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.

The first workshop focuses on democratic participation; the second workshop is concerned with a critical exploration of Nordic exceptionalism; and the third workshop asks, What kinds of lives count? and enquires into humanity, its limits and potentials for radical changes.

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


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