Swedish Network for Family and Kinship Studies

About the network

The Swedish Network for Family and Kinship Studies started in Uppsala in 2014 as an initiative to gather researchers across disciplines, methodologies, and critical/theoretical perspectives. The purpose was to create a platform for dialogue, exchange and collaboration across conventional academic boundaries, not least between humanities and social science scholars. Second, it was motivated by the felt need to jointly scrutinize contemporary conceptualizations of family and kin relations, and to identify areas in need of research, or currently central for research. The purpose of the Network was to chart and visibilize the field(s) of research in Sweden; facilitate exchange, collaboration, and new projects within the field(s). It would also work towards development of theorization and methodology in the field(s); network nationally and internationally with related researchers and institutions; and disseminate research results in and outside the academy.

The term “Swedish” in the name referenced members of the Network being affiliated with universities in Sweden; in terms of the research the Network’s members have undertaken various international, transnational, and nation-specific studies. The Network comprises over seventy members from a range of disciplines (film studies, media studies, literature, English, Ethnology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Law, Political Science, Theology, Reproductive Health, Public Health, Pedagogy, Social work, Sociology, and Gender Studies) and from fifteen universities around Sweden.

The network's second annual meeting was held at Södertörn University in 2015, and subsequently an application for network funding was submitted to FORTE. The FAMKIN Network application was granted funding from FORTE (600 000 SEK for the period 2016-18) to develop and run the Network. Thanks to that grant, the Network has maintained activities 2016-2019.

In 2016 the FAMKIN website was created and the steering group was constituted: Helena Wahlström Henriksson (Uppsala), Ulla Björnberg (Gothenburg), Daniela Cutas (Umeå), Roger Klinth (Linköping), Zlatana Knecevic (Mälardalen). The Annual Meeting was held in Linköping; FAMKIN also arranged a panel discussion at the g16 conference in Linköping in November.

In 2017 FAMKIN had two annual meetings, an extraordinary annual meeting in Umeå in May, and the October meeting in Gothenburg; both focused primarily on conference planning and preparation. In the latter meeting, A new steering group was established: Helena Wahlström Henriksson, Ulla Björnberg, Ulrika Dahl (Uppsala), Jenny Lönnroth (Stockholm), Berit Åström (Umeå), Disa Bergnehr (Jönköping).

In October 2018, the Network arranged the international conference Close Relations: A Multi- and Interdisciplinary Conference of Critical Family and Kinship Studies in Uppsala, which in many ways was the culmination of the FAMKIN network. The conference gathered 70 scholars from over 20 countries; the program held 60 research presentations over the three days of the conference and was very successful as a scholarly event. Conference funding was granted by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for the Advancement of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The final FORTE-funded FAMKIN Annual meeting was held in Umeå in October 2019. Earlier that month, FAMKIN arranged a panel discussion at the g19 conference in Gothenburg. Two anthologies will be published as outcomes of the Close Relations conference: Close Relations and Boundary Work: Family, Kinship, and Beyond, Eds. Klara Goedecke and Helena Wahlström (forthcoming from Springer 2020), and Single Parents -- Representations and Resistance in an International Context. Eds. Disa Bergnehr and Berit Åström (forthcoming from Palgrave 2021). Many of the conference presentations are also included in a special issue of lambda nordica.

As of the end of 2019, the FAMKIN network ends in its present form. However, a meeting is planned for October 21-22 (lunch-lunch) in Jönköping, on the theme New routes to parenthood and family through  reproductive technologies: law, politics, representations and practices (Nya vägar till föräldraskap och familj genom reproduktiva tekniker: lagstiftning, politik, representationer och praktiker). For more information, contact Disa Bergnehr, disa.bergnehr@ju.se.