Johanna Markkula is a social and cultural anthropologist and an ethnographer of maritime and ocean worlds. Her research focuses on the maritime world as a social and political world, and the everyday life of workers such as seafarers, coast guards and other shipping industry personnel.
Johanna's research looks at how the local and the ‘everyday' are both making and being made by global processes. In particular, she is interested in how processes such as globalization and global capitalism, often talked about in the abstract, are produced through the everyday work and practices of people such as seafarers onboard cargo ships. And conversely, how these large scale economic processes continuously shape the life and experiences of workers onboard ships. She is also interested in how maritime workers navigate and make sense of their work and life in intercultural and multi-ethnic work settings, both in the confined settings of cargo-ships with small but culturally and ethnically diverse crews, as well as in the political nodes and key institutions of the global shipping industry.
Johanna holds an MA in Social Anthropology from Stockholm University and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation, Moving Worlds: Maritime work and Life on the Social Ocean, is based on two years of multi-sited ethnographic research onboard ships, as well as in key maritime institutions in the Philippines and in Europe.
At UiO, Johanna is a postdoctoral fellow in the project 'Life Cycle of Container Ships' where she will continue to carry out research on life and work onboard container ships to explore the everyday practices that make up the global maritime world and, by extension, the global economy. She is currently working on a book manuscript on maritime labor, capitalism and globalization in the context of shipping.