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Eilin Holtan   Torgersen

PhD Student
Department of Social Anthropology, Bergen Pacific Studies
University of Bergen (Norway)

Torgersen is currently working at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway, as a PhD candidate. She finished her MA in June 2010, with a thesis grounded in a seven month long fieldwork in a hālau hula in the town of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and with the title The Social Meanings of Hula: Hawaiian Traditions and Politicized Identities in Hilo. Following this, she worked for 2,5 years as a Research Assistant and Project Officer for the Bergen Pacific Studies research group, during which she had major roles in the running and finalizing of the NFR-funded project Pacific Alternatives: Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation in Oceania, and in the formation and successful application of the EU-funded project ECOPAS (European Consortium for Pacific Studies), which she later became Administrative Coordinator for.

In January 2013 Torgersen was enrolled in the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She is currently working on her PhD project Vernacular Seismology in the Pacific: Volatile Environments, Cosmologies and Local Knowledge in the Pacific. Her research interests include the Pacific Islands region with an emphasis on the Hawaiian Islands, environment and landscape, tradition, Polynesian cosmologies, performance and local knowledge. Her PhD project is placed under the umbrella of the ECOPAS project.
Member of
European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)
Geographic administrative areas
Geographic places
Historical periods
21st century
  • Masters Research (2009)
    The social meanings of hula — University of Bergen
    Fieldwork for Masters thesis. Dancing with a halau hula for seven months. Social identity, tradition, dance, performativity, etnicity.
  • PhD Research (2013 to 2014)
    Vernacular Seismology in the Pacific — University of Bergen
    Fieldwork for PhD dissertation. Disaster management, volcanoes, hurricanes, cosmologies, identity, multiculturalism, knowledge, infrastructure, state/local, everyday life, risk.
  • Collaborative Project (2013 to 2016)
    European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS) — Funded by the European Union
    Multi-institutional and international networking project focusing on the human side of climate change in the Pacific.
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