Norwegian version
Thorgeir Kolshus

Thorgeir Kolshus


I have a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Oslo, where I was employed for many years (2002-19) before moving to OsloMet in 2017. I work ethnographically in the Pacific Ocean, more specifically the northern part of the island state of Vanuatu, where I have conducted almost three years of fieldwork since 1996. Combined with material from historical archives, this is my empirical foundation for probing the driving forces behind societal development – in particular the interplay between religion and politics, identity development and differentiation processes, including comparisons with Norway. I also do research on research communication, and have been a columnist for Norwegian dailies Aftenposten and Dagens Næringsliv.
I am at the board of the European Society of Oceanists (ESfO), coordinate the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania's (ASAO) annual Distinguished Lecture, and am part of the leadership of OsloMet's DISCO Center for Diversity Studies.

Fields of study

Academic disciplines

Social anthropology

Subject areas

Religion   Rituals   Kinship   Development aid   Ethnicity   Political anthropology   Mission history   Secret male societies   Religion and Politics   Cultural diversity


Melanesia   The Pacific



Scientific publications

Kolshus, Thorgeir (2023). Typecast! Some lessons from Norwegian public anthropology. Suomen Antropologi . Vol. 47.

Kolshus, Thorgeir; Bratrud, Tom (2022). Frihetsbalansen. Lundgren, Charlotte (Ed.). Psykisk oppvekst. Barn og unges psykiske helse fra 0-25 år. Kapittel 12.

Kolshus, Thorgeir (2019). Esoterogeni og aktiv forskjellsdannelse: Religion og identitetsskapning, i Stillehavet og andre steder. FLEKS - Scandinavian Journal of Intercultural Theory and practice . Vol. 6.

Kolshus, Thorgeir (2018). Fra grobunn til stengrunn: Kulturrelativismens skjebne i norsk offentlighet. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift . Vol. 29.

Kolshus, Thorgeir (2018). Still naughty after all these years?. Cultural anthropology . Vol. 33.

Kolshus, Thorgeir Storesund (2017). Urban castaways. The precarious living of marooned islanders. Mobilities of Return. Pacific Perspectives. Kapittel 8. p. 171-188. Australian National University Press.

Kolshus, Thorgeir Storesund (2017). The power of ethnography in the public sphere. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory . Vol. 7.

Kolshus, Thorgeir Storesund (2016). Global Pentecostalism in the 21st century. American Ethnologist . Vol. 43.

Kolshus, Thorgeir Storesund (2016). Mana on the move: Why empirical anchorage trumps theoretical drift. New mana. Transformations of a classic concept in Pacific languages and cultures. 6. p. 155-182. Australian National University Press.

Tomlinson, Matt; Tengan, Ty P. Kawika; Kolshus, Thorgeir Storesund (2016). New mana. Transformations of a classic concept in Pacific languages and cultures. ISBN: 9781760460075. 375 p. Australian National University Press.

These publications are obtained from Cristin. The list may be incomplete