Dolly Jørgensen new blogger in Curie

2015-01-21

She is going to take the Curie blog readers on ”An Expedition into the Heart of the Humanities”. Dolly Jørgensen is a historian of the environment and technology at Umeå University and the first Curie blogger who writes in English.

What is your research area?
I am a historian of the environment and technology. I am most interested in how humans come to understand what is ”natural” and what is not, what is acceptable environmental behavior and what is not. These understandings of the natural often intersect with how human technologies shape the world around us and our perceptions of that. My research spans from medieval to contemporary environmental issues. My primary areas of interest are human-animal relations, the urban environment, and environmental policymaking, particularly in the fields of conservation biology and restoration ecology.

How did you become interested in the topic?
I have been interested in environmental topics since childhood. I got my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a speciality in environmental engineering and worked in the field of environmental consulting before going back to school to study history. With my environmental background, it made sense to look at human-nonhuman interactions when I started working on historical topics.

What do you prefer to do on your spare time?
Mostly I spend time with my family—my husband who is also a historian and my two young girls. For longer vacation periods we like to travel, especially to visit historical sites and museums.

What was the last book you read?
Right now I’m reading Where Do Camels Belong? by Ken Thompson. It’s an example of how to explain a serious scientific issue (in this case invasion biology), question standard practices, and make the debate accessible to a general readership.

What are you going to blog about?
I’m going to take the Curie blog readers on ”An Expedition into the Heart of the Humanities”. I want to let readers experience my humanities-based research process, grant cycle preparations, conference participation, and the like, with me as the events unfold over a few months.

What are your expectations of blogging in the Curie?
There has been much debate about the role of the humanities in academia and what our value is compared to the natural and applied sciences. I hope my blogging helps make public in Sweden and abroad what it means to ”do” humanities scholarship, thereby showing its complexity and value.

Text: Peter Tillhammar
Foto: Privat