TIK Seminar: Domestication as Generative Practice

Oppdrettsmerd i Rogaland. Foto: FHL/SjømatNorge

Domestication as a reflexive tool

“Domestication by confinement” and “domestication by control” are key tropes of analyses that have rendered animals and plants passive in the making of domesticated species.  How can we recapture domestication as a reflexive tool and a set of generative of world-making practices that are better fit for sharing life on a damaged planet than those domestication narratives that brought us here?

Salmon aquaculture in Norway

Drawing on an ethnographic case study of salmon aquaculture in Norway, this paper frames domestication as generative practice. Rather than assuming that the salmon domus is delineated by the salmon pen, it sees domestication as multiple processes operating at various scales, exceeding as well as imploding the notion of the domus as physical enclosure. Attention to relational textures, mutuality and temporality is central to this approach.

This paper takes salmon as a guide to recapturing relational practices of more-than-human encounters, and shows that what started as the domestication of a fish becomes domestication of an entire watershed.

About the lecturer

Marianne E. Lien. Foto: privat.

Marianne Elisabeth Lien is  professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, and has a background in nutrition. Her research interests weave across food consumption, politics of food, markets, nature engagements and domestication.

Her most recent book, Becoming Salmon; Aquaculture and the Domestication of a Fish comes out of a collaborative project involving John Law, Gro Ween and Kristin Asdal. The book, as well as her talk draws on fieldwork on and off salmon farms together with John Law.

During the academic year 2015-2016, Lien is head of a research group at Center for Advanced Study – CAS, called ‘Arctic Domestication in the Era of the Anthropocene’.


Published Oct. 6, 2015 2:03 PM - Last modified Oct. 6, 2015 2:04 PM