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Vibeke Viestad

Vibeke M Viestad is a Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Oslo, Norway, where she is writing her PhD thesis on the material culture of dress and personal ornamentations of the San of colonial Southern Africa. Focusing on two collections in particular – the Fourie collection at Museum Africa in Johannesburg, and the Dorothea Bleek collection at the South African Museum in Cape Town and the University of Cape Town – she is researching the perceptions, representation and knowledge production of the San dress within these collections, and their different media of artefacts, photography, and researchers' notes and diaries. Problems of representivity and the challenges of working within a historically biased research tradition are parts of the discussion. Problems and possibilities of interdisciplinary discourse have always been a point of interest. They were a strong focus in her Masters thesis from the University of Oslo (2006) on the Goths of the Migration Period of Northern Europe, where she explored the relationship between the disciplines of historical and archaeological research, and how the two – freely using, or disregarding categories of source material from each other – have come to different conclusions on the mythical origin of the warrior people. In 2006, Viestad received a scholarship from the Norwegian Institute in Rome to write a research proposal, which later resulted in three-year funding from the Faculty of Humanities of the University in Oslo for her doctoral research.