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PhD Course – Arts of Noticing: Methods for Studying the Anthropocene

Accelerating impacts and consequences of human actions on the planet have highlighted the need for interdisciplinary attention to the voices of more-than-human others and how the life of humans depends on them and their wellbeing. To fine-tune our methodological approaches for studying the world around us, this course provides an opportunity to explore and develop human-environmental methodologies for investigating the "new human condition” of the Anthropocene.

Dates: 2 – 6 September, 2024

Location: University of Oulu and the Oulanka Research Station

Credits: 5 ECTS

Cost: The course will cover transportation to and from Oulanka research station, meals, and accommodations at the station. Participants will need to cover their own travel costs to Oulu if they do not reside there.

Maximum number of students: 10

This course offers intensive, field lab-style training in more-than-human research methods. Motivated by the need to take seriously the co-dependence of humans and environments, scholars in social sciences and the humanities have been experimenting with new methods and paradigms for academic research which can investigate knowledge as being co-produced with more-than-human participants. Drawing on these more-than-human research methods the course will explore ways of making and representing knowledge about ecological and environmental entities such as plants, fungi, weather, bacteria, and landscapes, in ways which are not reducible to natural sciences. The course centres around the question of how we can bring the way other entities experience the world into human consciousness? As such, we will be guided by two key principles in more-than-human research methods. First, the focus on the body (or bodies) as sites of knowledge, how humans and more-than-humans relate with one another through senses and affects.

Second, the limitations of established forms of representation (particularly textual representation in which ‘the researcher’ speaks with authority about others) and the desire to develop more-than-representational research methods and modes of communicating knowledge.


The course takes the form of the 4-day intensive field lab located at University of Oulu and Oulanka research station. The field lab is aimed primarily at doctoral students at the University of Oulu across all disciplines, sharing an interest in developing ways of noticing and means of sensing, responding to, and communicating with the more-than-human elements of the world.

During the 4-day period, the participants will explore and develop transdisciplinary and speculative methods comprising a combination of various art-based, sensory and hands-on experiments, individual writing exercises and collective processing workshops. The hands-on exploratory experiments will provide the participants with tools to:

  • Explore the consequences of the "new human condition" of the Anthropocene for knowledge-making, sense-making, and action at all scales and in all areas of social activity.

  • Reimagine what kind of agents and entities comprise society and what it means to act.

  • Develop ways of noticing, sensing, and communicating with the more-than-human elements of the world.

  • Expand the sensing and sense-making capacities so that we can notice and appropriately respond to the materialities, temporalities, and the inherent value of more-than-human entities.

  • Critically and speculatively approach issues of methods and methodologies, narratives and modes of description, imaginaries and discourses, practices and identities.

The course is organized by the Lively Lab at the University of Oulu () with guest lecturers – Dr. Leslie Green and Dr. Pauliina Rautio.

For questions contact Dr. Anna Krzywoszynska anna dot krzywoszynska at oulu dot fi.


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