Dr. Eilin Holtan Torgersen
Ph.D. University of Bergen
M.A. University of Bergen
B.A. University of Bergen
Torgersen has been a member of Bergen Pacific Studies Research Group since 2008 and is currently working at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) in the Centre for Sustainable Transitions. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of Bergen, including a year of international exchange at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Torgersen finished her M.A. in social anthropology in June 2010, with a thesis grounded in a seven-month fieldwork in a hālau hula in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, titled The Social Meanings of Hula: Hawaiian Traditions and Politicized Identities in Hilo. Following this, she worked for 2,5 years as a Research Assistant and Project Administrator for the Bergen Pacific Studies Research Group. During this time, she had major roles in the running and finalizing of the international NFR -funded project Pacific Alternatives: Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation in Oceania, and in the forming and successful application of the EU-funded project ECOPAS (European Consortium for Pacific Studies). Torgersen held the position of Project Manager within the ECOPAS project while working as a Ph.D. Fellow within the same project. She was also engaged in the start-up of the international RCN-funded project OCEANSTATES at the University of Bergen, before attaining a position as a Project Manager and Research Adviser at the University of South-Eastern Norway’s Section for Research and Innovation in 2019. She further attained a position at the USN Centre for Sustainable Transitions in June 2021. Torgersen completed her Ph.D. in September 2022.
Torgersen’s research interests are rooted in Pacific Islands anthropology and revolve around relationships between people and volatile environments, with a specific focus on the active volcano Kīlauea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Her work offers insights into discussions about epistemologies, ontologies, geontologies, geosocialities, vernacular seismologies, spirituality, cosmologies, religion, ethnicity, identity, performance and local knowledges. Her Ph.D. dissertation, Lavaland: Vernacular Seismology in Volatile Volcanic Environments in Puna, Hawaiʻi, is an ethnography of Hawaiʻi, the Big Island and, especially, Puna, a district located on the slopes of Kīlauea Volcano. Torgersen’s work contributes to anthropological discussions about decolonization of science and knowledges, sustainable transitions in human-nature relationships and indigenous versus colonialist power structures and problematics.
Torgersen’s research appears in:
2022. Lavaland: Vernacular Seismology in Volatile Volcanic Environments in Puna, Hawaiʻi. Doctoral Dissertation. Available through Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA) at bora.uib.no.
2018. Waters of Destruction: Mythical Creatures. Boiling Pots and Tourist Encounters at Wailuku River in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. In Island Rivers: Freshwater and Place in Oceania, eds. J. Wagner and J. Jacka. ANU Press, Australia. https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/asia-pacific-environment-monographs/island-rivers
2010. The Social Meanings of Hula: Hawaiian Traditions and Politicized Identities in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Master’s Thesis. Available through Bergen Open Research Archive (BORA) at bora.uib.no.
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