Lunch Seminar at The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters with former CAS Fellow Sine Halkjelsvik Bjordal
On January 23rd, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters hosted a 'lunch seminar' for its members, featuring a lecture by Sine Halkjelsvik Bjordal, a former fellow of the CAS project 'In Sync: How Synchronisation and Mediation Produce Collective Times, Then and Now', led by Helge Jordheim and Espen Ytreberg (both professors at the University of Oslo) in 2018/2019. In this seminar, Sine shared her insights on Norwegian stave churches.
Sine's research delves into the history of Norwegian stave churches, which are among the oldest surviving wooden constructions in the world and considered as Norway's most significant contribution to world heritage. However, their status was not always prestigious. Throughout the 19th century, these churches transformed from being largely dilapidated, cold, and impractical places of worship into symbols of medieval architecture, tourist attractions, and national emblems of Norway. But how did this transformation occur? Drawing from a diverse range of textual materials spanning from 1743 to 1892, Sine explored the type of knowledge produced and circulated about stave churches in the 17th and 18th centuries and examined the role this knowledge played in the preservation and restoration history of these churches. In her lecture, she particularly focused on understandings of stave churches in 18th-century topographical literature and delved into the shift in perception of these churches in the first half of the 19th century, leading up to the establishment of The Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments in 1844.
Sine holds a Ph.D. in cultural history from the University of Oslo. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher on the project The Afterlives of Natural History at the same institution.