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Body – Movement – Meaning

Cross-country skiing.

We study movement as a nexus which gives rise to different kinds of meaning and reflection. Examples are the creation of meaning in the interplay between the body and its surroundings (built spaces, landscapes, sports facilities), or embodied forms of communication in dance and sports, or the mediatization of the medically manipulated body.


The following list of research topics gives concrete examples for the group’s areas of study:

  • Movement awareness as a method for the study of pedagogical knowledge in bodily practices
  • Soccer as choreography – sports as a semiotic system
  • The body in PhD-training – research on body-based practices and body-based practices as research
  • How do we define rural and urban landscapes through our movements and how are our movements defined through rural and urban landscapes?
  • Embodied communication in different interactional contexts: in a meeting, on the soccer field, in the art gallery, on stage, etc.
  • Body and materiality, fixed meanings and creative possibilities, inclusion and exclusion
  • The manipulated body: surgery, medicalization, prostheses, doping
  • Construction of boundaries and obstacles; marginalization of the impaired body – mediatization of the reconstructed body
  • Creation of meaning; how is meaning created in different physical and cultural contexts, in a field of tension between planning and improvisation?

Research disciplines

Our research group studies the relations between body, movement and meaning from both inter- and multidisciplinary perspectives. The participating researchers come from a variety of disciplines and subject areas: teacher education, sports and outdoor life, health and creative disciplines as well as history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, pedagogy and semiotics.

Research partners and network

  • Alkemeyer, Thomas (Oldenburg University, Germany)
  • Dahl, Espen (The Arctic University, Tromsø)
  • Engelsrud, Gunn (Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, Oslo)
  • Fasting, Merete Lund (University of Agder)
  • Krogh, Erling (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
  • Mäkelä, Maarit (Aalto University, Finland)
  • Rouhiainen, Leena (University of the Arts, Helsinki)
  • Slatman, Jenny (Maastricht University, Netherlands)
  • Svein-Halvard Jørgensen (Nesna University College)
  • Winther, Helle (Copenhagen University)
  • Østern, Tone Pernille (Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU)

Projects and activities

  • Gathering Nordic and international researchers in a series of workshops and international conferences
  • Developing new theoretical and methodological approaches to practical, body-based subject areas
  • Publication of anthologies / special issues based on these activities
  • Initiation of larger national and international research collaborations

Members’ projects

PhD projects

  • To appear in motion. The project explores how movement knowledge from a first-person perspective can contribute to the development of classical dancers, technically and artistically. The didactic method of Kinetic Awareness is investigated, through a pedagogical action research project with classical dancers. (Anette Torgersen)
  • Altered embodiment in search of new ontology: Cultural marginalization and corporeal contentment. A project on how contemporary discourses change embodiment, create borders and marginalize the physically weakened body. (Ana Koncul)
  • The places of soccer. This project starts from a South African urban context and studies the following questions: How do people relate to a soccer field? What kind of meaning does a place have in local society? Which aspects of power establish relations between people and sport’s facilities? The question will be studied based on the body in light of anthropological method and theory. (Jo Grønlund)

Other projects

  • Landscape and quality of life. An interdisciplinary project, with a focus (among others) on the body in the landscape. Mikkel B. Tin / Annette Bischoff i collaboration with Anne Gry Sturød and Sören Räpple from TUC, Knut Vareide from Telemark Research Institute and Eva Rismo from Nome municipality
  • Body and knowledge. Epistemological studies. (Book project) Mikkel B. Tin
  • From meaning to sense. Social science in motion. (Book project) Lars Frers