Christina Fredengren Associate Professor

Christina Fredengren


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Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-16 20 92
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 221
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Christina Fredengren
Associate Professor

My research-fields are within archaeology, heritage studies, curatorship, gender theory and the environmental humanities. In archaeology I have mainly been concerned with exploring relations with waters and wetland. Currently the work deals with deposition of human- and animal remains in wet-contexts in Sweden in the project Tidens Vatten, particularly focusing on the LBA/EIA, discussing sacrifice and the inhumane (cf. Fredengren 2013, 2015, 2017). Depositions in water of artefacts and bodily remains, as well as the building of crannogs – man made islands or platforms were topics researched during my time as Director of Irelands research institute in Archaeology – that followed on from the fieldwork in the Crannog Research Programme for my PhD thesis on crannog landscapes at Lough Gara, Co. Sligo, Ireland.

In heritage studies my research troubles how heritage is valued in the present, and problematize the link to sustainable development (Fredengren 2012, 2015). This strand of research has been furthered in the meeting point between critical heritage studies and posthumanist feminism that blur the boundaries between nature/culture, material/immaterial and challenge the anthropocentric focus in heritage policy (Fredengren 2015). My research continues in the interface between heritage studies and the emerging field of the Environmental Humanities and curatorship (Fredengren 2016). Of particular interest are questions about Deep Time, materiality, ethics, intragenerational justice and care.

Keywords: water, wetland, depositions, bog bodies, sacrifice, late bronze age, pre-roman iron age, archaeology and science, body- and gender theory, new materialism, posthumanism, more-than-human, environmental humanities, deep time, heritage studies, curatorship




Checking in with Deep Time (Formas 2017-2021)
This project run in collaboration with Prof Cecilia Åsberg aims to deal with the major research question of how to better re-tie the material and immaterial knots between past, present and future generations, and to suggest ways forward for moving towards innovative ways of checking in with our post-natural and materializing clocks. The project is methodologically innovative and aspires to have high impact on the approaches to sustainability, intergenerational justice and care in postnatural heritage management. It works with three studies - on focusing on the politicization of the long-term within the natural/cultural heritage sectors, the next with how vernacular temporalities are met and transformed on site at Gärstadsverken (a garbage disposal site situated on an Iron Age sanctuary) and theoretical work on intergenerational justice and care. Here traditional theories are compared to those developed within critical posthumanism and the environmental humanities. This project has an emphasis on citizens humanities and collaborative research. It also aims to provide humanities innovations to the civil services.

Tidens Vatten (Vetenskapsrådet, Berit Wallenberg, Vitterhetsakademin, Gad Rausing 2013-)
The project provides an overview of the depositions of human- and animal bones from waters and wetlands in Sweden. The aim is to give a better understanding och what effects these depositions may have had in society during Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.  Main questions are who got deposited? What human-animal relations were changed through these deposition and what power relationships were negotiated?  The project works with critical post-human theory to discuss the mattering of bodies and the collaboration with archaeological sciences (as osteology, isotope-analysis and DNA). This project has been published in several papers and the research is currently synthesized in a monograph with the working title: Sacrifice – the nature of the in-humane. The project continues, for example with the research at Lake Bokaren.

Bokaren project (in development with Susanna Eklund)
The site as Bokaren, Co. Uppland is a presumed lake-platform with finds of human- and animal remains, particularly horses. The finds were made in 1939 and collected by Professor Rutger Sernander and Nils Sundquist, the county archaeologist. The area was investigated in 1941 by Dr Bengt Lundholm. Since then, both finds and documentation were dispersed and the site was never fully published. A new effort to gather the material and to start an investigation of the site was made by Tidens Vatten that teamed up with Andreas Hennius and Susanna Eklund in a new joint project. The available osteological material was analyzed by Tidens Vatten and some of the material was radiocarbondated (see also Fredengren 2015), also a trial excavation was carried out in 2015 where a human skeleton and several horse bones were found together with worked wood, that could be a part of a platform. This project is under development and research-funding is searched for

Earlier (examples)
The Values of Heritage
The Crannog Research Programme

The Lake Settlement Project

Networks and affiliations

* Founder of Stockholm University Environmental Humanities Network together with Claudia Egerer and Karin Dirke.

*Scientific Leader of Deep time and Member of the Seed Box, an environmental humanities collaboratory at Linköping University, funded by Formas and Mistra

*Affiliated Researcher at the Posthumanities Hub at Tema Gender

*Member of Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network
*Member of AGE group – Archaeology and Gender in Europe

* Gexcel scholar

*Participates in COST Action on New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How Matter Comes to Matter'
*Bogbody network



A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Article Food for Thor
    2015. Christina Fredengren, Camilla Löfqvist. Journal of Wetland Archaeology 15 (1), 122-148

    This paper publishes an assemblage of human- and animal remains from Torresta, a wetland site in Uppland, mid-Sweden, dating to the Bronze- and Early Iron Ages. The location of this material suggests that the phenomena of depositing bodies in watery places occurred much further north than has formerly been accounted for. It is argued that the understanding of such depositions may gain by a move from an anthropocentric focus to include relationships between humans, animals and landscape. In particular, the study makes an effort to explore whether the remains of human and animal bodies were parts of networks of care or neglect and how they could have worked in a more-than-human landscape. The paper suggests that these depositions could have operated as religious materiality and unfolds cross-temporal links with the landscape, as the depositions are located at a rock-art site by a fording point, which may have been of multi-species importance. In this place a variety of materialities from the past have formatted and attracted later depositional action. The paper works with a feminist posthuman, relational notion of landscape that experiments with the boundaries between nature and culture and between different times in a place where depositions and bodily movement of humans and animals interlace with geological forces such as land-rise and corresponding water-retreat. Thereby the paper experiments with an altered approach to landscape, accounting for landscape as changing sets of relations, which is more than landscape as captured in the eye of a human beholder or captured in meaning-making processes.

  • Article Nature:Cultures
    2015. Christina Fredengren. Current Swedish Archaeology 23, 109-130

    This paper makes use of feminist posthumanism to outline how a range of heritage policies, practices and strategies, partly through their base in social constructivism have a clear anthropocentric focus. Not only do they risk downplaying materiality, but also a number of human and non-human others, driving a wedge between nature and culture. This may in turn be an obstacle for the use of heritage in sustainable development as it deals with range of naturalized others as if they have no agency and leaves the stage open for appropriation and exploitation.

    This paper probes into what heritage could be in the wake of current climate and environmental challenges if approached differently. It explores how a selection of feminist posthumanisms challenge the distinction between nature:culture in a way that could shift the approach to sustainability in heritage making from a negative to an affirmative framing.

  • 2013. Christina Fredengren. Current Swedish Archaeology 21, 53-71

    This paper will discuss the tensions between the humanities and sciences within archaeology and examine how these tensions exist, both in how identity and personhood are understood, and in different views of epistemology and ontology. From a basis in critical posthumanism it is argued that unnecessary boundaries have been set up between the body and the environment. The concept of the transcorporeal allows for rethinking the connection between bodies and landscape, enabling us to discuss the environment inside. This approach can provide an alternative framing for the use of the sciences in archaeology, particularly for osteology and DNA and isotope analysis. Biomolecular mapping of body networks allows for a better understanding of the configuration of specific historic bodies as well as for discussing ethics. Furthermore, there may be a case for describing analysed bodies as figurations, rather than as identities.

Show all publications by Christina Fredengren at Stockholm University


Last updated: March 26, 2018

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