Roger Norum


University Lecturer and Docent (on leave)


My interests lie between social anthropology, environmental humanities and media studies. My research focuses on the comparative and praxeological dimensions of how mobility, infrastructure, and sociality mediate human relationships to the environment. I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork among transient communities across Nepal, Norway, Finland and Iceland. I first studied Arabic and Turkish as an undergraduate at Cornell University, and later read Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, where I was awarded my doctorate in 2015. I have since held research, teaching and coordinator positions at the University of Leeds and University College London.

Research interests

  • media
  • mobility
  • environment
  • infrastructure
  • sociality
  • time
  • research methods

Current Research

As an anthropologist interested rather broadly in how humans experience their environment, in my current research I am thinking through several distinct contexts. These consider: the social lives of mosquitoes (in Finnish Lapland); the role that silence plays in nature spaces (in Northern Norway and Finland); how tourists experience the immobilized world of the pandemic (online); and how infrastructure and mobility mediates people's relationships to urban and rural spaces (in Cambodian Special Economic Zones).

I am currently involved in several research programmes and projects. I am co-director (with Esa Ruuskanen) of the Environmental Humanities programme and am vice-leader (with Marko Mutanan) of Biodiverse Anthropocenes. I am also PI on the projects CONTOURS,  ENVIROCENT and Extending Realities. I am the founding editor of the Palgrave book series Arctic Encounters, and sit on the editorial boards of the journals Digital, Culture and Society, Teaching Anthropology and Time & Mind.

Recent publications

Norum, R. 2021. Placemaking ‘Experiences’ during COVID-19, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (with Erika Polson), pp. 1-15.

Eldridge, A., Carruthers-Jones, J. and Norum, R. 2020. Sounding wild spaces: Inclusive mapmaking through multispecies listening across scales. In Bull, M. and Cobussen, M. (eds) The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies, London: Bloomsbury.

Norum, R. and Ruuskanen, E. 2021. Lajikadon pysäyttäminen edellyttää uudenlaisia toimia. Helsingin Sanomat, 26 Jan. Available at:

Norum, R. 2020. Mobility. In Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. Jackson, John L. Jr (ed.). New York: Oxford University Press     *winner of OUP Graduate Student Award


I have co-authored a monograph, Migrantes (2019, Ekaré), \about the processes, politics and experiences of human migration around the globe. I have also co-edited several collections, including Tourism Geopolitics: Assemblages of Power, Mobility and the State (forthcoming, University of Arizona Press), Anthropocene Ecologies: Entanglements of Tourism, Nature and Imagination (2020, Routledge), Methodologies of Mobility: Ethnography and Experiment (2017, Berghahn), and Political Ecology of Tourism: Communities, Power and the Environment (2016, Routledge).


Research groups

  • Resource Extraction & Sustainable Arctic Communities (REXSAC)
  • Empathetic Technologies in Ethnographic Research (EMPTECH)
  • Centre for Environmental Humanities


Conservation, Tourism, Remoteness

Nature tourism is a key economic opportunity for communities in remote and sparsely populated areas.

Teaching Environmental Practices Across Borders from Center to Periphery

This project will integrate Nordic knowhow in environmental humanities educational strategies with the capacities of scholars in Northern Russia to

Extending Realities: Pioneering Immersive Technologies in Transdisciplinary Research

This project seeks to plan, develop and organize a series of transdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder workshops around the emerging innovative use o