The Centre Celebrates 40 Years of Gender Research!
Our much-anticipated Jubilee conference took place 12-13 October in the University Main Building, with many interesting speakers, and close to 90 participants! The conference, focusing on the breadth and diversity within current gender research, was held to celebrate the Centre for Gender Research's 40th anniversary of research and teaching at Uppsala University.
The conference opened with a few welcoming words from the Vice-Rector for the Domain of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Tora Holmberg, and the Director of the Centre for Gender Research, Helena Wahlström Henriksson, before handing over to the first of three keynote speakers, Elizabeth A. Wilson.
Elizabeth A. Wilson, Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University (USA) – mostly known for her work on how biological data, psychoanalysis, and affect theory can be used to foster conceptual innovation in feminist theory – spoke about Valerie Solanas and the politics of anger, in a talk entitled “Corroded with SCUM: Feminism and negative states of mind”.
Katarina Pirak Sikku, Sami artist from Jokkmokk, then wrapped up the first conference day with a talk where she let the Silbbagoahka, a traditional Sami silver collar worn at weddings, lead the story to unravel family pasts and histories, in a talk entitled: “Silbbagoahka – The silver collar as storyteller”.
For the second conference day, Ann Phoenix, Professor of Psychosocial Studies at the UCL Institute of Education, UK, spoke of intersectionality and hauntology, emphasising the past as always part of the present, permeating social relations and affecting future imaginings. She finished her talk, “Intersectionality in time: Crafting hope from hauntology”, arguing that hope is collective and collaborative work and that the past cannot be dismissed when imagining better futures.
The conference programme also featured talks and readings from the six research groups currently active at the Centre. During the first conference day the Humaninal research group spoke of multispecies research (Andrea Petitt) and narratives of crisis and environmental change (Jacob Bull). The Family and Kinship research group presented several different projects on close relations and reproduction, including on single parents (Helena Wahlström Henriksson), on choosing not to have, or regretting having children (Maja Bodin), on intimate partner violence (Nicole Ovesen), surrogacy (Elina Nilsson), and egg- and embryo donation (Matilda Lindgren). Lastly, the Technologization of the Everyday research group presented projects on exoskeletons (Vanessa Noack), queer readings of videogames (Marie Dalby), and the (un)happy marriage of AI and feminism (Jenny Björklund).
During the conference’s second day, the Gender and Culture research group presented a joint book project, Att analysera genus och kultur - en lärobok i metod (Karin S. Lindelöf and Annie Woube, eds.), a textbook on analysing gender and culture from different perspectives. The Education and Science research group spoke about the benefits, and sometimes difficulties, of bringing together gender studies and the natural sciences (Anita Hussénius, Marie Ståhl, Anders Johansson, and Catarina Wahlgren), and the Queer research group closed the conference with readings of creative writing and poetry (Ulrika Dahl, Han Amm, and Jelena Savic).
All in all, two days full of interesting talks and discussions that truly reflected the breadth and diversity of current gender research. Thanks to all who contributed to making the conference such an inspiring event!