Henrik Ernstson

Dr. Henrik Ernstson is developing a situated approach to urban political ecology. His contribution to Political Ecology and…

About Me

Dr. Henrik Ernstson is developing a situated approach to urban political ecology.

His contribution to Political Ecology and Urban Studies lies in combining critical geography with urban ecology, urban infrastructure studies, and postcolonial urbanism. He has long experience in leading international research projects, with studies of collective action, knowledge politics, environmental conflicts, urban ecosystem management and critical infrastructure studies in Cape Town, Kampala, New Orleans, and Stockholm. He has continuously also funded and developed collaborations with designers, artists and activist to surface multiple ways of knowing urban environments to question 'who is in the know'. This has contributed to the Environmental Humanities and has included the research-based documentary film One Table Two Elephants (2018, 74 min, with Jacob von Heland) based on work in Cape Town, with upcoming film-based research in Durban and Kampala. He has contracts for two edited volumes with MIT Press and Routledge and his work has been published by leading international journals, including Antipode, Environment and Planning A, Ecology & Society, Ecological Economics, Regional StudiesUrban Studies, and an upcoming article in Theory Culture & Society

He is a Research Fellow at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and their KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory since 2013, Lecturer in Human Geography at the Department of Geography at the The University of Manchester from 2017, and long-term Visiting Scholar at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town since 2010. In 2013-2014 he held a two-year postdoctoral position at Stanford University's Department of History where he collaborated with Stanford Anthropology and Centre for African Studies. His critical work has grown from a wide interdisciplinary background as he holds a PhD in Systems Ecology from Stockholm University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and a MSc in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Linköping University. His previous careers include project manager at an international electrical engineering firm, high school teacher and theatre producer in Stockholm.

For his research projects and wide range of collaborations, see The Situated Ecologies Platform. He is a founding member of The Situated UPE Collective, he tweets at @rhizomia, and for his work and publications go to his Academia.edu page.

Screening “One Table Two Elephants” film at ACC International Urban Conference in Cape Town
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Screening “One Table Two Elephants” film at ACC International Urban Conference in Cape Town

We now have times for screening our film “ONE TABLE TWO ELEPHANTS” (84 minutes, work in progress) at the ACC International Urban Conference 2018 in Cape Town. Screening including Q&A with Henrik Ernstson. Friday 2 Feb 2018, 13:00-15:00, and Saturday 3 Feb 2018, 13:00-15:00. NEVILLE ALEXANDER Lecture Theatre 1A, Upper Campus, UCT (the venue lies on the ground […]

During 2018 we are taking a rest! ACC Winter School on “Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies” plans to be back in 2019.
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During 2018 we are taking a rest! ACC Winter School on “Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies” plans to be back in 2019.

There will unfortunately not be an ACC Democratic Practices Winter School during 2018. However, we are planning another three years from 2019, 2020 and 2021 that will tentatively be more centred on racial capitalism, settler colonial urbanisation, resistance and democratic practices in the contemporary era. The organising committee is convening meetings during 2018 to lay […]

Essays on decolonisation and decoloniality in and at the interfaces of STS
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Essays on decolonisation and decoloniality in and at the interfaces of STS

Science and technology studies (STS) has always insisted on staying situated and paying attention to detail, texture, locality and remained wary of wider explanatory narratives. At the same time STS has been accused of not providing the tools to build critique against more systemic structures of oppression and injustice. What I see as a very […]

Re-Making a Home: A theatre workshop in Softex Refugee Camp, Thessaloniki, Greece (Re-blogged)
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Re-Making a Home: A theatre workshop in Softex Refugee Camp, Thessaloniki, Greece (Re-blogged)

Together with Greek and Swedish theatre practitioners and researchers, The Situated Ecologies Platform has been involved in constructing a theatre workshop in the Softex Camp in Thessaloniki in Greece for 10 days. Working with Syrian refugees living at Softex, a co-constructed “theatre in action” will be performed in the Vassiliko Theatre on May 29, 2017 in Thessaloniki […]

Reflection After a Project: Building Collaborations Beyond The Peer-Reviewed Publication
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Reflection After a Project: Building Collaborations Beyond The Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Ways of Knowing Urban Ecologies (WOK-UE) project started in 2011 and finished in December 2016. Amongst other activities, the project proved instrumental in helping to build the Situated UPE Collective from its early days in 2013. Here PI Henrik Ernstson reflects on this now finished research project to exemplify how projects can act as crucial venues for critical social scientists in building collaborations, projects and […]

Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies (Annual PhD Course/Seminar)
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Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies (Annual PhD Course/Seminar)

The Third Annual ACC Seminar & PhD Course on Democratic Practices focuses on “Understanding Capitalism in Unequal Geographies” and will run from 19-23 June 2017 in Cape Town. Apply here before 20 May 2017. We have 14-18 seats. For more information, keep reading! ACC Winter School on “Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies”, year III PhD Course/Seminar, University of […]

Re-blog: Talk in Cape Town by Erik Swyngedouw “The Return of the Political: Insurgent Architects and The City.”
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Re-blog: Talk in Cape Town by Erik Swyngedouw “The Return of the Political: Insurgent Architects and The City.”

To keep our new site SituatedUPE post up-to-date on our various activities, I am re-posting this blog that announced the talk by Professor Erik Swyngedouw who gave an ACC Special Lecture at The Cape Institute for Architecture (CIFA) on 8 March 2017. We have yet to create the link to the video we did of the event (AAG and […]

“Greening” Spatial Apartheid: Op-ed article on “eco-estates” and urban elite spaces of South Africa
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“Greening” Spatial Apartheid: Op-ed article on “eco-estates” and urban elite spaces of South Africa

Bruce Baigrie and Henrik Ernstson have just published a critique of “eco-estates” in GroundUp (online magazine) based on an initial study in Nordhoek, Cape Town.   In this piece we do a first analysis of the making of an “eco-estate” in Cape Town and its social and ecological effects. These “eco-estates” enroll and depoliticise environmental arguments […]

“Decolonizing Urbanism” Trier Summer University, 6-12 June 2017 (Call for Applications 31 January)
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“Decolonizing Urbanism” Trier Summer University, 6-12 June 2017 (Call for Applications 31 January)

Henrik Ernstson is an invited keynote lecturer at the upcoming Trier Summer University on “Decolonizing Urbanism: Transformative Perspectives”, Trier University, Germany June 6-12, 2017. Deadline for application January 31, 2017. For updated information and application details, see their website.  Call for Applications: Trier Summer University “Decolonizing Urbanism: Transformative Perspectives” Trier University, Germany June 6-12, 2017 The Governance and Sustainability […]

Political Ecology of Urbanization in Latin America: A fertile ground for more situated and just urban ecologies
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Political Ecology of Urbanization in Latin America: A fertile ground for more situated and just urban ecologies

German Quimbayo Ruiz reports on efforts to develop a Situated UPE approach in Latin America. His co-authored research article in the journal Ecología Política is in Spanish, so  spread the message among our Spanish-speaking scholars and activists. (For a PDF copy, contact the authors. For more SUPE posts on Latin America, see here.) Recently I published a paper […]