My research-fields are within archaeology, heritage studies, curatorship, gender theory and the environmental humanities. In archaeology I have mainly been concerned with exploring relations with waters and wetland. Currently the work deals with deposition of human- and animal remains in wet-contexts in Sweden in the project Tidens Vatten, particularly focusing on the LBA/EIA, discussing sacrifice and the inhumane and thereby also issues around what is concerned as dead and alive matter(cf. Fredengren 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021). Depositions in water of artefacts and bodily remains, as well as the building of crannogs – man made islands or platforms were topics researched during my time as Director of Irelands research institute in Archaeology – that followed on from the fieldwork in the Crannog Research Programme for my PhD thesis on crannog landscapes at Lough Gara, Co. Sligo, Ireland. In heritage studies my research troubles how heritage is valued in the present, and problematize the link to sustainable development (Fredengren 2012, 2015, 2020, 2021). This strand of research has been furthered in the meeting point between critical heritage studies and posthumanist feminism that blur the boundaries between nature/culture, material/immaterial and challenge the anthropocentric focus in heritage policy (Fredengren 2015). My research continues in the interface between heritage studies and the emerging field of the Environmental Humanities and curatorship (Fredengren 2016). Of particular interest are questions about Deep Time, materiality, ethics, intragenerational justice and care.
Keywords: water, wetland, depositions, bog bodies, sacrifice, late bronze age, pre-roman iron age, archaeology and science, body- and gender theory, new materialism, posthumanism, more-than-human, environmental humanities, deep time, heritage studies, curatorship
Networks and affiliations
* Founder of Stockholm University Environmental Humanities Network together with Claudia Egerer and Karin Dirke.
*Scientific Leader of Deep time and Member of the Seed Box, an environmental humanities collaboratory at Linköping University, funded by Formas and Mistra
*Affiliated Researcher at the Posthumanities Hub at Tema Gender
*Member of Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network
*Member of AGE group – Archaeology and Gender in Europe
Courses and Research Schools (examples)
Coordinator and main lecturer at the Doctoral School in Environmental Humanities at Stockholm University
Caroline Owman, PhD-student at Umeå University, Det mer-än-mänskliga museet
Justin Makii, PhD-student at Linköping University, The Haunted Archive: a tale of time-less or a-temporal ethico-onto-epistemologies
Albin Gripe. Lic-student at Stockholm University, Deep Time and Education
Masters or equivalent
Sara-Lot van Uum, Stockholm University, Curator Studies
Curating Time (Formas-Mistra 2020-)
Curating time explore time and temporality in curatorial and environmental strategies. With a base in critical feminist posthumanism this project further problematizes the anthropocentric focus in many heritage policies and strategies (Fredengren 2015) and probes into the technocratic politicization of the long-term. Here, it focuses on the use of heritage in sustainable development (also critiqued in Alaimo 2012 and problematized in Fredengren 2012) as it deals with range of naturalized others as if they have no agency and leaves the stage open for appropriation and exploitation. Furthermore, such policies often underarticulates the notion of intra-generational ethics and care and promotes chrono-linear time keeping. Not only do such policies risk downplaying materiality, but also a number of human and non-human others, driving wedges between nature and culture, it also risks transplanting, such binaries into museum collections, curatorship and exhibition-making. Whereas critical heritage studies (Smith 2006, 2016) has pointed out many injustices of who gets under-represented in the heritage repertoire, this project will not stop at critiquing the powers involved in heritage-editing, but explore and intervene in material and temporal trajectories and agencies in emerging museum ecologies (hereby extending reasoning on media ecologies (cf Hörl 2018) onto museums/exhibitions/curatorship).
Checking in with Deep Time (Formas 2017-2021)
This project run in collaboration with Prof Cecilia Åsberg aims to deal with the major research question of how to better re-tie the material and immaterial knots between past, present and future generations, and to suggest ways forward for moving towards innovative ways of checking in with our post-natural and materializing clocks. The project is methodologically innovative and aspires to have high impact on the approaches to sustainability, intergenerational justice and care in postnatural heritage management. It works with three studies – on focusing on the politicization of the long-term within the natural/cultural heritage sectors, the next with how vernacular temporalities are met and transformed on site at Gärstadsverken (a garbage disposal site situated on an Iron Age sanctuary) and theoretical work on intergenerational justice and care. Here traditional theories are compared to those developed within critical posthumanism and the environmental humanities. This project has an emphasis on citizens humanities and collaborative research. It also aims to provide humanities innovations to the civil services.
Water of the Times – Tidens Vatten (Vetenskapsrådet, Berit Wallenberg, Vitterhetsakademin, Gad Rausing 2013-)
The project provides an overview of the depositions of human- and animal bones from waters and wetlands in Sweden. The aim is to give a better understanding och what effects these depositions may have had in society during Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. Main questions are who got deposited? What human-animal relations were changed through these deposition and what power relationships were negotiated? The project works with critical post-human theory to discuss the mattering of bodies and the collaboration with archaeological sciences (as osteology, isotope-analysis and DNA). This project has been published in several papers and the research is currently synthesized in a monograph with the working title: Sacrifice – the nature of the in-humane. The project continues, for example with the research at Lake Bokaren.
Earlier projects (examples)
The Values of Heritage
The Crannog Research Programme
The Lake Settlement Project
List of peer-reviewed publications:
Fredengren, C. 2021. (In press). Bodily entanglements: Gender, archaeological sciences and the more-than-ness of archaeological bodies. Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
Fredengren, C. 2021. (In press) Worlding Waters with the Dead (or the more-than-dead). NAR.
Fredengren, C. 2021. (In press) Ecologizing Heritage: Heritage Ecologies. Heritage as phenomenon and worlding practices. In Petursdottir, T. & Bangstad, T. (eds) Heritage Ecologies. London: Routledge.
Fredengren, C. & Åsberg, C. 2020. Checking in with Deep Time. In Harrison, R. & Sterling, C. (eds) Deterritorializing the Future:Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene. London, UK: Open Humanities Press.
Fredengren, C. & Karlsson, J. 2019. Mossberga Mosse: Excavating the Archives and Tracing Museum Ecologies, Journal of Wetland Archaeology, 19:1-2, 115-130.
O´Conor, K. & Fredengren, C. 2019. Living on lakes – Medieval Irish Settlements. In Nolan, W (ed). Leitrim: History and Society.Dublin. Geography Publications.
Fredengren, C. 2019. Finitude – Human and Animal Sacrifice in a Norse setting. Proceedings of the Old Norse Mythology Conference 2015. Stockholm. Stockholm University Press.
Fredengren, C. 2018. Personhood of Water. Depositions of Bodies and Things in Water Contexts as a Way of Observing Agential Relationships. Current Swedish Archaeology,Vol. 26, Pp. 219-245.
Fredengren, C. 2018. Re-wilding the Environmental Humanities. A Deep Time Comment. Current Swedish Archaeology,Vol. 26, Pp. 50-60.
Fredengren, C. 2018. Archaeological posthumanities: feminist re-invention of humanities, science and material pasts. Eds. Braidotti, R. & Åsberg, C. Reinventing the humanities.New York: Springer.
Fredengren, C. 2017. Becoming Bog Bodies. Sacrifice and politics of exclusion, as evidenced in the deposition of skeletal remains in wetlands near Uppåkra. Journal of Wetland Archaeology
Fredengren, C. 2016. Deep time enchantment. Bog bodies, crannogs and other worldly sites at disjuncture’s in time. Archaeology and Environmental Ethics. World Archaeology48:4.
Fredengren, C. 2015. Nature:cultures. Heritage, sustainability and feminist posthumanism.Current Swedish Archaeology, Vol. 23., 109-130.
Fredengren, C., & Löfqvist, C. 2015. Food for Thor. The deposition of human and animal remains in a Swedish wetland area. Journal of Wetland Archaeology
Fredengren, C., 2015. Water politics. Wetland deposition of human and animal remains in Uppland, Sweden. FornvännenStockholm.
Fredengren, C. 2013. Posthumanism, the transcorporeal and biomolecular archaeology. Current Swedish Archaeology, Vol. 21, 53-71.
Bergerbrant, S., Fredengren, C., Molnar, P., Löfqvist, C. 2013. Violent death and wetlands: Skeletal remains from Gotland. In Bergerbrant, S. & S. Sabatini (eds) Counterpoint: Essays in Archaeology and Heritage Studies in Honour of Professor Kristian Kristiansen, BAR. Oxford, 199-206.
Fredengren, C. 2012. Kulturarvets värde för en hållbar samhällsutveckling. I Fredengren, C., Jensen, O. W., & Wall, Å. (red). I valet och kvalet. Värdering och urval av kulturarv.Riksantikvarieämbetet. , 189-223.
Fredengren, C. (in manuscript) Sacrifice and the Nature of the Inhumane.
Fredengren, C., Jensen, O.W., Wall, Å. 2012. I valet och kvalet. Värdering och urval av kulturarv.Riksantikvarieämbetet. Stockholm.
Fredengren, C. Stuijts, I., Kilfeather, A. 2010. Kinale Monograph – Studies of an Irish Lake. The Discovery Programme. Wordwell. Bray.
Fredengren, C. 2002. A study of people’s interactions with lakes, with particular reference to Lough Gara in the north west of Ireland.Wordwell. Diss 2003. Bray.
Publications in other journals:
Fredengren, C. 2021. (in press) Death as portals to worlds within worlds. Exhibition Catalogue. Signe Johannesen.
Fredengren, C. 2020. Lyells Ek. Arktiska Spår. Nordiska Museet. Utställningskatalog.
Fredengren, C. 2019. Att möta våtmarkernas natur, en spekulativ arkeologi om offer mosslik och klimatfrågor. OEI #84/85.