact of climate change and species extinction rates and how to handle it, we need to learn of the greater webs of relationships of living things, nonhuman animals and plants, as well as humans and our differences, says Cecilia Åsberg, a researcher in the environmental humanities, professor at Linköping University and one of the initiators of this project.

In Reclaiming Futures youngsters and researchers, teachers, film makers, artists, curators and science journalists participate with their special insights into climate- and research communication. During 2021 and 2022 the teenagers and researchers convened for workshops and conversations on today´s climate and environmental situation. The youngsters were trained in efficient cultural communication and taught how to formulate their own stories by images and film making, later to take form in a number of short films and stories of their own making. In parallel, other groups, like a young art-activist collective in Gnesta, and a youth councel at Färgfabriken, made for the curated program, the exhibition space and framework of this festival.

This festival will exhibit the results of the work, and it contains besides short film screenings also curated conversations between youth and researchers, shorter talks and lectures, creative expressions and societal frameworks.

Reclaiming Futures is a mode of working that paves new ways for a science communication of reciprocity. The conversations and collaborations exhibit how society not only needs a new configuration of knowledge with multiple voices and stakeholders, but also new ways of communicating and relating to the social imagery, the cultural commentary and especially to the future making potentials of youth, says Cecilia Åsberg.


Projektet Reclaiming Futures – Storying Change är en fortsättning på pilotprojektet Popularizing Environmental Humanities (2019) och finansieras med medel från forskningsstiftelsen Formas. Projektet drivs i samarbetet mellan forskargruppen The Posthumanities Hub vid (bla) Linköpings universitet, konsthallen Färgfabriken i Stockholm, Kajman Media/Lotten Wiklund vetenskapsjournalist samt dokumentärfilmaren Karin Wegsjö på KW produktion. I projektet ingår även Bromma gymnasium och Artlab Gnesta, Squid Squad samt ett flertal intressenter. 

Projektet sträcker sig över 2021 och 2023 och kulminerar nu i en vetenskapsfestival på Konsthallen färgfabriken i Stockholm. Det pedagogiska arbetet i Reclaiming Futures bygger på workshopmetoder som utvecklats och utvärderats i tidigare projekt. Nu dokumenteras arbetet och framledes kommer metoder och tillvägagångssätt att struktureras och tillgängliggöras så att lärare och andra som är intresserade har möjlighet att arbeta vidare med ungdomar och klimatkommunikation. Modellen kommer att publiceras på


Karin Englund, projektledare Färgfabriken, 0736 84 27 23, 

Lotten Wiklund, projektledare Kajman Media, 070-651 55 30,

Cecilia Åsberg, projektledare Reclaiming Futures Linköpings universitet, 070 1918513,



Open Call: Soils as Sites of Emergency and Transformation, NESS Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden. Abstract deadline 15 Dec!

Dear soil friends, please consider joining us for “thinking with soils” workshop in Gothenburg, Sweden, 7-9 June 2022, as part of the Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS). Please note he short deadline for abstracts: 15 December 2021. Draft papers: 20 May 2022. The NESS format allows us to spend concentrated time in a small group of 12-15, meeting in half-day sessions over three consecutive days. Covid-19 permitting, we will hold this workshop in person. If you would like to participate but struggle with the short deadline for abstracts please get in touch!

Workshop chairs:

  • Anna Krzywoszynska, The University of Sheffield (
  • Daniel Münster, Oslo University (
  • Janna Holmstedt, National Historical Museums, Sweden (

Please send abstracts of 150-200 words using this link:

Background and urgency

The Covid-19 pandemic is seen by some as the latest warning against the intensity of intervention of human worlds into non-human processes and spaces. This latest emergency unfolds, however, against the background of the long and accelerating process of human-induced, global planetary and ecosystem change variously debated as the Anthropocene, the Capitalocene, or the Plantationcene.

The most lasting, the most fundamental, and the least address aspect of this ‘slow emergency’ and ongoing transformation relates to soils. When (rarely) discussed in the public sphere, soils are framed as an object of concern, and their degrading state is seen as a cause for alarm (as exemplified e.g. by the creation of the EU Mission for Soil Health and Food). In the Nordic context, soil emergencies are particularly noticeable as global heating-related changes in soil functions and states are having sudden and profound effects on lives, livelihoods, and land-use and inhabitation futures.

Such emergency framings which underpin policy and expert concern around soil change can, however, lack historical and ontological reflexivity around the desired human-soil relations. Beyond this emergency framing, soils are also a site of and a source of transformation. Both historically and today, soils are active participants in the making of human societies and of ecologies. Whereas loss of soils has been linked with societal collapse, reciprocal relations of care can transform societies and ecosystems. Moreover, in contemporary thinking in political and social theory (e.g. Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth, Donna Haraway’s thinking on composting), arts (e.g. the Humus economicus project), and in debates about sustainable farming (e.g. regenerative agriculture), relations with soils are a source of inspiration for new models of human-environmental interaction and for conceptualising more-than-human health. This new wave of ‘thinking with soils’ works across disciplinary boundaries to reconceptualise people, environments, and their interactions by acknowledging and interrogating human entanglement with soils.

Invitation: ‘a thinking with soils workshop’

We invite you to spend time together thinking through and getting to grips with our soil past, presents and futures in the context of the Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS) 7-9th June 2022. Covid-19 permitting, we will hold this workshop in person.

The NESS format allows us to spend concentrated time in a small group of 12-15, meeting in half-day sessions over three consecutive days. While the final format of our workshop depends on who responds to this call, we broadly envisage spending time in a structured manner discussing and workshopping one another’s ideas, and jointly discovering new directions of thought and forms of engagement. We envisage concluding the workshop by collaboratively building ‘a toolbox’ of ideas and practices for making the case for soils as societal actors.

As a workshop contributor, you are asked to share with others in the workshop group a paper (complete or in draft), a photo-essay, a movie (with accompanying essay), or a website (with accompanying essay) which you would like others to engage with. In the workshop, we will ask you to present this contribution very briefly, and to participate in a shared discussion on themes relating to the contribution. We will also ask you to read or view at least two other contributions and engage with them deeply in the workshop.

We ask you to share with us an abstract by 15th December 2021, and a full contribution (which can be a draft or working paper) by 20th May 2022. If you would like to participate but struggle with the short deadline for abstracts please get in touch!

Please send abstracts of 150-200 words using this link:

We broadly invite contributors to engage with the emergent thought on human-soil relations through the framing of emergency and transformation. This may include reflecting on the following questions, and related issues:

  • What are new, meaningful and interesting ways for thinking through current and past socio-ecological emergencies in relation to human-soil linkages?
  • How do soils or particular relations with soils contribute to the creation of emergencies, and how do they participate in transformations?
  • How can we transform current thinking about socio-ecological transformations by thinking with soils? What conceptual, affective, and ethical modes arise from soil engagements?
  • What forms of methodological and experimental practice can help us transform our thinking, or those of specific groups? What are emergent methodologies for a social science and humanities engagement with soils?
  • How are relations with soils and land drawn on and transformed in response to ecological and social emergencies, including economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic?

We invite empirical and theoretical papers related to the theme, as well as artistic commentaries and interventions.

Further information from NESS conference organisers:

The NESS workshops follow a standing session format (similar to ECPR), which allows for substantive discussions on research in progress.  The conference invites scholars from multiple disciplinary backgrounds in environmental social science.  The overall objective of the workshop is to facilitate and encourage participation, equality and collaboration between younger and more established scholars.  Each paper is expected to relate to the theme of the workshop, and the participant submits and presents a paper (or work in progress) for the discussion.  Workshop participants will be asked to comment on at least one other paper in the respective workshop and participate in the general discussion of the other papers presented.  Participants should only choose and attend one workshop for the duration of the conference.  The ambition with this format is that the workshops allow for in-depth and coherent discussions of the respective themes and provide opportunity for potential joint publications or other continuing collaborations between the participants

Humus economicus – Launching a four-year art and research project!

We’re happy to announce that The Posthumanities Hub researcher Dr. Janna Holmstedt has received a four-year research grant from Formas, a Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development for Humus economicus: Soil Blindness and the Value of “Dirt” in Urbanized Landscapes.

This art and research project inquiries into the value and future of soil in urbanized landscapes. It seeks to draw attention to radically altered human-soil relations, the invisible work of soils, and practices of soil care in a time when soils are sealed and degraded at rapid rates.

The research team consists of Janna Holmstedt (Pi), National Historical Museums, Sweden (SHM), Christina Fredengren, SHM, Malin Lobell, artist and gardener, Jenny Lindblad, KTH, Cecilia Åsberg, LiU, and Karin Wegsjö, filmmaker and director.

Through the Humus Economicus Collaboratory we will gather artists, scientists, environmental-, urban-, gender-, and heritage scholars, and connect with a growing number of soil stewards to counteract soil blindness, decolonize conceptualizations of nature, and transform public knowledge and imaginaries of soils.

The project explores how multiple forms of inheritance and potential futures meet in the subject of soil, and what societies that strive to be sustainable could learn from it.  Soils tie together political ecologies into conflict zones where nature and culture, human and non-human cannot easily be discerned and held apart. Humus economicus intends to stay with these troubles. It also recognizes that soil is not a charismatic other, as whales for example, which manages to mobilize empathy and action. Soil is rather uncharismatic and constitutes a wider form of bio-agency. How then, to call forth embodied knowledge of, and empathy with, an environment that to a large extent is invisible, difficult to grasp, uncharismatic, and which is being altered in anthropogenic ways?

Read more at the Humus economicus website!

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