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Centre for Gender Studies

Centre for Gender Studies is located at The Faculty of Social Sciences. We conduct research and offer courses in interdisciplinary gender studies.

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Facts
About us:

6 researchers 1 visiting researcher 24 affiliated researchers 10 research projects 4 subjects, one minor

E-mail:

kjonnsforskning@uis.no

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Centre for Gender Studies conducts research and offers courses on the ways that power and inequality influence society

Lene Myong , professor and chair of Centre for Gender Studies

About Centre for Gender Studies

The Centre’s principal ambition is to engage in interdisciplinary research that critically explores structural inequalities broadly defined, and how they contribute towards maintaining, challenging and stratifying various forms of lives and existences.


The Centre offers four courses on bachelor- and master-levels as well as a Minor Concentration in Gender Studies. The Centre participates in several collaborative research projects supported by international and national funding agencies.

Research Projects

Loving Attachment: Regulating Danish Love Migration (LOVA)

Attachment, migration and biopolitics

The Project explores how the concept of attachment has been operationalised in Danish migration regulation over the past 20 years.

LOVA is a collective research project funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (2016-2022). Since the early 2000s successive Danish governments have imposed some of the strictest immigration laws in Europe, and the LOVA project aims to qualify understandings of how and to what effect different forms of migration are conceptually and politically governed in a Danish context.

LOVA inve­sti­gates, in particular, the ways in which the psy­cho­logical and juridical concepts of attachment are utilized to regulate types of migration com­monly understood as involving relationships of love: i.e. family reunification, trans­natio­nal adoption, and trans­national migration marriages. In eve­ry­day use, the develop­mental psycho­logical concept of attachment (‘tilknyt­ning’) denotes an indivi­du­al’s capacity to form social bonds. From 2002-2018 the so-called attachment requirement was part of Danish migration legi­sla­­tion, and during the same period a growing interest in attachment as psychological framework took hold within the field of transnational adoption.

The primary research question for LOVA is: How and to what effect has the concept of attach­ment been operationalized to regulate different forms of love migration in a Danish context from 2000-2020? LOVA is structured around four individual and two collaborative, interdisciplinary projects, which analyse different forms of empirical material including legal documents, media discourse and representations, policy, and educational material.

LOVA offers a) a locally situated contribution to the rapidly growing international field of affect (emotion) scholarship and b) analytical methods for theorizing love and attachment as specific technologies of power utilized to regulate the political field of migration.

Project participants: Mons Bissenbakker (PI), Lene Myong, Asta Smedegaard Nielsen and Sofie Jeholm.

Keywords: gender studies, migration regulation, attachment, family reunification, affect, biopolitics, love, transnational adoption

Read more about the LOVA project here: https://koensforskning.ku.dk/forskning/lova/

Funding: The Danish Council for Independent Research. 2017-2022

Beyond equality: women's sexual justice politics in scandinavian queer organzing

Women’s participation and gendered politics in the Scandinavian queer (lgbt+) movements

The Project explores how the concept of attachment has been operationalised in Danish migration regulation over the past 20 years.

Beyond equality is a sub-project in the NordiQueer research project, funded by the Swedish Research Council for four years (2019-2022). The project examines the history of women’s participation and gendered politics in the Scandinavian queer (lgbt+) movements, with particular focus on the fifteen-year period between 1978 and 1993, and in the context of national and Nordic equality and welfare politics.

Beyond Equality applies an ethnographic and microhistorical focus on particular case studies: the Lesbebussen campaign in 1988, the Pink Rebels activist group that was active ca 1988-1992, and activist debates and strategies related to family and sexual politics pre-Partnerskapsloven era (1993).

Central questions include: What collective identities did women adopt, and at which times? When and why were commonalities and/or differences emphasized in these identity projects? What forms of collective organizing did they establish, and what were their aims? How did women relate to other forms of activism, including mixed-gender organizing within and beyond the queer community? What differences and similarities can we find throughout the Scandinavian region, and in which transnational circuits of political struggle and cultural politics did they partake?

In engaging archival materials and conducting fieldwork and oral history interviews, Beyond Equality is inspired by scholarship in queer anthropology, feminist ethnography and gender theory to carefully map and analyze the complicated challenges and circumstances that have shaped Scandinavian queer organizing hitherto. A central ambition is to add to the relative lack of research on non-conventional gendered lives and movements during the 1970s and 1980s in Norway compared with the international research front, and to develop a critical study of collective activism in the quest for liberation and justice in what is widely recognized as one of the world’s most egalitarian regions. A further ambition is, based in the principal focus on peripherally situated activists whose politics aligned more with solidarity than separatist identitarian ideologies, to envision new ways to engage in justice activism and connect beyond borders and into the future.

Affiliated researchers:

Project leader: Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen  

Research assistant: Erika Eidslott

Funding: The Swedish Research Council. 2019-2022

Caring Futures: Developing New Care Ethics for Technology-Mediated Care Practices (QUALITECH)

How can increased use of technology in care practices become more ethically sound?

The research project Caring Futures: developing care ethics for technology-mediated care practices (QUALITECH) addresses these questions in order to secure quality care in a future with increasingly technology-mediated caring practices.

Professor Ellen Ramvi (Faculty of Health Sciences, UiS) heads the project, which is funded by the HELSEVEL-program with the Norwegian Research Council. Through trans-disciplinary collaborative practices, the project aims to develop a care ethics paradigm to inform and ensure quality of care in caring futures.

Innovation, increased efficiency, and development and use of new technology are often presented as solutions to new demands in care and welfare practices. However, the evidence on ethical implications of technological innovation in current technology-mediated care practices is scarce. QUALITECH therefore revisits care ethics in practice- and experience-near contexts, at a time of changing health, care and welfare policies, services and practices. Our principal research question is: how can technology-mediated care practices become care-ethically sound – and, correspondingly, how can care ethics become more technology-aware? The project safeguards that increasing use of new technology in care corresponds with quality in care for users and professionals, and its implications for practice, policy and education.

The project consists of five work-packages:

  1. Digital assessment templates in the child welfare services (WP Lead Åse Vagli, Institute for social work, Faculty of Social Sciences, UiS)
  2. Professionals’ ideals and sense of self in technology-mediated care practices (WP Lead Birgitta Haga Gripsrud, department of care and ethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiS)
  3. The impact of robots and other caregiving techno-bodies on agency and quality of care (WP Lead Ingvil Hellstrand, Centre for Gender Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, UiS)
  4. Management, design and implementation of technology in care practices (WP Lead Brita Gjerstad, Institute for social work, Faculty of Social Sciences, UiS)
  5. Caring futures (WP Lead Ellen Ramvi, department of care and ethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiS)

Postdoctoral project: jan-therese mendes

The Deathliness of Black Motherhood: The Exile of Black Life in Canada, Sweden and Norway 

The mortal and affective pedagogies of white nationalism as enacted against the Black reproducing body.

While my PhD dissertation (York University, Canada, 2019) performs a nascent survey of Black reproduction through the theme of racist-nationalism my postdoctoral project “The Deathliness of Black Motherhood: The Exile of Black Life in Canada, Sweden and Norway” advances novel insights on (1) Black migrant motherhood, (2) welfare state belongings, and (3) racist-sexism.

At its crux, this research scrutinizes the affective techniques and mortal outcomes of anti-Black racism as they are enacted against the bodies of Black women within white-dominated Northern welfare states. To be precise, this project uses qualitative research methods to investigate how everyday instruments of nationalism regulate the perinatal Black female subject or the Black mother through the painful pedagogies of criminalization, public humiliations, and near-death experiences.

Here I argue that the apparatuses of governmentality meant to assuage social danger (e.g. border control, police, child welfare services) penally fixate on Black women’s reproductive capacities as a source of cultural unassimilability, national precarity, and racial disharmony. As such, this project interrogates how the Black womb and the Black vagina are treated as sites of state enmity and are made punishable for daring to propagate more unintegrable Blackness and fiscal liabilities into white national space. In turn, I examine how the Black fetus or child is either figured within similar logics of racist derision or else, is crudely disciplined into assimilated subjecthood through the mortifying event of the Black mother’s distress.

Phd candidate project: Mathias Klitgård

Queer Materialism: Diffractions of New and Historical Materialisms

Developing a political analytics of the diffractive field where queer theory, new materialism and historical materialism meet.

In my PhD project I inquire into the possibility of a queer materialism as a field of study as well as a political engagement. Thought out as a triangulation of queer theory, new materialism and historical materialism, this project draws attention to the materiality of the social world as a necessary, active and under-theorised component. Through an engagement with key theoretical texts in said traditions, I explore the social, historical and economic conditions under which bodies as matter come to matter. Attentive to the recent ‘materialist turn’ in the social and cultural sciences, I analyse three crystallisations in the field that I call queer materialism: the in-becoming conjuncture of the two materialist traditions and queer theory. These crystallisations are in the process of materialising in three articles: a theoretical elaboration of the concept of ‘renaturalisation’ through a historically and materially informed analysis of desire and the construction of the hetero-human; a cross-reading of the living-dead dichotomy within Queer Death Studies and historical materialism; and finally a queer materialist discussion of petrocultures. I suggest a diffractive approach that understands the imbrication and complicity of each tradition with the others so as to create constructive accounts of fields of study that historically read each other antagonistically and to provoke alliances where discourse falters.

Phd candidate project: Nico miskoW friborg

Confronting fantasies of Scandinavian progressiveness and queer utopia: Queer and trans organizing in Denmark since 1990 

The project traces the emergence of queer and trans organizing in Denmark from the 1990’s and onwards and explores the radical possibilities of these movements.

The doctoral project has the tentative title ‘Confronting fantasies of Scandinavian progressiveness and queer utopia: Queer and trans organizing in Denmark since 1990’. Working closely with different groups and individual activists, I intend to trace the emergence of queer and trans movements in Denmark with a main focus on the past 30 years. The overall purpose of this project is to explore both the radical possibilities of queer and trans organizing as well as the pervasive politics and structures of cis-heteronormativity, racism, whiteness, coloniality, capitalism and ableism within Danish society and thus also within queer and trans organizing. 

A central question, I ask in the project, is how understandings of gender, body, queerness, transness, community and resistance are produced, negotiated and reconfigured in the organizing. Furthermore, I am interested in the activists positioning vis-à-vis the nation-state, their alignment with other social justice struggles as well as how they understand and deal with intersectionality and the mainstreaming and cooptation of LGBTIAQ+ politics into the neoliberal state and the nonprofit industrial complex. Through a critical exploration of respectability politics and rights-based activism and the organization of alternatives and resistances to these, I hope to flesh out possibilities for organizing beyond homo/transnationalism, gay imperialism and racial and colonial capitalism. 

The project is community-based and I engage both autoethnographic methods and collaborative ethnography. This means that it is central that the project contributes to movement-building, struggles for social justice and knowledge production which is relevant to the communities from where and with which I do the research. Accountability is thus both an analytical and methodological key concept. Furthermore, I employ a wide range of methods such as archival research, memory work, oral history interviews, participant observation and policy analysis. 

The project is part of, but not funded by, the ‘NordiQueer’ project (PI: Jens Rydström). 

transforming identities

Exploring changes, tensions and visions in the Nordic region through the prism of identity politics

Transforming Identities brings together scholars, activists, artists and authors to discuss current challenges to democratic participation, and shifting understandings of diversity and minorities in Nordic societies.

With identity politics becoming increasingly contested and the locus of intense debates in politics and society, this two-year project takes the conceptual terrain of identity politics a starting point for investigating current challenges - what’s at stake, why, and for whom? 

In three workshops we explore the impulses for new understandings of equality and rights, of solidarity and democracy, in the context of the rise of the right, growing nationalism, local and global insecurities.

Our ambition is to facilitate collaborations and thinking across disciplines and platforms, expand understandings of how democratic participation transforms the social and the political, and to establish lasting avenues for debate, insights, and new research.

Steering group

  • Mons Bissenbakker, Associate Professor, Department of Nordic studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen, Associate Professor, Network for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger (project leader)
  • Mia Liinason, Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Lene Myong, Professor, Network for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger, Norway
  • Michael Nebeling Petersen, Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark
  • Olga Sasunkevich, Associate Senior Lecturer, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Antu Sorainen, Docent in Gender Studies and Academy of Finland Fellow, University of Helsinki, Finland

Project period: 2018-01-01 – 2019-12-31

Funding: Workshop Grant from The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS) / Vetenskapsrådet and Nordic Council of Ministers.

Principal project outcome is an anthology of original texts by workshop participants, edited by Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen and Mia Liinason (Gothenburg). Expected publishing date: 2022.

Life sheet

The use of personal life stories in care work

The project "Life Sheet" maps the use of patients’ personal life stories as part of care work practices in nursing homes in the region.

Knowledge of a person's life history is essential for providing professional, individualized care. Therefore, the Norwegian government has proposed increased use of the so-called "life sheet" in dementia care - short texts or overviews of a person's important life experiences and preferences.

How is a person's life story used?

Healthcare professionals have used life stories in dementia care for many years, but little research has been done in the field. Therefore, a project at the University of Stavanger will map how life stories are collected and how they are put to use in relational care practices at nursing homes in the region.

The project started in 2019, after researchers Nora Simonhjell and Ingvil Hellstrand wrote an article about the life sheet as a narrative genre. The research group is now working on the first of three phases of the project. In the first phase, a survey has been conducted at all nursing homes in Sør-Rogaland. The data collection was carried out by nursing students in clinical practice placements and researchers associated with the project.

Ingvil Hellstrand from Centre for Gender Studies is the projectleader of the "Life Sheet" project.

Queer research group

Interested in queer research?

The Queer Research Group aims to provide an arena for inspiration, provocation, collaboration and support for researchers who work in the area of queer research, broadly defined.

Queer research has traditionally focused on themes related to sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQ+), particularly in historical and literary contexts. Gradually, queer studies has attained a broad-based interdisciplinary profile, encompassing humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences. Queer theory diverges from queer studies in that queer theory’s ambition is to confront and critically analyze societal norms and value systems – including traditional academic knowledge regimes and the neoliberal corporatization of the university – as socially constructed categories that produce and extend power inequalities. 

The Queer Research Group provides a forum for academic discussions of theoretical, methodological and ethical topics in the field of queer and LGBTQ+ studies and queer theory, hosts presentations and collaborations to do with publishing, funding and work applications, and shares relevant literature and references. Finally, in light of the current geopolitical climate as regards anti-gender politics and attacks on democratic principles and rights, a central ambition for the Group is to promote increased understandings of and dialogues between Norwegian, Nordic and international research, and political mobilizations in this field.  

Read more about Queer Research Group

Contact:

Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen, associate professor, UiS Centre for Gender Studies: elisabeth.l.engebretsen@uis.no

The Monster network

What can we learn from the monster and the monstrous?

The Monster Network is an interdisciplinary research community working with questions of marginalisation and difference through the monster as an analytical lens.

Illustration:
Joanne Theresa Kleppe (NettOp)

The figure of the monster is often invoked as something which haunts and disturbs. As a result, the very notion of the monster and the monstrous points to social, ethical and political consequences of what threatens the “normal”. 

As such, monsters can be said to productively roam the in-between, making traditional borders and boundaries tremble and shatter; whether these be borders of nation states or bodies, or categories of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, self and other. In this sense, the monster seems to embody a promise of disturbances and change, as Donna Haraway argued in her 1992 text “The Promises of Monsters”.  

The Monster Network takes this productive potential of the monster as our starting point. How can the monster serve as a thinking tool for cultural, ethical and political challenges in our times?  

We contribute to the emerging field of Monster Studies through our collective research practices, which are indebted to feminist, queer, decolonial and posthuman frameworks for thinking about relationality, community and responsibility. Our aim is to spark collaborations between artists and scholars by organizing conferences, workshops, publications, symposia and public events as well as creating a space for discussions and publications.

Visit our website for more information. We also have a podcast series called Monster Talks, produced in collaboration with UiS NettOp. 

Website:
The Monster Network
Podcast:
Monster Talks

studies

Do you want to learn more about gender, power and inequality?

Centre for Gender Studies offer four elective courses, and a 30 ECTS Minor in Gender Studies. All our courses are open for bachelor and master students, and of international exchange students.

Online teaching in 2020  
Study programme coordinator Ingvil Hellstrand
Minor in Gender Studies

Now you can study a Minor (30 ECTS in-depth study) in Gender Studies at UiS. The minor consists of three courses that critically engage with contemporary questions about power, (in)equality and discrimination.

The world around us is changing, both in terms of political, social and ecological landscapes. “Minor in Gender Studies” provides analytical tools to understand these global challenges, particularly through questions of inequality and power.  

The minor consists of three courses that provide an introduction to theoretical frameworks and debates central to the field of gender studies. It enables critical analysis of important questions such as equality, citizenship, welfare, migration, racism, climate change, and sustainability. Together, the three courses in the Minor, offers broad knowledge about gender and structural difference in our times. The Minor also provides analytical tools for understanding questions about power, (in)equality and discrimination, both on an individual and societal level.  

Duration: 0,5 year / 1 semester  

ECTS credits: 30  

Read more about Minor in Gender Studies

Courses

  • Autumn term  
  • Language: English  
  • Part of the Minor in Gender Studies  
  • Course coordinator autumn autumn 2020: Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen  
  • 10 ECTS 
  • The course investigate Nordic from a transnational perspective. We discuss similarities and differences in the Nordic gender equality and welfare models, the ties to welfare politics in gerenal, and contemporary challenges for politics and policy-making.   
  • For more information:  

  • Autumn term  
  • Language: English  
  • Part of the Minor in Gender Studies  
  • Course coordinator autumn autumn 2020: Mathias Klitgård  
  • 10 ECTS  
  • The course critically explores the role and position of the human in the Anthropocene, and discusses what is at stake for the understanding of what counts as human and our entangled relations with for example technology, animals and the weather. 
  • For more information:  
  • Autumn term  
  • Language: English  
  • Part of the Minor in Gender Studies  
  • Course coordinator autumn autumn 2020: Jan-Therese Mendes  
  • 10 ECTS 
  • The course introduces the concept of intersectionality and how it has been used as a critical analytic to produce knowledge of the ways in which structural inequality and oppression continues to organize human life. 
  • For more information:  

Researchers at Centre for Gender Studies

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Postdoktor
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Visiting postdoctoral resercher

News

Queer Research Group

The Queer Research Group aims to provide an arena for inspiration, provocation, collaboration and support for researcher...

Minor in Gender Studies

Now you can do a Minor in Gender Studies at UiS. The minor is a 30 ECTS in-depth study programme consisting of three cou...

Network for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Network for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies was founded in 2001 and thus celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021. The network connects scholars across different departments and research fields at UiS. The network also has a number of external members.

Centre for Gender Studies organises and coordinates activities with and for Network for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. The Centre’s director is chairing the network.

Members from Centre for Gender Studies:

Members from UiS: 

Eksternal members:  

  • Reidar Staupe Delgado  - Associate professor, Department of Safety, Economics and Planning, UiT 
  • Inger Gudmundson, Curator, Stavanger Art Museum 

The Research School in Radical Interdisciplinarity (ITEM)

The aim of The Research School in Radical Interdisciplinarity is to facilitate research that seeks to investigate modes of existences, inequalities, and materialities in temporal perspectives.

ITEM is a collaborative, cross-sectional initiative between the Museum of Archaeology and Centre for Gender Studies. The aim of The Research School in Radical Interdisciplinarity is to facilitate research that seeks to investigate modes of existences, inequalities, and materialities in temporal perspectives.

In these times of ecological and political crises, it is urgent to scientifically scrutinize the past, present and future histories to do with human life, inter-species relations, environments, technologies, and artefacts, to name a few. As such, ITEM interrogates epistemological and ontological questions from a radical interdisciplinary mode of inquiry.  

Across disciplines

ITEM draws on assemblages of knowledges, methods, and empirical material across disciplines such as archaeology, gender and sexuality studies, anthropology, cultural studies, environmental history, conservation studies, geology, critical race studies, and migration studies.

ITEM offers courses and supervision that are committed to interdisciplinary knowledge production and critical thinking on issues such as of life/death, inequalities, sustainability, human-environment interactions, bodies, identities, the posthuman, technology, migration, kinship, (de)colonization, oppression, racism, resistance, welfare, and politics.

ITEM is at once a research and training platform for PhD candidates and a structured environment for exploratory research engagements at the University of Stavanger. ITEM’s mission is to establish itself as an innovative and sustainable research school for the next generation of researchers. We aim to contribute to the frontline of research training excellence nationally and internationally, and to engage collaborative research training activities through mobility and internationalization programs for PhD candidates as well as for faculty members associated with ITEM.

Integration of PhD candidates

At the core of ITEM’s approach to doctoral training is a commitment to offer PhD candidates a critical foundation research environment devoted to ethical reflections, bottom-up and collaborative participation. ITEM will actively pursue ways to integrate PhD researchers into faculty activities to enhance the knowledge-base and encourage cross-sectional creativity and community. By including PhD candidates in a collaborative research environment, the ITEM collective will facilitate and create processes of intersectional knowledge production, assuring the highest quality by also cooperating with external expertise. PhD candidates are expected to actively partake in and co-organize research activities.

ITEM offers robust PhD courses that address vital theoretical and methodological knowledge as well as a diversity of new developments at the international research front. In addition, a key role for ITEM is to provide spaces and forums for collaboration, exchange and discussion. The school will continuously strive to attain a high level of psychosocial work environment for everyone as part of a resilient research environment.  

ITEM is collaborating with The National Research School for Gender Studies and the international PhD school of archaeology, Dialogues with the past.

Leader: Professor Kristin Armstrong Oma 
Deputy: Professor Lene Myong 

The Board of Centre for Gender Studies

The Board offers counsel on strategic plans, action plans, annual reports, educational programming, and strategic priorities on research, innovation, and communication

Faste medlemmer:

Varamedlemmer:

Sekretariat:

  • Lene Myong - faglig leder
  • Ingvil Førland Hellstrand - studieprogramkoordinator
  • Ellen Ersland - administrativ koordinator

Read more about us

The Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Stavanger is a dynamic research and learning environment that especially focuses on interdisciplinary, intersectional and transnational perspectives.

Initially established as a research network in 2001, and granted Centre status in 2019, the Centre offers four courses on bachelor- and master-levels as well as a Minor Concentration in Gender Studies. The Centre participates in several collaborative research projects supported by international and national funding agencies.

With the University’s Museum of Archaeology, the Centre organizes a doctoral training school in radical interdisciplinary (ITEM) which emphasizes ethical reflection, explorative research, and collaboration. The Centre for Gender Studies strives to foster an engaged and inclusive work and learning environment for students, faculty and staff, and actively participates in research and popular dissemination platforms, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Ambition

The Centre’s principal ambition is to engage in interdisciplinary research that critically explores structural inequalities broadly defined, and how they contribute towards maintaining, challenging and stratifying various forms of lives and existences. Approaching gender as an analytical category, shaped by feminist theory and critical theories on power, the Centre engages in research that seeks to strengthen interdisciplinary knowledge production from minority perspectives and to connect academic research with political activism, culture and art. Finally, the Centre aims to contribute towards shaping the research agendas in interdisciplinary gender studies, by asking and exploring new research questions and by disseminating knowledge to actors outside the academy and the wider public.

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