Forskningsseminarium i Etnologi med Viktorija Ceginskas. The SENSOMEMO research project: The multisensory, memory and autobiographical materiality in the context of mobility

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Zoom
  • Lecturer: Viktorija Ceginskas, University of Jyväskylä and currently visiting scholar at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
  • Organiser: Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi
  • Contact person: Camilla Asplund Ingemark
  • Seminarium

The SENSOMEMO research project at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland seeks to produce knowledge of the entanglements between life history, identity and material culture in people’s lives and experiences of mobility. We explore people’s relations with tangible objects and the role of material culture in the process of resettling and rebuilding a home and in the context of consumption.

In this process, objects can articulate feelings of loss, disconnection and longing. On the other hand, material engagements can also offer sources of joy and pleasure, for example by allowing us to create cozy atmospheres. Thus, material objects are connected to sensory, embodied and affective ways of knowing other than language. 
 
I will first introduce our research project, its objectives and foci and then move on to present my specific research within this project. My research focuses on descendants of Estonian refugees whose parents, grandparents (and possibly great-grandparents) arrived in 1944 to Sweden and I explore how multisensory experiences, (family) memory and autobiographical materiality interweave with experiences of (both forced and voluntary) mobility. This research is part of an insider ethnography as I am the daughter of Baltic refugees of the Second World War but I did not grow up in Sweden. As I am still at the stage of conducting data, I will refer to a recently written article that deals with my personal memories of two bookshelves as a basis to reveal how multiple layers of memories and affective and sensory experiences interlink my life story and my family history, in which mobility is a central experience. I introduce the concept of autobiographic materiality to discuss how absent everyday objects remain present in affective memories and have the capability to verbalize the unspoken by becoming entangled with personal biographies.

Viktorija has requested a short presentation round, so be prepared to say a few words about yourself and your research.

For access to Zoom-link and paper, please contact Camilla Asplund Ingemark.