Norwegian team

The Norwegian team studies the narrative cultures emerging around re-storied sites and regions in rural areas of Norway. The focus lies on pilgrim routes (such as the St. Olav Ways and the St. Sunniva pilgrimage routes) and regions with a rich folkloristic heritage. Here, we ask how different aspects of religious history are retold as a heritage, and analyze the dynamics triggered by a heritagisation of religion.

Dirk Johannsen

Professor of Cultural History at the University of Oslo

Dirk Johannsen‘s research focuses on narrative cultures, popular religion in the nineteenth century, cognitive approaches, and trolls. He studies how narrative cultures that emerge around refurbished pilgrim routes and regions with a multilayered religious past connect the historical imagination and the sensory experience of place. His case studies deal with the St. Olav Ways and several regions with a religious history shaped by alternative or radical expressions of faith.

Ane Ohrvik

Associate Professor of Cultural History at the University of Oslo

Ane Ohrvik’s specialization is the history of knowledge in early modern Europe and topics relating to magic and witchcraft, history of medicine, rituals, book history, and folk religion. In the project, she studies Norwegian holy wells, which in recent years have appeared as part of place-based leisure sports like scavenging facilitated by digital scavenger applications. Effectively combining digital gaming elements downloaded on a smart phone with physical outdoor activities supported by GPS-technology, these apps promote and facilitate playful adventures, sightseeing, educational guides and treasure hunts. Ohrvik explores in what way digital gaming apps like that of Geocaching directs the user’s attention towards the wells in specific ways, how it create and disseminate historical content and narratives about the wells, and how it promotes and facilitates specific traditional practices on site.

Hannah Kristine Lunde

PhD candidate in Cultural History at the University of Oslo

Hannah Kristine Lunde‘s research addresses actualizations of pilgrimage in Norway. She compares the development along two refurbished pilgrim routes to the island of Selja and to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim to ask for emerging trends towards both heritagisation of the sacred and the socialization of heritage. Her approach to analyse the former shrines of St Sunniva and St Olav as re-storied places allows to explore pilgrimage as an idea, as embodied practice, and as place-making strategy.