Edwin Schmitt

  • Researcher

Phonenumber: +47 967 53 138

E-mail: edwin.schmitt@niku.no

    Department:
  • Heritage and society

Edwin (Eddie) Schmitt is trained as an Environmental Anthropologist with a focus on applied, linguistic and historical topics. He received his MA in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

His past research interests included commodification of agriculture and cultural heritage, linkages between agricultural and religious systems, ethnic tourism and hydropower development in Southwest China. For his doctoral research he conducted ethnographic and survey-based research on environmental consciousness in the city of Chengdu. As a postdoc at the University of Oslo he examined how the historical production of energy is connected to the formation of and changes within the broader political power structures found throughout Chinese society.

Although much of his work has dealt with the theoretical issues around culture, ecology and power, he purposely designs his projects to have an applied angle in the hope that what he learns could be beneficial to the communities he studies.

At NIKU, Edwin is currently the lead coordinator of an interdisciplinary team of scientists from seven countries developing a project that critically investigates participatory and deliberative practices used to manage heritage and landscapes in an effort to make those practices more just and effective.

Since 2018, he has also been leading a project on developing a decision-making tool that would combine assessments of the socio-economic, bio-physical and geopolitical impacts of heritage sites into a single framework; the initial case studies of this project involve industrial heritage with a focus on mining.

Finally, Edwin is also developing a project about Urban Protest Heritage that will examine both the unrest that emerges from decision-making over contentious heritage as well as the material and intangible aspects of any protest that then becomes part of a social movement’s heritage and guides their influence upon future generations.

Edwin generally uses his vacations to do other kinds of fun ethnographic work, most recently he has been following a group of long-distance runners around the globe as they participate in the World Marathon Majors.