Marie Evaldsen Christensen - New PhD student at the Department of Anthropology
Marie is enrolled as a PhD student from 1 September with the project: Piniartorsuup Nulia - Examining the Gendered Practices of Hunting in Greenland.
My name is Marie Evaldsen Christensen and I am starting as a 5+3 PhD student at the Department of Anthropology on September 1st 2022. I was born and raised in Aasiaat, a city in the Disko Bay in Greenland. Throughout my academic career — first with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in anthropology, followed by a Master’s degree in anthropology, both from AU — I’ve been engaged with and interested in questions about Greenland, and the other Inuit homelands, that is, my own culture, linguistically as well as anthropologically.
Following this interest, I am going to take part in the research project Hunting Life: Explorations of Biosociality in Greenland led by Janne Flora. My focus here will be on the gendered experiences that occur within contemporary hunting communities, more specifically the woman’s role in the hunt. Traditionally, these duties have centered around the preparations of the catch after the hunt, e.g. the skinning, butchering and cooking of prey, be it fish, musk ox, seal, and so forth. The project is set to unfold in the Upernavik region in Northwestern Greenland.
With this, I am intrigued by the quite recent societal shifts that Greenland has undergone, as well as the many continued reverberations of these that we feel on our own skin today; and thus, I am eager to examine how these larger societal shifts may have affected the woman’s role in hunting communities. I seek to examine in what ways the woman’s relation to the animal prior to, during, and after the hunt is today and how these may have changed from less than a century ago.
With the project, I also hope to be able to contribute to the growing discourse surrounding epistemology, more specifically the intersection between the academic and Indigenous (in this case, Kalaallit Inuit) knowledges. Methodologically and analytically, the project will also center questions about representation and for these, I hope my position as a ‘halfie’ anthropologist will be useful in the implementation of an approach that is both empathetic and caring. Continuing in this vein, the project will seek to refrain from repeating pre-existing, historically rooted (mis-)representations and caricatures of Inuit, especially with regards to subsistence hunting, commercial hunting, and ‘traditional’-‘contemporary’ ways of life.