Sofie Maj Thomsen - New PhD at the Department of Anthropology

Sofie Maj Thomsen will be working on the project: "Crafting new encounters between places, hosts and guests" which is part of a larger interdisciplinary explorative study of tourism practices at the West coast of Denmark.

19.04.2016 | Camilla Dimke

My name is Sofie Maj Thomsen and since 1st of April I have been employed as a PhD associate at the School of Culture and Society. My project, entitled Crafting new encounters between places, hosts and guests, is a part of a larger interdisciplinary explorative study of tourism practices at the West coast of Denmark. During the next three years I will be collaborating with a PhD affiliate at Aarhus School of Architecture, with the aim of rethinking tourism strategies in the area of Ringkøbing-Skjern, focusing on its cultural heritage and the potentials the landscape hold as a part of shaping the tourism experience.

I have a background in History of Ideas (AU) and hold an MA in Experience Economy from Aarhus University. My interests for the past few years have been the concept of participation, and in particular the emergence of its political meaning. I have been a part of different user-engagement projects, which have led to a couple of publications on the matter, most recently in Jordens Folk this month.

Ringkøbing-Skjern and Hvide Sande have a proud history of hosting many tourists. However, over the past decades the area has experienced a fall in number of visitors. The new so-called cultural tourism demand is one of the main challenges the area faces. As the changing market of the tourism industry rises, this project serves to contribute with new understandings of how tourism can be understood and worked with. Methodologically I will be inspired by George Marcus’ para-sites, and the idea of anthropological research as a design process.  Thus the intention is to build experimental ‘laboratories’ in the area and let these be ways of collecting empirical data that will broaden our knowledge and understanding of the specific place potential of Ringkøbing-Skjern.  

I will be supervised by Mads Daugbjerg and Britta Knudsen, who will also be contributing with research to the overall project: Rethinking Tourism in a Coastal City.