Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Anthropology > Staff > Academic staff (old)

Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen

Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen


Primary fields of research

Regional specialisations: Latin America: Peru and Honduras. The Arctic:  Northwestern Greenland

Thematic specialisations:
Human-environmental relations; climate change; water practices and management; politics, technology and social organization; materiality; natural and living resources.

Astrid is a actively engaged in two researcher groups at the Department of Anthropology:
Nature and Environmental Change, and
Technology and Political Economy

Current research

Technologies of mapping / mapping technologies in the North Water of Northwest Greenland

This postdoctoral research project studies how hunters and scientists engage with the mastering of the North Water land/seascape through particular technologies and ways of knowing. The project explores the following questions:

How is knowledge about living resources crafted and put in practice among hunters and scientists in the North Water area? And in what ways can we bridge different ways of knowing in order to contribute to an understanding of shifting living conditions?

How is future life (of humans and living resources) envisaged in a rapidly changing environment?

What technologies are used by hunters and scientists to assess the land/seascape and to know about living resources?

What are the common and uncommon concerns that these two groups of people seek to respond to?

The project focuses on how human communities and scientists in the Thule area engage with different technologies and ways of knowing in their hunting practices and in their intents to understanding the complex interplay between animals, humans, ice and seawater.

This research contributes to the understanding of how human communities engage with the resources at hand in the environments they inhabit; further it seeks to understand what it means to live with climate change in a fragile environment.

The project forms part of the cross-disciplinary and collaborative project on Living Resources and Human Societies around the North Water in the Thule Area (NOW).

Other research:

My PhD thesis “Water is Life. An ethnography of urban ecology and water politics in Arequipa, Peru” exploreshow water is enacted in multiple ways along the urban waterscape in Arequipa in Southern Peru, a city located in an arid region; how water is produced as scarce and abundant simultaneously, through discursive and material practices, by actors with different interests, aspirations, desires and needs.

I combine theories of political ecology, science and technology studies and political anthropology to argue that water, knowledge and power are intrinsically connected, and to show how climate change occurs and is experienced as a part of daily life in particular sites and situations, where local and global processes get entangled and perforate concrete topographies, generating new human and non-human relationalities. 

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Mapping urban waters: Grounds and figures of an ethnographic water path

    Andersen, A. O. 2016 Waterworlds: Anthropology in Fluid Environments. Hastrup, K. & Hastrup, F. (eds.). Oxford: Berghahn Books, Ch. 8

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

  2. Published

    Water citizenship: Negotiating water rights and contesting water culture in the Peruvian Andes

    Paerregaard, K., Stensrud, A. B. & Andersen, A. O. 2016 In : Latin American Research Review. 51, 1, p. 198-217

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  3. Published

ID: 21623134