Visiting researcher at CAS – University of Copenhagen

Centre of African Studies > News > Visiting researcher at...

21 December 2016

Visiting researcher at CAS

Visiting researcher

Dr. Martin Skrydstrup is a new guest researcher at the Centre of African Studies.

Martin is a cultural anthropologist. He undertook his doctoral work at Columbia University, and his MA in cultural anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. He has subsequently undertaken two post-doctoral research projects, both at the University of Copenhagen.

Martin about his research focus: At the heart of my research stands a concern with the significance of expert knowledge of materials in political and economic life. I first explored this theme in my doctoral work with regard to the question of return and restitution of objects from museums to indigenous peoples. In this project, I looked at how different forms of expertise (museological, legal, traditional, etc.) compete in the resolution of disputes about ownership. Several of the case studies pertained to Africa.

In my first postdoc project, I continued to interrogate the role of expertise in climate science. My second postdoc project interrogated environmental expertise with regard to the governance of large-scale catchment areas in Kenya called “water towers”. I was particularly interested in the politics of narratives of nature and nation.

Common to all my projects is that they are based on ethnography and located in the intersections of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and postcolonial theory.

As a visiting researcher at CAS, I will work with colleagues on the publication of several papers based on my previous fieldwork in Kenya especially pertaining to the relation between local agro-meteorology and farming practices, as well as the relations between territorial rights, environmental governance and vernacular epistemologies of “water towers”.