knowledge moves Joint Nordic Research School


Knowledge is contested. As more knowledge circulates and more knowing subjects compete over the power and authority of claiming truth, the strictly guarded order of vernacular and scientific knowledge collapses. Ways of knowing outgrow the established distinctions between lay and expert cultures, leaving the conventions and categorizations of history, philosophy and sociology of the sciences and humanities behind. Contemporary concepts and visions, from the Knowledge Society to Re-Enlightenment, demonstrate that knowledge has gained immense importance as a resource for organizing societies. Today, knowledge has become a major form of capital, trafficked in local and global settings.

knowledge moves is a five-year doctoral course cycle organized and hosted by university departments in Norway and Sweden: the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages and TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo, AHO Oslo School of Architecture and Design, the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University, the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, and the Division of History of Ideas and Sciences, Lund University. The first course in the cycle, knowledge, space and design is held in fall 2016 at AHO, Oslo.






knowledge moves sets out to explore knowledge situations. We focus on the temporalities, spatialities and materialities of knowledge, the plurality of actors and practices as well as the mediations and infrastructures, with the aim to jointly develop inclusive approaches that can address the cultural, social, economic and political challenges posed by historical and contemporary orders of knowledge. The school brings together multi- and transdisciplinary perspectives from the history of science and technology, STS, anthropology, cultural studies, architecture, design, landscape and urbanism, environmental history and political ecology, with a focus on, but not limited to history.

The project extends from 2016 to 2020 with a themed course each year which together form the knowledge moves course cycle





Courses 2016


Infrastructures 7.5 ects

The study of infrastructure has inspired innovative theorizing at the intersection of STS, urban planning, history and architecture. Infrastructure studies seek to understand specific sociotechnical objects - such as energy, traffic, water - but they also mobilize a conceptual level of "infrastructuring", for example in the notion of epistemic infrastructures. Infrastructure studies enable us to foreground otherwise invisible work, such as maintenance, adaptation and refitting. Digital technologies bring about particular modes of infrastructure and infrastructuring, from distributed and novel modes of data generation in the sciences to new digital practices with social media. And the idea of infrastructure can be applied to widely ranging modes of investigation, including historical and cultural studies. Building on STS work on ethnographies of infrastructure, history of science and technology studies on communications infrastructure, discursive design projects around mediated infrastructure and history of architecture and urbanism studies on infrastructures and space, the course will explore how infrastructural technologies and built environments afford spatial and social relations, stratification, inclusion and exclusion.

The course has two aims. Firstly, it invites PhD researchers to interrogate their own projects in terms of the notion of infrastructure in its widest scope (physical, institutional, legal, economic, political digital, historical). Second, the course invites PhD researchers to explore “more than textual” modes of analysis as tools to augment their research method. We perceive a need and desire to develop alternative and productive ways to generate, visualize and to catalyse research data and their analysis within the disciplinary areas ofthe Knowledge Moves network. To achieve these aims the course brings together the resources of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and the TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo. A unifying theme across both institutions is the use of the infrastructural as a device to promote productive questions for research, as a prompt to investigate alternative methods for research, and as a means to focus on productive ways to visualize the findings from research


The course takes the form of a one-week workshop held on site at AHO between 10th and 14th October, with two weeks equivalent study periods before and after the workshop. The course content offers the chance to investigate alternative research modes via group projects made during the workshop, and to work the individual PhD project through the questions the course poses. In advance of the course a submission (up to five pages of texts and images) will be circulated to the group that reads the individual PhD project in terms of the course themes. Day one of the course will consist of an introduction to the Knowledge Moves cycle, with invited keynote presentations from guests. On day 2 of the course participants will be given opportunities to workshop their project proposals in in-camera reviews with guests and to present abstracts of their project themes in plenary sessions. Day three of the course consists of a group workshop introduction on “mediating infrastructures”. This takes up problematics/overarching research questions identified during the workshop and investigates alternative methods for nearing the material of study. We investigate the coupled notions of the probe, the survey, the map and the trace, with an emphasis on visual representation and design-based methods for research enquiry. Day four of the course requires students to work in groups producing analyses of infrastructural sites set in the Oslo urban context. The final aim of the course will be to produce or physical or digital product which communicates the research findings in via graphics, film, narrative, text or hyper text. The studies will be completed, edited and published on the website one month after the course completion.


Course applications should be submitted by 30 May 2016 to Tim Anstey, Oslo School of Architecture and Design and Susanne Bauer, TIK, University of Oslo Applications should contain:

  • A synopsis/project review (max 500-600 words) which describes the PhD theme, describes a potential for reviewing the PhD project in terms of infrastructure, and describes, briefly, the research modes for the project and indicate where you would like to develop alternative modes for research: where is the research material intractable to existing skills sets
  •  A CV, two pages maximum, including date of entry and details of PhD programme attended.
  • Contact details for a referee/guarantor at the PhD researcher’s home institution (Supervisor, Head of Research or Head of PhD Programme)

Researchers will be notified of acceptance on 20 June 2016. Full course literature, reading list and instructions for the first part of the course will be sent out by 30 August 2016. Preliminary essay submissions (max. 5 pages with both visual and textual material) are due 30 September 2016. Workshop 10 – 14 October. Final submission of course documentation 30 October. The course is limited to fifteen PhD researchers. Students from Knowledge Moves institutions will be given priority.

For the more information on the course please contact Tim Anstey, Oslo School of Architecture and Design or Susanne Bauer, TIK, University of Oslo


The course aims to contribute to the following learning in PhD studies:

  • The pedagogics of research: how to communicate research in an interdisciplinary context
  • The writing of research: workshop on writing form and communication
  • The representation of research: finding forms outside the written
  • The conduct of research: finding forms outside the literary.


Knowledge moves courses are open by application for PhD students in all years of their respective PhD programmes within the research areas covered by the knowledge moves network: history of ideas, history of science and technology, cultural studies, history and theory of architecture, urban studies, landscape studies. Students from knowledge moves joint nordic research school participating institutions will be given priority.

Knowledge moves is a non-financial academic collaboration between the university departments in the network. Students accepted for the course may apply to their own institutions for travel and accommodation funding. Course events and tuition are covered by the host institution. Courses are registered within the system of the host institution. At the conclusion of the course students receive a transcript including the course registration number, detailing the course content, the learning outcomes met, and the course value in ects, for presentation for equivalent credits within their home institution.