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Published: 2008-06-03

Faculty of Arts names this year's honorary doctors

NEWS Author Yngve Ryd from Jokkmokk, Sweden, Swiss artist Ursula Biemann and South African theologian Dirk Smit. Umeå University’s Faculty of Arts has appointed these three as honorary doctors for the year. The recipients will receive the high honour at the annual commencement ceremony on 18 October.

Author Yngve Ryd, Jokkmokk, Sweden (b. 1952), has been appointed as honorary doctor for his literary work and research on ethnology, experience and expertise in the northern area of Sweden. Through perceptive and personal interviews with people from Northern Lapland, he has conveyed the experience of horse driving, snow, pioneer life, hunting, etc.

Some of his best known works are “Timmerhästens bok” (1991) and “Snö - renskötaren Johan Rassat berättar” (2001, 2007). The latter book deals with Sami words for snow; nuisances are highlighted and the relation of words to real life is described brilliantly. In 2005, “Eld, flammor and glöd – Sami eldkonst” was published, and two years later came “Ren och varg – samisk berättar.”

Yngve Ryd’s historical works of authorship are unusually broad and profound, and are closely tied to Northern Studies – one of the research areas of excellence of Umeå University.

For more information or an interview, please contact Yngve Ryd
via phone: +46 (0)971–370 38 or via e-mail.

Artist Ursula Biemann, Zurich, Switzerland (b. 1955), is an internationally established and influential artist, theorist and curator. She has become known for her groundbreaking and experimental video essays – research projects which focus on gender, migration and globalisation. It is art as research, often close at hand with the academic field of gender studies, cultural studies, ethnography, history and political science.

Ursula Biemann has displayed her work in several books and numerous exhibitions. In November 2007, Umeå University’s Bildmuseet displayed an extensive solo exhibition by the artist: the video projects “Sahara Chronicle,” “Black Sea Files” and “Contained Mobility.”

For more information or an interview, please contact Ursula Biemann via phone: +41 (0) 76 396 20 84 or via e-mail.

Professor Dirk Smit (b. 1951), is active at the faculty of theology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Smit is an unusually productive researcher and columnist who has carried out his research on society. He has written about the church's public role in society, both generally and with a focus on South Africa, as well as on human rights, economic justice and globalisation. Other scientific works include the church’s use of the bible in the political arena and ecumenical theology.

Smit’s contributions have received wide attention, and he has been entrusted to write about the conditions of South African churches in English and German encyclopaedias. During 2006 and 2007, he was a research fellow at Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskoleg) Berlin. Dirk Smit and his faculty have been collaborating for a number of years with theology scholars at Umeå University.

For more information or interview, please contact Professor Dirk Smit on tel +49-174-138-3107 or by e-mail.

For further information about the honorary doctors:

Britta Lundgren, Dean of the Faculty of Arts Phone: +46 (0)90-786 62 43
e-mail: britta.lundgren@kultmed.umu.se

Lars-Erik Edlund, Chair of the faculty committee for honorary doctors Phone: +46 (0)90 - 786 78 87
e-mail: lars-erik.edlund@nord.umu.se

Editor: Helena Vejbrink