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The Claimed Pasts research group addresses larger societal and historical backdrops against which materials become desired historical objects. How are objects and artefacts made relevant as “knowledge carriers” about the past? What purposes do the forming, forging, retaining, choosing, trading, storing, categorizing, interpreting, and displaying of these knowledge carriers serve, and who is involved in the process?

How are cultural objects appropriated and circulated transnationally and how do they find entry into collections and institutions? How and when, and within which power asymmetries do scholars, curators, and archivists make knowledge?

We seek to investigate institutions such as universities, museums, and archives as places of knowledge production. The premises for decolonization of knowledge in institutions, their collections, holdings and archives, thus becomes a relevant aspect in the research of Claimed Pasts.


  • History of Knowledge and Science
  • Critical Provenance Studies
  • Migration
  • Use of History, Representation of the Past
  • Looting, Iconoclasm, Destruction, Trafficking, and Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects
  • Object Biographies
  • Cultural Policies, Heritage Management, Collection Management, and Repatriation
  • History of Institutional Knowledge: Museums, Archives, Universities, Collections
  • Common health and well-being of people and societies in global perspective

Relevant PhD programme

  • PhD course HI-602-1: Critical Knowledge and Heritage Production in History to be held in the fall semester (organized by Christa Wirth, UiA and Josephine Munch Rasmussen, NIKU): October 18-19, and November 1, 2022. https://www.uia.no/arrangementer/phd-course-hi-602-critical-knowledge-and-heritage-production-in-history 
  • Advanced research course (PhD course) on 600 level): History in Society – The Case of Migration. Organized by Christa Wirth. Norwegian Research School of History. September 28 until September 30th, 2021. digital. 
  • PhD course HI-602-1: Critical Knowledge and Heritage Production in History to be held in the fall semester (organized by Christa Wirth and Josephine Munch Rasmussen): October 12, 13, 14, 2021.
  • PhD course HI-602-1: Critical Knowledge and Heritage Production in History to be held in the fall semester (organized by Christa Wirth and Josephine Munch Rasmussen): September 23 and 24, 2020, and October 9, 2020.


Rasmussen, J. M & Viestad, V. M. (2022). The Art of Admitting to Shortcomings. Critical Arts. https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2022.2125026

Grini, M. (2022). Kunsten å vende hjem: Lars Hættas miniatyrduodji. Kunst og Kultur 105(2–3), pp. 158–174. https://doi.org/10.18261/kk.105.2.8.

Kalter, C. (2022). Postcolonial People. The Return from Africa and the Remaking of Portugal. Cambridge University Press.

Eldridge, C., Kalter, C. & Taylor, B. (2022). Migrations of Decolonization, Welfare, and the Unevenness of Citizenship in the UK, France and Portugal. Past & Present, 39 pp.

Kalter, C. (2022). Building Nations After Empire: Post-Imperial Migrations to Portugal in a Western European Context. Contemporary European History, 22 pp.

Kalter, C. (2022, May 13th). On Decolonization. Cambridge Core Blog. https://www.cambridge.org/core/blog/2022/05/13/on-decolonization/

Wirth, C. (2022). Violent Heat: Apocalypse Now between (De-)Colonization and the Cold War. UNITAS: Journal of Advanced Research in Literature, Culture, and Society 95(2), pp. 82-113. https://tinyurl.com/48kxr4s8

Kalter, C. (2022). Traumatic Loss, Successful Integration. The Agitated and the Soothing Memory of the Return from Portugal's African Empire. In E. Peralta (ed.), The Retornados from the Portuguese Colonies in Africa. Memory, Narrative, and History (pp. 35-60). Routledge.

Grini, M. (2021). Samisk kunst og norsk kunsthistorie: delvise forbindelser. Stockholm University Press. https://doi.org/10.16993/bbm

Kalter, C. (2021). Lisboa africana. Historiefragmenter fra en afro-portugisisk storby. Fortid. Studentenes historietidsskrift UiO 18(4), pp. 63-69.

Wirth, C. (2021). The Anthropologist as Deviant Modernizer: Felipe Landa Jocanoʼs Journey through the Cold War, the Social Sciences, Decolonization, and Nation Building in the Philippines. In M. Solovey, & C. Dayé (eds.). Cold War Social Science: Transnational Entanglements (pp. 161 – 189). Palgrave Macmillan. 

Rasmussen, J. M., & Viestad, V. M. (2021). Curation by the Living Dead: Exploring the Legacy of Norwegian Museums’ Colonial Collections. Critical Arts. ISSN: 0256-0046. doi:10.1080/02560046.2021.1979064.

Justnes, Å., & Rasmussen, J. M. (2021). More Dubious Dead Sea Scrolls: Four Pre-2002 Fragments in the Schøyen Collection. Dead Sea Discoveries 28(1), pp. 20 - 37. doi:10.1163/15685179-bja10001.

Rasmussen, J. M., & Justnes, Å. (2021). Tales of Saviours and Iconoclasts: On The Provenance of “The Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism”. Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia 32(18), pp. 125 - 146. https://doi.org/10.5617/acta.9023

Kalter, C. (2021). Review of Mende, Silke, Ordnung durch Sprache. Francophonie zwischen Nationalstaat, Imperium und internationaler Politik, 1860-1960 (= Studien zur Internationalen Geschichte; Bd. 47, Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2020). Sehepunkte 21(10).

Wirth, C. (2020). The History of Knowledge and the Cold War: An Essay. In S. B. Baernreuther, M. Böhmer, & S. Witt (eds.). Nach Feierabend 15 (pp. 159 – 166). Diaphanes.

Korsvoll, N. H. (2020). The (Continued) Online Trade of Aramaic Magic Bowls from Iraq. Journal of Art Crime 23, pp. 17-31.

Rasmussen, J. M. (2020). Regulating the Import and Export of Cultural Objects in Norway. Background and Challenges. In V. Immonen, Working With Cultural Objects and Manuscripts: Provenance, Legality, and Responsible Stewardship (pp. 94 – 106). Suomen Museoliitan. 

Prescott, C., & Rasmussen, J. M. (2020). Exploring the “Cozy Cabal of Academics, Dealers and Collectors” through the Schøyen Collection. Heritage — Open Access Journal of Knowledge, Conservation and Management of Cultural and Natural Heritage 3(1), pp. 68-91.

Justnes, Å., & Rasmussen, J. M. (2020). Hazon Gabriel: A Display of Negligence. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 384.

Justnes, Å. (2020). Nabonidus, Prayer of (4Q242/4QPrNab). In D. M. Gurtner & L. T. Stuckenbruck (eds.). T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism Volumes I and II. Bloomsbury T&T Clark.

Grini, M. (2019). Sámi (re)presentation in a differentiating museumscape: Revisiting the art-culture system. Nordisk Museologi, 27(3), pp. 169–185. https://doi.org/10.5617/nm.7740

Grini, M. (2019). Så fjernt det nære: Nasjonalmuseet og samisk kunst. Kunst og Kultur 102(3), pp. 176–190. https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.1504-3029-2019-03-04

Kjeldsberg, L. A. (2019). Christian Dead Sea Scrolls? The post-2002 Fragments as Modern Protestant Relics. In C. Concannon & J. Hicks-Keeton (eds.). The Museum of the Bible: A Critical Introduction. Lexington Books.

Wirth, C. (2019). Jocano’s Digging for a Pre-Colonial Past at Santa Ana in Manila: Nation-Building at the Nexus of the Cold War and Decolonization. Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia 55, pp. 150-155.


In the media

Wirth, Christa. (2023, February 25th). I hvilken kontekst bør vi forstå «Leiv Eiriksson oppdager Amerika»? Aftenpostenhttps://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kronikk/i/rl5gvR/i-hvilken-kontekst-boer-vi-forstaa-leiv-eiriksson-oppdager-amerika

Rasmussen, J. M. (2022, March 18th). Kulturarv, krig og Schøyensamlingen. Morgenbladet.

Grini, M. (2021, December 9th). “Viser hvordan samiske kunstnere og andre aktører hele tiden har ytt motstand”. Ságat. https://www.sagat.no/nyheter/jeg-forsoker-ogsa-a-vise-hvordan-samiske-kunstnere-og-andre-aktorer-hele-tiden-har-ytt-motstand-mot-dette/19.30322

Rasmussen, J.M. (2021, September 10th). «Vil ha skilsmisse mellom forskere og samlere”. Morgenbladet. https://www.morgenbladet.no/kultur/2021/09/10/vil-ha-skilsmisse-mellom-forskere-og-samlere/. Interview in Morgenbladet.

Rasmussen, J. M. (2021, August 23rd). «Afghanistans kulturminner». Interview at Nyhetsmorgen, NRK. https://tv.nrk.no/serie/nyhetsmorgen-tv/202108/NNFA05082321/avspiller

Korsvoll, N. H. (2020). «Bibelforsking anno 2020: Forfalskingar og svindel». Akademiet for yngre forskere, forskning.no.

Prescott, C., & Rasmussen, J. M. (2020). «Schøyens bortforklaringer om Taliban: Når noe virker for godt til å være sant, er det som oftest det». Morgenbladet.

Prescott, C., & Rasmussen, J. M. (2020). “Schøyen har en systematisk historie med å kjøpe tvilsomme varer». Morgenbladet.

David, A., & Justnes, Å. (2020). “After Dead Sea Forgeries Exposed, How Do We Know the Scrolls in Israel Are Authentic?”. Haaretz.

Grønli, K. S., & Justnes, Å. (2020). «Bibelsk svindel gav smertefull sjølransaking”. Forskningsetikk [Business/trade/industry journal].

Greshko, M., & Justnes, Å. (2020). “Exclusive: 'Dead Sea Scrolls' at the Museum of the Bible are all forgeries”. National Geographic [Internet].

Guttormsen, A., & Justnes, Å. (2020). «Oxford-professor arrestert for bibeltyveri». Vårt Land.

Justnes, Å., & Kleivan, N. M. (2020). “Er dette forfalskeren?”. Morgenbladet.

Justnes, Å., & Kleivan, N. M. (2020). “Løgner avslørt på bibelmuseum”. Morgenbladet.

Justnes, Å., & Larsen, A. M. (2020). «Forskning med store medieoppslag”. Uia.no.

Grov, M., & Simon, C. (2019, August 6th). “Sjøkrigsmonumentet bør oversettes”. NRK [Radio].

Grov, M., & Simon, C. (2019, August 5th). «Utlendinger forstår ikke tekst på Sjøkrigsmonmumentet”. NRK [Radio].

Upcoming and Past Events

Monday through Wednesday, November 27 to November 29

Claimed Pasts Writing Retreat



Wednesday, November 15: 11.30–12.30. 

Guest: M Saniya Lee Ghanoui, Suffolk University, https://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/team/saniya-lee-ghanoui-phd/.

Title of lecture: “Body Talk: Sex Education Borderlands between the U.S. and Sweden”

at møterom Gimle25 I 2 001, UiA, Campus Kristiansand


Monday, November 13: 12–1230

Guest: Sofia Rzhewuska, University of Agder, https://www.uia.no/kk/profil/sofiiar.

Reading and discussion of draft chapter for Sofia’s PhD thesis

at møterom Gimle 25 E 2 002, UiA, Campus Kristiansand


Friday, September 22, 8.30–17.00

Upon invitation: Workshop, planned anthology:

(Post)colonial Norway: Interdisciplinary Studies on Norway’s Entanglement with Colonialism and its Aftermath

Presentations by contributors and keynotes by two invited guests: Mathias Danbolt, University of Copenhagen, https://artsandculturalstudies.ku.dk/staff/?pure=en/persons/407319, and Barbara Lühti, https://www.fgz-risc.de/das-forschungsinstitut/personen/details/barbara-luethi

at møterom Gimle25 A 7 002, UiA, Campus Kristiansand


Wednesday, September 20, 11.30–12.30

Guest: Camilla Mørk Røstvik, University of Agder, https://www.uia.no/en/kk/profile/camillamr.

Title of lecture: “‘The Painters are in’: An Art History of Menstruation”

at møterom Gimle 25 I 2 001, UiA, Campus Kristiansand


Wednesday, September 6, 11.30–12.30

Guest: Kristin Gregers Eriksen, University of South-Eastern Norway, https://www.usn.no/kontakt-oss/tilsette/kristin-gregers-eriksen.

Title of lecture: “Decolonial Options in Education – Interrupting Coloniality and Inviting Alternative Conversations”

 at møterom Gimle 25 I 2 001, UiA, Campus Kristiansand


Wednesday, August 23, 12–15

Organized: Nils Hallvard Korsvoll, Claimed Pasts

Seminar “Interseksjonalitet – hva er det og hva betyr det?»

at IU069, UiA, Campus Kristiansand: 



Wednesday, May 10th, 11.30-12.30, 2023

Guest: Torjer Andreas Olsen, University of Tromsø

Title: "Diversity or Dichotomy? Challenging Academia through Sámi and Indigenous Perspectives.

Møterom Gimle 25 J 2001, Campus Kristiansand


Wednesday, May 3rd,, 11.30-12.30, 2023

Guest: Mari Kristine Jore, University of Agder

Title: "(Tapte) muligheter for kritisk tenkning: Post- og dekoloniale perspective i samfunnsfag"

Møterom Gimle 25 J 2001, Campus Kristiansand


Wednesday, March 8th, 11.30-12.30, 2023

Guest: Victoria Østerberg, University of Agder

Title: "The Plastification of Life in Three Southern Norwegian Coastal Communities 1950-1990."

Møterom Gimle 25 J 2001, Campus Kristiansand


Wednesday, February 8th, 11.30-12.30, 2023

Stefan Tørnquist Fisher-Høyrem, University of Agder

Møterom Gimle 25 J 2001, Campus Kristiansand


December 7th, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture):

Guest: Synne Correll, from The Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies

Title: “Holocaust I Norge, jakten på jødenes eiendom, og sporene etter gjenstander og verdier i arkivene”.


November 27th – November 30th, 2022, Shut Up and Write - Arendal

Research group writing retreat.


November 2nd, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture):

Guest: Patricia Purtschert, from University of Bern

Title: “Colonialism without Colonies: Lessons from (Post-)colonial Switzerland”.


October 5th, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion):

Speaker: Deise Faria Nunes, from University of Agder

Title: “The Gaze, Colonialism and Aesthetics”


September 16th, 2022, “(Post-)Colonial Knowledge: Histories and Heritage” (workshop)


September 14th, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion):

Guest: Thomas Lindner, from University of Rostock

Title: “Bodies & Classes: Thinking about a Global History of Worker Sport, 1880 – 1930”.


May 11, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion, zoom):

Guest: Sahra Rausch, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen

Title: “We’re equal to the Jews who were destroyed … Compensate us, too!” An affective (un)remembering of Germany’s colonial past?


April 20, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion, zoom):

Guest: Martin Zebracki, University of Leeds

Title: Queer Geographies of urban public art


March 30, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion, zoom):

Guest: Alexandra Binnenkade, University of Basel.

Title: Monumental Transitions: Four monuments, four histories, and a new tool for understanding them


March 16, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (reading group):

Excerpts from Adom Getachew: Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination. Princeton, NJ 2019


March 2, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (reading group):

Excerpt from Rochona Majumdar: Writing Postcolonial History. London 2010.


February 9, 2022, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion, zoom):

Guest: Kathrin Pabst, Vest-Agder-museet: Identity on the Line (I-ON):

Title: “Intergenerational Transfer of feelings and behaviours from migrants to their children and grandchildren”.


December 12th - 15th, 2021, Shut up and write seminar. Arendal

Research group writing retreat.


November 10, 2021, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion)

Guest: Philippe Forêt, PhD.  Professor of Environmental Humanities, Department of Environmental Sustainability and Climate Science, American University of Central Asia (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), Department of Social Sciences, University of Basel (Switzerland)

Title: “The Geographer as Deviant Modernizer: Hedin's Journeys and the Entanglements of Interwar Climate Science”.


October 27, 2021, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (reading group)


October 6, 2021, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (reading group)


September 22, 2021, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (reading group)


May 19, 2021, 11.30-12.30, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion).

Guest: Michael Press, Ph.D. postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Religion, Philosophy, and History, UiA

Title: “Charles Clermont-Ganneau and the Antiquities Market in Late Ottoman Palestine”


May 5, 2021, 11.30-12.30, Brown Bag Lunch seminar (lecture and discussion).

Guest: Daniel Morat, PD Dr. Lecturer at Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut (FMI), at the Freie Universität, Berlin and Member of the curatorial team for the Berlin Exhibition of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Title: "More than Looted Art: The Humboldt Forum and Germany’s Colonial Legacy"


Jonathan Bach, “Colonial Pasts in Germany's Present,” In German Politics and Society 37 (2019), 4, pp. 58-73.



April 23, 2021, 11.30-12.30, Brown Bag Lunch: Meet the Author.

Author: Patrícia Martins Marcos, Ph.D. Candidate in UC San Diego’s Department of History and the Science Studies Program.

Reading: Patrícia Martins Marcos. Decolonizing Empire: Corporeal Chronologies and the Entanglements of Colonial and Postcolonial Time. Práticas da História, 11 (2020): 143-179.


February 24, 2021, 11.30-12.30, Brown Bag Lunch: Theory Reading

DuBois, Page. “Fragmentary Introduction .” Introduction. In Sappho Is Burning, 1–30. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1995.


10. February 2021, 11.30-12.30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar.

Guest: Deise Faria Nunes: PhD Research Fellow at the Department of Visual Arts and Drama at UiA: "Estuaries: Afro-Diaspora Art Encounters in the Nordics"


27. January 2021, 11.30-12.30, Brown Bag Lunch Theory Reading Seminar:

Text: Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. Can the Subaltern Speak? in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds). Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. London 1988.


13. January 2021, 11.30 - 12.30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar.

Guests: Cécile Stehrenberger, Junior-Professorin, Bergische Universität Wuppertal and Urs Lindner, Universität Erfurt, Junior Fellow: Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien.

Title: "Decolonizing Knowledge Carriers in the City of Erfurt. From Museums to (Street)names"


2. December 2020, 11.30 - 12:30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar.

Guest: Raha Rafii, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Exeter.

Title: ”Reading Museums from the Outside: Near Eastern Collections between Academic Studies and Middle Eastern Communities"


18. November 2020, 11.30 - 12:30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar.

Guest: Astrid Rasch, Associate professor, NTNU.

Title: “Teaching memory politics after empire".


4. November 2020, 11.30 - 12:30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar

Guest:  Dana Ryan Lande, Postdoctoral Fellow, Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society.

Title: “Media History, Narrative Unreliability, and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Ethics of Provenance (Under-)Reporting”


9. October 2020, 11.30 - 12:30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar.

Guest: Johan Östling, Professor at Lund University.

Title: "Circulation, Arenas and the Quest for Public Knowledge: Historiographical Currents and Analytical Frameworks."


9. September 2020, 11.30 - 12:30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar

Guest: Amanda Crompton, associate professor, University of Tromsø/Max Planck.

Title: "The Accidental Collectors: Colonial Travellers and Inuit Collections from Labrador, Canada."


26. August 2020, 11.30 - 12:30. Brown Bag Lunch seminar

Introduction: Rizka Pramadita, Phd research fellow, University of Agder.

Title: "Rethinking Ethics in Qualitative Research: Towards Critical Radical Ethics."


5. - 7. August 2020, Shut Up and Write, Fevik.

Research group writing retreat.


The program for Brown Bag Lunch Series is out. You are all welcome to join us.

Members in the group