Ny artikkel/new article:

«Trä är ett väldigt levande material»
Mennesker som blir til trær, i tre skandinaviske bildebøker

by Beatrice G. Reed

Arboreal metamorphoses are featured in mythical texts from all over the world. The motif has particularly been explored in children’s literature, with Carlo Collodi’s La avventura di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino (1883) being one of its most influential examples. While the Pinocchio narrative has largely been interpreted as a development from raw nature to a more mature cultural existence, transformations from human to tree appear far more ambivalent. The young research field of critical plant studies provides an opportunity to explore the motif and its embedded transgressions between the human and vegetal sphere in new ways. The article examines three Scandinavian picturebooks through such a plant-oriented approach. Metamorphosis is central to Hans Sande’s and Olav Hagen’s Plommetreet [The Plum Tree] (1984), Anna Jacobina Jacobsen’s Baglænsk [Backwardish] (2019) and Lisen Adbåge’s Furan [The Pine] (2021). By examining how the transformations are depicted, the contribution seeks to illuminate the ecocritical potential provided by arboreal metamorphosis.

Read/les article/artikkel: https://doi.org/10.18261/edda.110.3.2

Klimafiksjonens dialogerEnergi- og bærekraftdilemmaer i romanene Anna og Blå


In this paper, I examine how the novels Anna [The World According to Anna] by Jostein Gaarder (2013) and Blå [The End of the Ocean] by Maja Lunde (2017) discuss fundamental dilemmas related to energy and sustainability. Although the novels have different target groups, they have several common features. They both bring a generational perspective to climate and environmental issues. Also, dialogues on energy and sustainability issues have a central place in both texts. How, and to what extent, do central characters in Anna and Blå negotiate values related to energy dilemmas? The theoretical approach to my analyses is a combination of Mikhail Bakhtinʼs perspectives on dialogue, and the Nature in Culture Matrix (Goga et al., 2018), which builds on insights from ecocritical perspectives. I argue that the dialogues in Blå highlight conflicts and dilemmas, while the different characters in Anna largely have the same viewpoints when it comes to the relationship between humans, culture, and nature.

Read article: https://www.idunn.no/doi/10.18261/blft.14.1.8

Ecocritical dialogues in teacher education

This article argues that revisions of curricula in teacher education, undertaken in response to the UN’s Agenda 2030, goal 4.7, and the OECD’s The Future of Education and Skills, need to consider new ways of teaching topics related to current environmental issues. Grounded in ecocriticism and dialogic teaching practices, this article promotes ecocritical dialogues, as developed by the research group Nature in Children’s Literature and Culture, as one viable teaching approach. Ecocritical dialogues engage with a conceptual figure developed by the group, the NatCul Matrix, which functions as a grid for the discussion of different materials, texts, and practices, in dynamic dialogue with main figures of thought in the environmental discourse. The article further proposes a set of questions as a framework for setting up ecocritical dialogues. Ecocritical dialogues aim to enable student teachers to experience and reflect upon environmentally oriented teaching practices.

Available online as open access


Ny bok – Naturen som gave?

Om boken:

Hvordan utforskes naturen som gave i nordisk litteratur? I antropocen, menneskets tidsalder, blir spørsmålet om menneskets forhold til naturen aktualisert på nytt. Nettopp i en krisetid aktiveres religiøse forestillinger om apokalypse og skapelse, ånd og natur, og en rekke skjønnlitterære forfattere skriver frem naturskildringer preget av en grunnleggende ambivalens.
I denne antologien finner du tolv bidrag som undersøker hvordan den nordiske litteraturen utforsker naturen som gave – og som kilde til ambivalens, nåde og skyld. Med et postsekulært utgangspunkt inviterer antologien forskere fra litteraturstudier og teologi til å undersøke ambivalente naturfremstillinger i den nordiske litteraturen. Hva er det mennesket gjør med den naturen vi lenge tenkte vi kunne ta for gitt – men som nå er truet?
Og hva gjør klimaendringer og naturtap igjen med vår oppfatning av mennesker og menneskelige relasjoner – også til det mer-enn-menneskelige?
Med bidrag fra: Marius Timmann Mjaaland, Kari Løvaas, Stine Holte, Simone Kotva, Sissel Furuseth, Torsten Bøgh Thomsen, Beatrice Reed, Ann-Sofie Lönngren, Sophie Wennerscheid, Elisabeth Oxfeldt, Kristina Leganger Iversen og Hans Kristian Rustad.
Tilgjengelig som open access

New article: Material Green Entanglements

By Marnie Campagnaro & Nina Goga

The article reports on a course module designed to promote an ecocritical and new materialist approach to children’s literature and to support student teachers’ skills regarding sustainability. The course module was offered in autumn 2020 and was completed by 260 students of children’s literature with no previous scholarly knowledge about ecocriticism prior to the course. Building on basic ecocritical theory, posthuman perspectives on humans’ intra-actions with material entities, and the students’ previous experiences with didactic tools for developing sustainability competencies through literature, the course module aimed to critically contribute to the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in teacher education. The research material consists of fifty-three video assignments by groups consisting of three to four students. The material has been analysed in line with the methodological implications of video content analysis, focusing on three aesthetic and material entanglements – that is, entanglements with picturebooks, with peers, and with the environment.

Play, Learn, and Teach Outdoors—Network (PLaTO-Net): terminology, taxonomy, and ontology



A recent dialogue in the field of play, learn, and teach outdoors (referred to as “PLaTO” hereafter) demonstrated the need for developing harmonized and consensus-based terminology, taxonomy, and ontology for PLaTO. This is important as the field evolves and diversifies in its approaches, contents, and contexts over time and in different countries, cultures, and settings. Within this paper, we report the systematic and iterative processes undertaken to achieve this objective, which has built on the creation of the global PLaTO-Network (PLaTO-Net).


This project comprised of four major methodological phases. First, a systematic scoping review was conducted to identify common terms and definitions used pertaining to PLaTO. Second, based on the results of the scoping review, a draft set of key terms, taxonomy, and ontology were developed, and shared with PLaTO members, who provided feedback via four rounds of consultation. Third, PLaTO terminology, taxonomy, and ontology were then finalized based on the feedback received from 50 international PLaTO member participants who responded to ≥ 3 rounds of the consultation survey and dialogue. Finally, efforts to share and disseminate project outcomes were made through different online platforms.


This paper presents the final definitions and taxonomy of 31 PLaTO terms along with the PLaTO-Net ontology model. The model incorporates other relevant concepts in recognition that all the aspects of the model are interrelated and interconnected. The final terminology, taxonomy, and ontology are intended to be applicable to, and relevant for, all people encompassing various identities (e.g., age, gender, culture, ethnicity, ability).


This project contributes to advancing PLaTO-based research and facilitating intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration, with the long-term goal of fostering and strengthening PLaTO’s synergistic linkages with healthy living, environmental stewardship, climate action, and planetary health agendas. Notably, PLaTO terminology, taxonomy and ontology will continue to evolve, and PLaTO-Net is committed to advancing and periodically updating harmonized knowledge and understanding in the vast and interrelated areas of PLaTO.

Read article here.

Special issue on sustainability: Svenskämnets berättelser och berättelser i svenskämnet: ett temanummer om hållbarhet 

Detta är ForskULs andra temanummer, producerat tillsammans med två gästredaktörer.I Svenskämnets berättelser och berättelser i svenskämnet: ett temanummer om hållbarhet presenterar  Anna Lyngfelt och Katharina Dahlbäck fem artiklar som på olika sätt utgör exempel på det den brittiska professorn Kari Facer benämner ”närvarandets pedagogik”. Detta är en form av undervisning  där elever får fördjupa sin förståelse av samtidens företeelser och samtidigt ges tillfälle att öva sig i att se komplexiteten i det som sker, för att därigenom kunna utveckla tankar om potentiella framtidsvägar. Temanumret belyser på så sätt möjligheter att genom svenskämnet bidra till samhällets hållbarhetsarbete. Temanumret avslutas med en reflektion av just Kari Facer.

New PhD-thesis – by Ahmed Khateeb

This dissertation examines constructions of nature and childhood in a selection of contemporary Norwegian books for children and young adults. The selected titles are Stian Hole’s picturebook trilogy about Garmann (2006; 2008; 2010), the illustrated novel Tonje Glimmerdal (2009) by Maria Parr, and the novel Fredlaus (2006) by Ragnar Hovland. By engaging with ecocritical theory, philosophical texts on nature and formation by Rousseau and Thoreau, and Klafki’s theory of categorical Bildung, the main aim of the dissertation is to explore how the character’s experiences of and reflections on the landscapes they live in have formative qualities.

I have mainly dealt with the part of ecocriticism that discusses literary constructions of landscapes. Throughout the readings, I show that the selected texts reproduce culturally established ideas about pastoral and wild nature, and I argue that these ideas shape the characters’ interpretation and understanding of the landscapes.

As part of the analysis, I map the texts’ constructions of landscape and childhood against the “Nature-in-culture” matrix as developed in the research group “Nature in children’s literature and culture” at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. This matrix is an analytical tool that I use to discuss how the characters’ natural surroundings may be read as ecocritically formative landscapes where the relationship between nature and culture is celebrated, explored or problematized. Although I show that the texts reproduce anthropocentric and celebratory understandings of nature, I highlight that the characters problematize uncritical celebrations of nature, both in themselves and in other characters. This makes them examples of critical and self-reflexive characters who alternate between different ways of understanding themselves and their engagement with nature, while also assessing how other characters position themselves in the landscapes.

I find that the characters are constructed in dialogue with literary childhood figures from a romantic nature-celebrating tradition, while also arguing that it is possible to read the characters in dialogue with Anthropocene thinking by underscoring their problematizing reflections on human kind as a destabilizing ecological force found in the texts. These are formative reflections that lead the characters to the insight that their connections to the landscapes are not only idyllic and something to be celebrated but is also a complex relationship that involves responsibilities.

The dissertation is a contribution to the in-depth theoretical and analytical understanding of constructions of nature and childhood in children’s literature. It demonstrates that the primary texts examined reproduce established ideas about the relationship between nature and childhood, while also presenting new insights into the ways in which such thinking is explored and developed in new literary texts for children and young adults.