Bilde av Salmela, Tarja Tuulia
Bilde av Salmela, Tarja Tuulia
Institutt for reiseliv og nordlige studier +4778450347 Her finner du meg

Tarja Tuulia Salmela

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


My work is focused on re-visiting central concepts and practices of tourism and travel through feminist new materialism and posthuman feminism. In my current projects I participate in decolonizing storytelling practices within the context of road trip travel, long-term travel cultures and route tourism. My work situates in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, and Lofoten and Helgeland in Northern Norway. 

During years 2021-2025 I'm working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Traveling Post-Corona research project ( There, my research focuses particularly on rapidly growing mobile lifestyles and long-term traveling cultures. I'm curious about how campervans and other inhabitable vehicles become minimal homes for people with various backgrounds and motivations for a life on the road, and how they encounter places where they travel. 

I treat long-term travel and vehicle dwelling cultures as a way to re-visit our taken-for-granted assumptions of normality in regards of fixity and permanence. This has implications to the ways we conceive travel and the meaning of destinations and their management. Dwellable vehicles with their material assemblages can lead us to understand relational composition of places that can enrichen our current ways of understanding and relating to destinations. The project is not blind to the ecological, social and and political challenges that vehicle dwelling cultures hold and it calls for research that brings into light the complexities embedded in the tension between freedom, destination management and local housing and camping politics.

I am also part of the SAMIKUN project ran by the Nord University. In the project, we work together with Sámi creative industries and tourism companies to critically evaluate the current dominating, western conceptualizations of sustainability. Moreover, we work towards creating, and documenting, situated, place-sensitive conceptualizations of sustainability that are rooted in Sámi culture. These are conceptualizations that are created, and stories that are told, by the Sámi people themselves - in contrast to conceptualizations being posed on them. 

  • Anu Valtonen, Tarja Salmela :
    Exploring Earthly relations through curiography
    Edward Elgar Publishing 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Marta Calás, Linda Smircich, Michaela Cozza, Silvia Gherardi, Saija Katila, Ari Kuismin m.fl.:
    What to do about “The Human” in organization studies? Thinking/saying/doing with the Anthropocene, pandemics, and thereafters
    Edward Elgar Publishing 2023 DOI
  • Susan Meriläinen, Tarja Salmela, Anu Valtonen :
    Vulnerable relational knowing that matters
    Gender, Work & Organization 2022 DOI
  • Tarja Salmela, Anu Valtonen :
    Curiografia antropologisen uteliaisuuden jäljillä (Curiography as a way to trace anthropological curiosity)
  • Tarja Salmela, Britt Kramvig :
    When the land becomes the sea, and the sea becomes the land: disrupting processes of appropriation of Miärralándda
  • Britt Kramvig, Tarja Salmela, Ellinor G Utsi :
    Hvordan lykkes med internasjonale gjester
  • Tarja Salmela :
    Collaborative workshop on planet-positive campervan travel futures
  • Tarja Salmela :
    The road was never open: crafting decolonial research practices to envision alternative stories of self-drive and route tourism
  • Tarja Salmela :
    Van that escaped the discipline” - vanlife and its potential in disrupting dichotomies of tourism mobilities
  • Tarja Salmela :
    Traveling with landscapes: road trips, vanlife and sensory worlding practices
  • Tarja Salmela :
    More than road trips and bucket list destinations? Vanlife landscapes: the messy realities of dwelling on the move

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    Current research focus: vanlife, nomadic theories, relational place-making, indigenous onto-epistemologies, post-anthropocentric methodological developments

    Previous and ongoing research interests: sleep and dreaming, sleep market, neoliberality and tracking technologies, animals and responsible tourism, proximity tourism, research with trees and deadwood 

    Theoretical map guiding my research: Feminist new materialisms, relational ontologies, posthumanist theories, indigenous onto-epistemologies, post-anthropocentric theorizing, critical tourism studies, critical organization studies, new mobilities


    REI 3014 Qualitative method

    The aim of this course is to provide students with insights into qualitative research methods. Students will be trained in defining research problems, designing a research-project, conducting interviews/fieldworks as well as how to reflect upon methodological questions involved in qualitative research. 

    REI-3012 Nature and tourism in an era of climate change

    This course focus on nature and tourism in the era of climatic change. In addition it engage in how climate change affects Arctic destinations, and the innovative solutions tourist companies and sites are involved in. The course discusses social, environmental and ethics aspects of nature use in tourism economies. Discussions will concern the range of new concepts and activities that engage in reframing contemporary travelling such as ecotourism, sustainable tourism and responsible tourism.

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