Erica von Essen is a researcher with the Environmental Communication division at the Department of Urban and Rural Development. She conducts non-disciplinary research on human-animal relations. Erica looks at the full scope of human-wildlife interactions in contemporary society, including conflicts, killing, ethics, wildlife management, rewilding and hunting.
She pursues a part of her research with Professor of Legal, Political and Social Philosophy Michael Allen. Together, they examine resistance and disobedience in the full spectrum of animals: on behalf of animals and animal rights; against animal issues and conservation directives (her Ph.D. thesis in 2016 was on illegal hunting as a form of dissent in the Nordic countries) and even resistance by animals as agents in themselves.
Erica is published across a wide range of disciplinary communities such as Rural Sociology, Criminology, Environmental Ethics and Communication Studies. She is a reviewer for more than 20 peer-reviewed journals. Her popular scientific publications can also be found in hunting magazines.
Among her theoretical frameworks are relational care ethics and various theories of resistance (civil, disruptive, everyday, systemic) as pertains to the environment.
Course leader for Interdisciplinary Practice (Sustainable Development masters program, Uppsala University/Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) March-June, 2016-2017, 15 credits
Recurring lecturer, group project supervisor for Environmental Communication and Management Masters programme, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sustainable Development Masters Program various lectures, e.g. introduction module.
Lecturer for masters course The Process of Research: Methods, Data Analysis and Scientific Writing (15 hp)
Group project supervisor for project management and communication for agronomists (20hp)
Lecturer for Climate Change Leadership (Uppsala University, 2016)
Lecturer for Landscape Architecture Writing Module (Autumn 2017)
Winner of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ Pedagogical Award 2017
Teaching training courses
SIDA Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education (Birmingham City University, February-April, 2013)
Course in Grading and Assessment (SLU, September, 2013)
Teaching in Higher Education, basic course (SLU, February-April, 2015)
Teaching in higher education, advanced course (SLU, January-February, 2017)
Course in doctoral supervision (SLU, February-May, 2017)
Course in case-based teaching (SLU, April 2017)
Course in Pedagogical Portfolio Presentation (SLU, May-September 2017)
Academic work, other:
Evaluation committee member for PhD defense of Ann Eklund (upcoming Oct 2019)
Board member of Department Research Education Committee (2019-)
Board member of Strategic Research Division Council (2019-)
Editor for department report series Urban & Rural Reports (2018-)
In charge of division homepage (2017)
Division Representative at Department Research School (2015-2016)
November 2016-November 2018: Erica is conducting research on the challenges to the contemporary Nordic hunting ethic. The research has a project page here.
2018-2021: Erica will together with a PhD student conduct a project on modernizing wildlife ethics among hunters in Sweden. The research can be found here.
2018- Erica collaborates with Prague-based research project Bewildering Boar: Changing Cosmopolitics of the Hunt in Europe and Beyond.
2020 - 2025 - Erica will be part of an ERC project on the veterinarization of wild boar management in Europe, led by Ludek Broz.
2020 - 2023 - Together with David Redmalm Erica will pursue License to Cull: Investigating the Necropolitics of Countryside Culling and Urban Pest Control (FORMAS).
Conferences and major symposiums
Presentation of paper at History of Game seminar - Stockholm held by Sveriges Vildnad (Sept 22, 2013)
Participated in School of Law Roundtable Seminar: Wildlife Law Reform and the Future Protection of Wildlife. Middlesex University. Hosted by Dr. Angus Nurse. London (May 30, 2014)
Organized and co-hosted Illegal Hunting International Research Workshop, Copenhagen, (16-17 June 2014)
Attended ESRC Green Criminology Conference. London South Bank University. (July 7-8 2014)
Attended seminar Perspectives on Hunting Ethics and Game Management. Hosted by Sveriges Vildnad. Skansen, Stockholm (Dec 5, 2014)
Paper presented at South Carolina Philosophy Association. Spartanburg, SC, (2015) (Presenter: Michael Allen).
Presented paper at Rural Crime and Community Safety Special Issue seminar. Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. (Sept 18-19, 2014)
Attended seminar Perspectives on Hunting Ethics and Game Management. Hosted by Sveriges Vildnad. Skansen, Stockholm. (Dec 5, 2014)
Presented two papers at the 2015 Conference on Environmental Communication, Boulder, Colorado. 2015.Boulder, CO. (June 11-14 2015)
Presented paper at British Society of Criminology Conference, Plymouth, UK. (June 30 - July 3, 2015)
Presented paper at Doing Green Criminology event. University of Oslo. Oslo. (Oct 15-16, 2015)
Paper presented at Joint Meeting of the South and North Carolina Philosophy Associations, Appalachia State University Boone, NC, (February 26-27 2016) (Presenter: Michael Allen).
Presented research at Annual SKANDULV conference, (Uppsala, 23-25 November 2015)
Presented paper at Symposium Animals wild and tame – peering beyond categories. Turku University, Finland. (May 30-31 2016)
Contributed two research posters, Vilken roll spelar viltarten i den illegala jakten? and Den illegala jakten som motstånd to annual SKANDULV conference (21-23 November 2016)
Organized, presented at and co-hosted Illegal Hunting Final Symposium November (30 December 1st) Stockholm.
Presented research at the Swedish Hunting Association’s Board Members Conference (February 10, 2017)
Presented research at the National Hunters Association’s annual Organization Conference, (February 19, 2017)
Presented research for Nordic Hunters Alliance, Brussels (7 March 2017)
Panel member and presenter at The Future Of The Nature Directives: Where Are We Going? Conference - European Parliament, Brussels, for The European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation (7 March 2017)
ISSRM 2017 Panel Chair and Presenter ‘Discourses on Illegal Hunting’ International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM). Umeå (June 19-22, 2017)
Participated in Uppsala Forum Workshop on Participation in Local Politics and Governance in Developing Countries at Uppsala University (September 27, 2017)
Presented wildlife ethics research at Wildlife Damage Centre quarterly meeting, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, (Sept 28 2017)
Attended Vildsvinsseminariet, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, (October 18 2018)
Presented ‘Illegal hunting and ways forward in wildlife management’ to Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s Wildlife Management Conference, Stockholm, Sweden (17 November 2017)
Attended Sveriges Vildnad ‘Vad är jakten värd?’ hunting seminar by the Swedish Hunting Association at Skansen, Stockholm, (1 December 2018)
Attended Linking Environmental History with Experimental Ecology –Symposium, (December 7, 2017)
Participated in roundtable seminar Obligations to try: On uncertain moral demands to reduce biodiversity deterioration at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, (March 1 2018)
Presented at Swedish Anthropological Association & FAS 2018 conference: Vulnerabilities Uppsala, (together with Anna Martin & Wouter Blankestijn) (April 19-21 2018)
Attended Wild Animal Suffering Seminar, by Effective Animal Altruism, studiefrämjandet, Stockholm (29 April 2018)
Attended Animal Welfare Science Symposium, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, (May 2 2018)
Attended Bear & Folklore seminar, Uppsala University, seminar series Animals Society (May 7 2018)
Session chair & presenter at (Un)Common Worlds Human-Animal Studies Conference. Turku, Finland (special pre-submitted panel) (7–9 August 2018)
Session chair & presenter at 15th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference. Staying, Moving, Settling., Stockholm (special pre-submitted panel) (14-17 August 2018)
Session chair & presenter Pathways Europe 2018. Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife: Resurrecting the Wild!? Goslar, Germany (special submitted panel) (16-19 September 2018)
Organizer and presenter of conference Porcine Futures: Re-negotiating “Wilderness” in More-than-human Worlds. Prague, Czech Republic (16-18th October, 2018)
Attended The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry ”Vad är Vilt, vad är tamt – vad är jakt, vad är slakt?” Stockholm, (6th November 2018)
Attended ’Sveriges Vildnad ‘Framtidens Viltförvaltning’ Stockholm, (30th November 2018)
Presenter at annual Swedish Hunting Association Conference, Stockholm (Feb 8, 2019)
Presenter at annual National Hunters Association Conference, Stockholm (Feb 16, 2019)
Invited researcher at The Non-Human Animal Exhibition Think Tank at Uppsala Art Museum (April 4 2019)
Hosted ‘Rights of Nature’ symposium, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (April 10, 2019)
Presented paper at 6th Conference for Critical Animal Studies (EACAS), Barcelona. (May 22-24 2019)
Presented paper at The XXVIIIth European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, Trondheim (June 23-26 2019)
Organizer and host of INSTAGRANIMAL - A symposium on the animal ethics and welfare challenges in animal-based tourism, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (August 27-28 2019)
Invited speaker Emigrating Animals and Migratory Humans: Belonging, Prosperity And Security In More-Than-Human World, Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS, Prague (September 10-11 2019)
Invited speaker Nordic Network for Communicating Animal Welfare: NordCAW seminar 2019 Animal welfare for wild animals, Helsinki, (October 30-31 2019)
Swedish Hunting Association, National Hunters' Association, Nordic Hunters' Alliance, The European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation, SKANDULV, European Network for Environmental Ethics, International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASA), The European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), Uppsala Konstmuseum, MISTRA
Ph.D. in Environmental Communication, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (September 2016)
MSc in Sustainable Development, Uppsala University (2012)
Bachelor soc. science in geography from Uppsala University (2010)
Masters thesis supervision within Environmental Communication and Management (ECM) and Sustainable Development (SD):
Ilektra Theodorakea, ECM (spring term 2014)
“Who let the Wolves Out? Perceptions about the presence of the Wolf in Central Greece”
Jamieson Bray, SD (spring term 2015)
“Cultural cognition and Climate Change: Communicating climate science over potential divides in Sweden”
Marin Tournier, SD (spring term 2015)
“Countering Illegal Wildlife Trade in Southeast Asia: A critical comparison of the leading strategies and their corresponding initiatives”
Lina Cederlöf, ECM (spring term 2015)
“Constructive Communication in Contexts of Complexity: A Case Study of the Wolf Conflict in Sweden”
Sara Andersson, ECM (spring term 2015)
“Animal Ethics Between Theory and Praxis: Differential Ethical Standards toward Wildlife: the Case Canis lupus in Sweden”
Sara Garrido Espinosa, ECM (spring term 2016)
"Constructing and Anticipating Conflict: How Madrid Prepares for Wolves"
Amalia Björnegran, (SD, 2017)
"Challenges and Possibilities for Accommodating Wild Animals in the Realm of Justice"
Julia Rouet-Ledouc (SD, spring 2017):
"The compromises of rewilding: reconciling nature and humans in the wilderness" (2017)
Nyashadzashe Marecha (ECM, 2017)
"Perspectives of the human wildlife conflict situation from the standpoint of environmental justice : a case study of Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe."
Larissa Kwiatkowski (SD, 2017)
"Paths to Meaningful Youth Involvement at the International Climate Change Negotiations: Lessons from COP22 in Marrakesh"
Tawast, Tea and Åhlvik, Therese (ECM 2017).
"Animals kill, that's how the world works' : the role of neutralisation and affirmation techniques in the discourse of animal product consumption."
Emily Montgomerie, (ECM 2018)
"Trust between actors in wildlife management : in the context of the Swedish seal management and small-scale fishery controversy"
Wouter Blankestijn & Anna Katrien Martin, ECM (spring term 2018)
"Testing the (legal) waters: interpreting the political representation of a river with rights in New Zealand : “let’s talk to the river, instead of talking about the river”
Arthur Le Comte Du Colombier, ECM
“Perceptions and relation-mediating mechanisms in human-wildlife conflicts : in the context of the reintroduction of the brown bear in the Pyrenees (France)”.
Claire Reboah – ECM, (spring term 2019)
“Barriers to rewilding on Sussex farmland : socio-psychological implications of rewilding on farmers’ Sense of Place”
Vera Schumann, ECM, (spring term 2019)
"Disciplining coal resistance : the dynamics of violence and power in disciplining the resistance against the Hambach coal mine in Germany".
Wenxiu Li (Rural Development, 2019)
Guarding crops against the ‘protected pest’ : interactions among farmers, monkeys, and conservation staffs in a nature reserve of Guangxi, China.
Lucas McNabb (environmental Communication, 2020)
"ridays for what future? : a case study on the collective action framing of the Swedish environmental movement."
Leimer, Elisa (Env-Eur 2020)
"Climate protest images : understanding interpretations and their implications."
Elvira Caselunghe (as co-supervisor, defended thesis in 2018)
Lara Tickle (as main supervisor, 2018-)
Peer-reviewed publications under review:
Naunova, K. von Essen, E. Rights of Nature or Rights of People to Nature? Exploring Practical Paths to Environmental Protection. Journal of Human Rights and Environment
Von Essen, E. Allen, M. Tickle, L. Game of Drones: On the Moral Significance of Deception in Modern Sport Hunting. Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence
Allen, M. von Essen, E. On the Dharma of Critical Animal Studies: Animal Spirituality and Total Liberation. "Critical Animal Theory: Critical Theory, Social Constructions, and Total Liberation," ed. Nocella II, A.J.
Von Essen, E. Allen, M. Cow Releases as Staged Liberations in Agri-Tourism. Critical Animal Studies Critical Animal Theory: Critical Theory, Social Constructions, and Total Liberation," Nocella II, A.
von Essen, E., and M. Allen. (2020). ‘Not the Wolf Itself’: Distinguishing Hunters’ Criticisms of Wolves from Procedures for Making Wolf Management Decisions. Ethics, Policy & Environment:1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/21550085.2020.1746009
Sofie Joosse, Stina Powell, Hanna Bergeå, Steffen Böhm, Camilo Calderón, Elvira Caselunghe, Anke Fischer, Ann Grubbström, Lars Hallgren, Sara Holmgren, Annette Löf, Helena Nordström Källström, Kaisa Raitio, Susan Senecah, Christoffer Söderlund Kanarp, Erica von Essen, Lotten Westberg & Martin Westin (2020) Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think with, Environmental Communication, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1725588
Peterson, M., Peterson, M.N., Peterson, T.R. von Essen, E. 2018. Environmental Ethics. Chapter In Silvy, N (ed). The Wildlife Techniques Manual. vol. 8. Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore [forthcoming]
Rouet-Leduc, J. von Essen, E. 2019. The Compromises of Rewilding in Swedish Laponia : Implications for Nature Reconciliation. Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies: SI: People-Nature Reconciliation. 17 (1), 38-54
Peterson, M. N., von Essen, E., Hansen, H. P., & Peterson, T. R. (2018). Shoot shovel and sanction yourself: Self-policing as a response to wolf poaching among Swedish hunters. Ambio. doi:10.1007/s13280-018-1072-5
Allen, M.P. von Essen, E. 2018. Religion, Critical Animal Studies, and the Political Turn: Nonhuman Animal Belonging and Participation from Secular and Religious Perspectives. Journal of Critical Animal Studies, 15 (4), 4-29
von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. Peterson, M.N. Peterson, T.R. 2017. Discourses on Illegal Hunting in Sweden: The Meaning of Silence and Resistance. Environmental Sociology, DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2017.1408446
von Essen, E., M. Allen and H.P. Hansen (2017) Hunters, crown, nobles, and conservation elites: Class antagonism over the ownership of common fauna. International Journal of Cultural Property, 24(2) pp. 161-186
von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2017. “From Obstructionism to Communication: Local, National and Transnational Dimensions of Contestations on the Swedish Wolf Cull Controversy” Environmental Communication. vol 11, (5): 654-666
von Essen, E. 2017. “Whose discourse is it anyway? Understanding resistance through the rise of ‘barstool biology’ in nature conservation”. Journal of Environmental Communication. Vol 11, (17), 470-489 (first published online 2015)
von Essen, E., and Allen, M.P. 2017. "Reconsidering Illegal Hunting as a Crime of Dissent: Implication for Justice and Deliberative Uptake. " Criminal Law & Philosophy: 11 (2), 213–228 (first published online 2015)
von Essen, E. and H.P. Hansen (2016) Sport hunting and food procurement ethics. Pp. 1-7 in P. B. Thompson and D. M. Kaplan eds., Encyclopedia of food and Agricultural ethics (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands)
von Essen, E. Allen, A. 2016. "The Implications of Victimhood Identity: The Case of ‘Persecution’ of Swedish Hunters." International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, vol 6, no 2, p. 78-94
von Essen, E. Allen, A. 2016. "Interspecies Violence and Crimes of Dissent: In what Sense are Wildlife the Victims of Message-Crimes?" Green Criminology Special Issue for Critical Criminology, 25 (2), pp. 261-274
Hansen, H.P. von Essen, E. Sriskandarajah, N. 2016. Citizens, Values and Experts: Stakeholders and The Inveigling Factor of Participatory Democracy. In Hansen, H.P. Nielsen, B.S. Sriskandarajah, N. Gunnarsson, E (eds.). Action Research for Democracy. Routledge: pp. 125-150
von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2016. Illegal Hunting: Between Social and Criminal Justice. In Donnermeyer, J. (ed). International Handbook of Rural Criminology. Routledge. (p. 319-329)
von Essen, E. Hansen, H.P. 2015. ”How stakeholder co-management reproduces conservation conflicts: revealing rationality problems in Swedish wolf conservation”. Conservation & Society. 13(4) p. 332-344
von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2014. "The radicalisation of rural resistance: How hunting counterpublics in the Nordic countries contribute to illegal hunting." Journal of Rural Studies. no. 39, p. 199-209
von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2014. "Deconstructing the Poaching Phenomenon: A Review of Typologies for Understanding Illegal Hunting." British Journal of Criminology no. 54 (4):632-651.
Popular scientific publications
Von Essen, E. Jerlström, J. Tickle, L. Fruntimmer i Skogen, men Jägarinna på Instagram. Jaktojägare nr 1/2 2020
Von Essen. E. 2018. Samma språk – olika natursyner [”Same Language, Different Nature Views”]. Biodiverse. Nr.2/2018, pp. 12-13
Von Essen, E. Jaktojägare. Nr 12, 2017. Försköning och Vita Lögner i Jaktbilder. Nytt & Noterat, p. 13
Jaktjournalen, nr. 12, 2017. 5 Snabba frågor: Erica von Essen sätter punkt. P. 98. (Holger Nilsson reporter)
Von Essen, E. Jaktojägare. 2017-11-14 ”Rewilding – ett moment 22” SLU-forskare om att ”peta i naturen”
von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2017. On Illegal Killings of Wildlife in Fennoscandia: Symposium Report. Urban and Rural Reports, 2017:1
Nordström Källström, H., von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2017. Illegal Jakt i Fennoskandinavien. Symposium Report. Urban and Rural Reports 2017:2
von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2015. ”Toward a critical and interdisciplinary understanding of illegal hunting: a synthesis of Copenhagen research workshop findings” Urban and Rural Reports. 2015:1
von Essen, E., Hansen, H.P., Nordström Källström, H., Peterson, M.N., and Peterson, T.R. 2015. ”Moral, cultural and legal discrepancies in hunting: bridging the fault line between fair chase and ‘killing for the table’.” Conference on Environmental Communication, Boulder, Colorado. 2015.
von Essen, E. (2017). Vi måste förstå drivkrafterna. Svensk Jakt. Nr. 2. 2017, p. 21
von Essen, E (2017). Därför tar vissa jägare lagen i egna händer. Svensk Jakt. Nr. 1, 2017.
Featured in radio interviews for P4 Värmland, P4 Väst and for newspapers Jaktojägare, Sörmlandsbygden, Lant & Lantbruk (September 2016)
Jaktradion podcast interview http://jaktradion.se/ July 7, 2017
‘Slightly Evolved’ podcast interview with Toby Fountain, Episode 17 - Wildlife ethics: https://soundcloud.com/slightlyevolvedpod
Featured in debate on Danish television program “Ulvetimmen”, as respondent in expert interview (January 2016).
Listed at contact person / subject responsible for ‘large carnivore politics’ and ‘illegal hunting’ on SLU level ( 2017-)
Mentioned by media (not exhaustive list):
Returning peer reviewer for journals:
AMBIO – Journal of the Human Environment
Crime, Law and Social Change
Oryx: International Journal of Conservation
Land Use Policy
Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies
Politics & Animals
European Journal of Wildlife Research
Human Dimensions of Wildlife
Society & Natural Resources
TRACE: Journal for Human-Animal Studies
Global Ecology & Conservation
Journal for Nature Conservation