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Kati Lindström

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About me

At KTH, I hold the office of the Director of Doctoral Studies in the Division of History of Science, Tehcnology and Environment and belong to the Steering Group of the Division.

I am a scholar of environmental humanities with a background in semiotics, anthropology, environmental history and geography and trained at the University of Kyoto (Japan) and University of Tartu (Estonia). I hold a docent degree in the history of science, technology and environment, with specialization environmental humanities and uses of history from KTH from 2021.

In my work I have been interested in the interplay of personal and public in the environmental perception, more precisely on how individual experiences and cultural stereotypes influence the delineation and management of natural and cultural heritage sites (meant to be a scientific practice), and vice versa: how do individuals redefine their personal first hand experiences of landscapes according to cultural prestige and stereotypes held by larger influential groups. How is the sites' value defined and what is considered worthy of protection? What is considered sacrificeable? I have examined the mechanisms of meaning generation and identity building with the help of landscapes on individual, community and national level, analysing phenomena such as landscape protection, everyday practices, seasonality, literary representations of the environment, environmental communication and history writing, employing oral history, field work, literary texts and archival sources. Most of my work has been carried out in Japan, Antarctica and Estonia..

At KTH, I am currently involved in Lize-Marié vand der Watt's new project, Decay Without Mourning: Future-thinking Heritage Practices that will in a nice way synthesise my work with Antarctic and Japanese heritage practices. I investigate how could Japanese traditional aesthetics that embraces evanescence and decay be mobilised for today's heritage protection. On the other hand, I am also working on the concept of decay in Antarctic heritage that is in permanent state of decay ever since its inception (when discarded by the expeditioners) but whose decay is increasingly hastened by climate change. This research is closely related to my engagement in the Heritage in the Anthropocene work package in the new Centre of Excellence for Anthropocene History, financed by Swedish Research Council (PI Sabine Höhler).  In January and February  2020 I participated in Argentinian-Swedish joint expedition CHAQ2020 to the Antarctic Historic Sites and Monuments left on the Antarctic pensinsula by the Nordenskjöld expedition in 1901-1903 for documenting and maintenance work at the sites. The expedition blogg can be found HERE.

In addition, from 2018 to 2024 I am collaborating with Per Högselius' ERC grantNUCLEARWATERS: Putting Water a the Centre of Nuclear Energy History where I work on the Japanese nuclear industry's relation to water and a case study on conflicting resource interests in Soviet Estonia during the early stages of nuclear power plant planning in the Soviet Union.

I am a member of the Polar Research Committee of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Contact Point of the Republic of Estonia to the Antarctic Treaty System, and an expert member as well as the Antarctic Treaty System Liaison Officer of the ICOMOS International Polar Heritage Committee. I am a member of the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR).  I am an active member of Estonian ICOMOS. Since 2017, I serve as a regional representative for the Baltic States of the European Society of Environmental History (ESEH), and chair its Council of Regional Representatives. I am currently serving my third term as an ESEH Board member and board representative in its Site Selection Committee. I am a member of the Editorial Board of theEnvironment and History(White Horse Press) and curate the Environmental History Now! online seminar series between 2023-2025 (with Anna Olenenko and Nina Vieira). I am also a founding member for the Estonian Centre for Environmental History since 2011 and the coordinator of the emerging Baltic Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences Network (BALTEHUMS).


Gender and Technology (AK2202), teacher | Course web

History of Science and Technology (AK1202), course responsible, teacher | Course web