Dr Petra Tjitske Kalshoven is a Dalton research fellow at the University of Manchester.
As an anthropologist with The University of Manchester since 2009, Petra Tjitske Kalshoven draws on a background that combines the Humanities and Social Sciences (M.A. Classical Languages and Cultures, Leiden University; Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology, McGill University). Kalshoven conceives of human life as a series of rehearsals for things that never quite come to pass. She focuses on skilled manifestations of human curiosity, simulation, play, and rhetoric, and the role of repetition in these practices. Her fields of research have ranged from reenactment to taxidermy to nuclear decommissioning. As a member of The University of Manchester’s social and nuclear research network The Beam since 2017, Kalshoven adopts an anthropological perspective in order to situate the Sellafield nuclear site in its contemporary West Cumbrian context in North West England.
About the talk:
“Mention the name ‘Sellafield’ in the UK, and people will react. Some associate the site in West Cumbria with pioneering scientific work, others remember environmental or administrative cock-ups, and many will express dismay with the nuclear hazards lurking in old buildings and in tonnes of stored plutonium on site. In my talk, I will provide a view of Sellafield from close-up. Since 2017, I have carried out fieldwork at and around the Sellafield nuclear facilities. I seek to gain insights into the social dynamics and politics in which Sellafield and West Cumbria are entangled, in what I have found to be a close embrace. Now that Sellafield is entering full decommissioning, ending its nuclear operations, a long process of change is set in motion, with impacts on the site itself and on the surrounding area.”