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Symposium: Environmental change, agency and knowledge of the Sea

Symposium: Environmental change, agency and knowledge of the Sea


ke 17.8.2022–to 18.8.2022

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The scholarly knowledge about the sea is conventionally addressed in the language of natural sciences and technology. Yet, in time of major environmental changes, complementary approaches are needed to understand and affect the ways in which human beings know and act with nature, including the sea and other water environments. The focus in various forms of knowledge and the need of their integration implies sustained analytical attention to knowledge as communication, stressing the importance of ‘knowing how’, complementary to ‘knowing that’.

The closing symposium of the project Living with the Baltic Sea in a changing climate: Environmental heritage and the circulation of knowledge (SeaHer, Academy of Finland 2018–2022) asks what forms of knowledge and expertise are needed to understand the changing sea, and how research can be used to integrate different perspectives. How do different forms of knowledge encounter? How can on-the-ground observations, experiences and traditions be incorporated into academic knowledge production and governance processes? How can different knowledge systems and disciplinary objectives, methodologies and languages orient themselves to an interdisciplinary dialogue?

The aim of the symposium is to bring together scholars with different disciplinary backgrounds to discuss the changing marine and water environments in theoretical, methodological and empirical terms. The symposium will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and contribute to a versatile understanding on the changing environment related to the sea. Invited keynote speakers are Kirsten Hastrup (Professor Emerita at Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen), Jan Marcin Weslawski (Professor at Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences) and Monica Hammer (Associate professor in Natural Resources Management at the School of Natural Science, Technology and Environmental Studies at Södertörn University).

In addition to the keynote speeches, the symposium programme will consist of 10-15 min. paper presentations and concluding discussions. We invite researchers to a two-day conference to reflect on the symposium topic and present their work. Areas of focus include but are not limited to: production and construction of knowledge, knowledge processes; interdisciplinary knowledge, concepts and methodologies; case studies showcasing interdisciplinarity; human and non-human agency; water–land interactions; urban waterscapes, and Arctic and other Northern waters.

You are welcome to follow the keynote lectures and discussions. Please fill in the registration form if you are planing to join us for lunches and the dinner cruise.


Further information:

The project website: LIVING WITH THE BALTIC SEA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE (SeaHer) – Environmental Heritage and the Circulation of Knowledge (
The project is part of the research profile The Sea at Åbo Akademi University: The
Sea | Åbo Akademi University | Åbo Akademi University (

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