New article in Contemporary European History

I have a new article out in Contemporary European History – this is a theme issue on “Recycling and Reuse in the Twentieth Century” edited by Heike Weber and Ruth Oldenziel. My article has the rather long title “Green Citizenship at the Recycling Junction: Consumers and Infrastructures for the Recycling of Packaging in Twentieth-Century Norway.”

Here’s the abstract in English, French, and German!

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New publication: Entangled Environments

I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new article called “Entangled Environments: Historians and Nature in the Nordic Countries.” The text was co-authored by Finn Arne Jørgensen, Unnur Birna Karlsdóttir, Erland Mårald, Bo Poulsen, and Tuomas Räsänen, and was published in Historisk Tidsskrift (Norway) no 1, 2013.

If you have access to the journal, you can download the article directly from Historisk Tidsskrift.

If you don’t have access, you can instead read the Nordic Environmental History Network parallel published version here.

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Suddenly, reviews!

My book, Making a Green Machine: The Infrastructure of Beverage Container Recycling, came out in June 2011. Upon publication, Rutgers University Press, sent out review copies to all the main academic journals in history of technology, business, and environment. It took more than a year and a half before anything more happened – after all, academic publication moves at glacial speed, and so do reviews. But suddenly, a whole lot of book reviews showed up.

In Environmental History, J. F. M. Clark from University of St. Andrews called my book “an engaging business history”, but argues that I do not engage with the history of environmentalism and make no effort to “assess the broader environmental economics behind glass, aluminum, and plastic.”

In Technology and Culture, Stephen Sambrook at the Centre for Business History at the University of Glasgow characterized my book as a “blending of technological and cultural history with a leavening of business history, … providing insight into the complex relationships between the evolution of national environmental policies and the nexus of business interests, technological development, and everyday environmentalism.”

Most interesting, however, were the four reviews in the H-Environment Roundtable organized by Jake Hamblin. Tim Cooper, Peter Thorsheim, Heike Weber, Carl Zimring provided respectively one scathingly negative and three generally positive reviews. The roundtable format allowed me to write a response to the reviews, which is what generally makes the roundtables so interesting to read. If you want to find out why the one review was so negative, you should read the review – and my response! I can highly recommend not just the review of my book, but also all the other ones (there’s thirteen so far).


Forty years of cabin magazines

Hyttefolk, no. 1, 1972.

Norway’s largest cabin magazine, Hytteliv, celebrated its forty year anniversary this summer. As a good cabin historian, I have of course read every single issue, and was happy to agree when the magazine asked me to write a series of articles about the four decades of Hytteliv. It has been a great opportunity to reach out to a larger audience with my research – the magazine has a print run of about 50,000 copies and is read by more than 300,000 people. It also provided me with an opportunity to hone my writing for non-academic readers, which I see as critical for the cabin history book I’m working on.

I hope I will be able to re-publish all of these articles over at Hyttedrømmen sometime during the fall.

On cabin porn

I published an article on cabin porn and the Norwegian leisure cabin in The Atlantic! Using the Cabin Porn website as a springboard, I discussed where the dream of a simple life in nature came from, how it has frequently become channeled through cabins, and what has happened in those places where this dream has come true – such as in Norway.

Read the full article at