Coppélie Cocq

Coppelie SmallAssociate Professor
+46 90 786 54 82



Coppélie is an Associate Professor in Sámi Studies and Nordic Folkloristics specializing in Minority Studies.

She has a PhD in Sámi Studies from Umeå University, and her research interests are Storytelling, Folklore and Minority Studies.

After her thesis Revoicing Sámi narratives, North Sámi storytelling at the turn of the 20th century (2008, Sámi Dutkan, Umeå Universitet) she has extended her folkloristic approaches to various forms of expressive culture and shifted from a historical perspective to contemporary times, such as digital expressions of folklore.

Critical approaches to Minority Studies and Indigenous Research, and ethical and methodological perspectives in digital ethnography represent other research interests.

Coppélie is responsible for pedagogy and education at Humlab.

Current Research

- Production and transmission of indigenous knowledge: oral and mediated strategies to express Sámi identities.

Project funded by FORMAS, 2013-2016. Other project participants: Marianne Liliequist, Krister Stoor, Marica Nordström (Umeå University)

This project investigates strategies developed by Sámi communities to ensure the transmission of cultural specific knowledge. Four case studies examine more specifically how Sámi groups have elaborated modes of communication (1) between generations, (2) between herders and landowners, (3) as it takes place on the Internet and (4) through popular music. Focus lies on narrativity as a vehicle for shaping and conveying knowledge and for the articulation of identities.

The role of storytelling and traditional narratives for passing on norms and values and in processes of revitalization and identity construction has been underscored in previous research. Motorization of reindeer herding, urbanization, political changes and new possibilities of mediated communication create new premises for cultural transmission. In that context, we will examine how traditional modes of communication are transposed and negotiated with.

The project combines a folkloristic approach and narrative analysis of data collected through in-depth interviews and participant observations, focusing on the artistic and communicative aspects of storytelling. Intersectionality is embedded in our approach.

The project will contribute to the understanding of indigenous initiatives from an emic perspective. By examining successful strategies for the improvement of cultural understanding, this project will present models of significance not only for the Sámi of Scandinavia but also for minority groups in other contexts.

Previous research projects

- Her research within the Media Places program at HUMlab was concerned with the relationship between Sámi expressive culture online and offline. Read more:

- Nature Narrated

A Study of Oral Narratives about Environmental and Natural Disasters from a Folkloristic and Linguistic Ethnographic Perspective

Project funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation), 2012-2014. Other project participant: Daniel Andersson, Umeå University.

Environmental and natural disasters lead not only to financial and material losses but also to a disturbance of the natural order. This project investigates how reindeer herders and farmers in northern Sweden construct their understanding of their relationship with nature in narratives about environmental and natural disasters, climate change etc.

This project focuses on the implications of the discourses and representations that emerge from the narratives. This approach emphasizes the agency and interplay between different protagonists. The analysis of narratives from communities with divergent relationships to nature will yield new insights into forms of traditional knowledge.

This study will contribute to the current environmental debate from the perspective of traditional knowledge. The selection of narratives from the Swedish dialect and folklore archives gives voice to those previously neglected. The project offers a comparative perspective that includes different communities and focuses on meaning making strategies.



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