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New PhD: Iver Tangen Stensrud!

New PhD: Iver Tangen Stensrud!

Iver Tangen Stensrud defended his PhD thesis ”The magazine and the city - Architecture, urban life and the illustrated press in nineteenth-century Christiania” at AHO the 20th of June.  


For three and a half years Iver Tangen Stensrud has spent time at AHO to conduct research for his dissertation. Today he can proudly call himself a Doctor in Philosophy after impressing the committee at his trial lecture and disputation. 

- The thesis represents an original contribution to the specific discussion of the rise and influence of illustrated magazines in the growing urban culture of Christiania. It is one of the few studies of how illustrated magazines came to shape and influence urban culture in a smaller capital, said professor Narve Fulsås from the university of Tromsø (UiT ) who was one of the opponent and members in the adjudication committee. 

Stensrud´s dissertation explores the relationship between the city and the magazine from two perspectives. 

- It investigates the magazine in the city and the city in the magazine. The text and images of the illustrated press did not only represent the city but they helped creating it. At the same time, the printers, editors, those who made the images and the readers of the magazine took part in developing the urban life in Christiania.

Stensrud choose the topic of his dissertation after seeing a call for a doctoral position at AHO about “The printed and the built. Architecture and public debate in modern Eurpoe” founded by the Norwegian research council.

- With my background in history of technology I found it interesting to look at the technologies and the ways magazines were made. I therefore contacted AHO to ask if there were any topics they were especially interested in, and the Norwegian illustrated press in the nineteenth century came up. 

He believes that there is a lot to learn about the development of both magazine and the city by looking at how they influenced each other in the past. 

- Christiania in the nineteenth century witnessed massive changes as Oslo does today. This was a period when Karl Johan, the Royal Palace, the Parliament and all places we see as fundamental to Oslo’s identity were built. By looking at the factors that contributed to these buildings, spaces and institutions, we can better understand how the media today plays a role in our surroundings. 

The committee also pointed out that the study will be relevant to urban schoolars today.

- It provides sample proof of the existence of a kind of transnational pan-European which unifies the sense of how a modern metropolis should look like: What amenities/technologies it should feature, how it should be governed and how its urban citizenry should inhabit and understand it, said professor Fulsås in the evaluation. 

Stensrud, who had to move to Oslo in order to undertake the research for his thesis, has really learned to know the city through its history.

- I have found it very interesting to learn about the history of Oslo. There are so many fun and interesting little stories and people to discover.

Stensrud is greateful for the years he has spent doing his case study at AHO. 

- I have had wonderful supervisors and colleagues at AHO, and it’s been a really stimulating environment to work in. 
 
His supervisors and colleagues also expressed how valuable his work and contribution has been to AHO.
 
- We were very pleased to recruit a historian as a PhD candidate for “The Printed and the Built project”. Iver's background in History of Technology made it possible to examine the relationship between the new printing technology, architecture and public wording in the 19th century in new ways. This dissertation is a proper breakthrough and has acquired a wealth of new knowledge, said his supervisor Mari Hvattum at the celebration afterwards.