Keynote speakers – University of Copenhagen

Keynote speakers

Vicky Singleton: How policy and care go-on-together: Against the pursuit of common values

Through a critical engagement with UK policy pursuing common values in health care I interrogate the relationship between policy and care. Policy can be seen as a historically, culturally and politically specific form of care and yet how policy relates to care, in diverse policy-related domains, is complex and problematic. In the UK in 2013 there was extensive media, public, professional and government attention to the failure of health care policy and practices to prevent patient suffering. One explanation has been a critique of lack of values in locations of care with a policy response to promote and co-ordinate values as shared alike across locations. In this way care is enacted as an entity that can be delineated, known and controlled by a universally applicable policy.
Within Science and Technology Studies several recent ethnographic studies have suggested that care is a process achieved through practices of tinkering (Mol, 2008; Mol, Moser, Pols, 2010). Although focused on care, this work raises the question, are care and policy incompatible? I argue that this friction between common characteristics of policy as universal protocol or guidelines and care as situated tinkering is productive of reconfigurations of policy as well as care. Indeed, perhaps policy should be ‘cared for’ as a multiple entity that requires tinkering with in locations of practice. If caring is an effect of located assemblages of heterogeneous actors including practitioners, patients, diseases, bodies, technologies, it will also include guidelines and policies. So, what would ‘good policy’ look like? How might policy be re-conceptualised to promote sets of relations that foster caring-in-practices? How are such practices gathered under sets of rules or protocols? Or how, instead of rules and protocols might we think about and develop policy-care assemblages, with both fluid and structural aspects, continually emergent and mutating.
The answers to these questions are empirical. I am making a plea for more studies of the ‘best possible fit’ policy-care assemblages in specific locations of practice in diverse policy-related domains. It is here that Helen Verran’s concept of ‘going-on-together’ is especially helpful. It draws attention to; tensions as productive; how commonalities and differences are enacted together in practices; to values as process; and that everyday practices enact realities. It reminds me that common values and universal policy are neither possible nor desirable.

Kirsten Hastrup: Comprehending Thule. The co-constitution of places, people, and stories

The main tenet of this contribution is to show how ‘fields’ are made and analytically objectified in the cultural and social sciences. Based on extensive work in the Thule area of Northwest Greenland, I want to show how ancient images and present challenges to this far northern corner of the world equally enter into the perspective on both the place and its people. Places are so much more than geography, being constituted also by their accessibility and resources, and by their storied presence in the literature. In the same vein, I shall discuss how people emerge, not only through their own actions, but also through past and present contacts within and between regions that are never really bounded, however isolated they may seem.

While the discussion will be based in ethnographic work, implicitly I also want to challenge the notion of ‘ethnography’ itself, by showing how it is always the outcome of chance encounters, previous contacts, and current interests. This is precisely what makes it work, and what makes us realize that our object is always in the making, as are – indeed – the lives of our conversational partners in the field.

(Please note that this is provisional)

Orvar Löfgren: A crowded livingroom: the cohabitation of stuff, affects, activities and dreams.

In cultural analysis turns come and go - the material, the spatial, the affective and the onthological. They focus on different dimensions of everyday life. I am interested in how such dimensions work together. How do we develop ethnographies of this throwntogetherness? My examples come mainly from an ongoing project on the invisible home, in which objects, bodies, feelings and fantasies are constantly on the move. My talk will be hands-on, navigating a living room with IKEA stuff.

 Valdimar T. Hafstein: Authors, Editors, Folk: 
Copyright and Creative Agency from a Folklorist's Perspective

Where do our ideas of creative agency flow from? How do they shape the circulation of culture? The presentation will grapple with contemporary representations of creative agency, given shape through the regime of authorship and force of law through the regime of copyright, and it will seek to understand where these representations come from.

Beginning with the paradoxical case of a traditional lullaby that acquired a composer and "fell into" copyright, the presentation will then juxtapose the author/composer with the folk as two modern figures of creative agency with contrary attributes. The concept of the creative process that underpins modern regimes of intellectual property reflects the Romantic ideal of solitary genius. Canonized in international law, this ideal has little patience for cultural products developed in a more diffuse, cumulative, and collective manner -- where it is impossible to fix specific steps like invention or authorship at any given point in time or attribute them to an individual.

Taking an historical perspective, the ambition will be to shed light on the historical provenance of a series of contemporary Catch-22s, such as: Should we copyright culture? How does a traditional lullaby become a work of authorship? Who owns Cinderella? Who owns Mickey Mouse? And what would the Grimms, the Krohns, and the Grundtvigs say?

Tom O'Dell, Fredrik Nilsson, Marie Sandberg and Mark Vacher: Broen ǀǀ Bron. The Öresund Region Redux

When a dead body is found on the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Norén have to share jurisdiction and work together to find the killer. Since 2011 The Bridge (DanishBroenSwedishBron) the Danish-Swedish co-produced crime drama television series have attracted many audiences in Scandinavia and the UK.

In this keynote session we will also work together searching for the mystery of the Öresund Region resurging its peoples, borders and trajectories.