Centre for Women's and Gender Research

Thought as Action: Gender, Democracy, Freedom

The main goal of the project was to produce new knowledge on the question of democracy and freedom in a technological, globalized world.

Logo in blue and orange containing the text Thought as Action - Gender, Democracy, Freedom

Main content


The project aimed to approach these questions from a gender perspective.

The project's main problematic was focused on the question: Which theories and mode(s) of thought will allow for a thorough rethinking of the questions of gender, democracy and freedom in our global and technological era?

The project, which was funded by the Research Council of Norway, gathered around 20 researchers from Norway, Sweden, Finland and the U.S. and was structured around three major themes: "Bodies and Sexualities", "Citizenship" and "New Technologies".

Ellen Mortensen, then Head of Centre at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK) at the University of Bergen led the project.

The project participants pursued theoretical and interdisciplinary inquiries, working from the vantage point of their respective disciplines. An overaching hypothesis for the whole project was that there is a crucial interrelationship between thought and action and that we need to understand and rethink the conceptions of possibility for freedom and democracy from a gender perspective. This knowledge may again be of use to the international research community and policy makers alike.

The project participants' shared interest in theoretical questioning led us towards a more rigorous interrogation of the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of some of the concepts that are currently being marshalled in the name of democracy and freedom, among them "citizenship", "human rights", "subject", "sexed bodies", etc.

But above all, we wished to explore the possibility of developing and discovering new modes of thinking that are compatible not only with the present, but that would allow us to think future configurations of gender democracy and freedom.


The research project evolved out of a cross-disciplinary research group on feminist and gender theory that worked together over a period of six years at the University of Bergen.


In light of the dramatic social, cultural, economic, political and intellectual changes that have taken place on the international arena since September 11, the ‘War on Terror’, the transformation wrought by globalization and the shifts in political and ethical values, we feel the need to rethink the dominant concepts and theories that define and legitimate the study of democratic citizenship, particularly with regard to the question of gender.

It is our belief that the thinking that underpins social and political practices is in dire need of a more rigorous inquiry, one that takes into account the altered conditions of possibility for thought and action in a globalized world. The liberal-democratic paradigm that has dominated social and political thought is being challenged; it emerged within the historical horizon of the nation-state system, but seems to be withering away only to give rise to a new economic and political configuration: an economically divided world dominated by occidental trans-national confederates. In order to study this new global state of affairs we need new paradigms of thought, new concepts and theories when approaching the questions of gender, democracy and freedom.

Main problematic and research questions

We hold that thinking is a mode of action in itself. It is crucial to develop new modes of thought to more adequately deal with the rapidly changing social and cultural reality, able to address new kinds of social subject, new kinds of political questions and new social relations with more detailed and nuanced conceptual models than those previously available. Theoretical reflection is not a luxury that occurs after social and technological changes but must accompany them if they are to be adequately integrated into our daily lives. As stated in the title of our project, we contend that theoretical concepts not only reflect the complexity of reality, but also produce reality as complex. The project’s main problematic will focus on the question: Which theories and mode(s) of thought will allow for a thorough rethinking of the questions of gender, democracy and freedom in our global and technological era?

Freedom constitutes one of the overriding questions in our research project. However, serious reflection on the concept of freedom is scarce in gender research. As we see it, it is pivotal that the concept of freedom is being thought through in a philosophical manner while being reflected upon in conjunction with a gender problematic. The question of freedom ought not to be reduced to the pragmatics of politics, be it liberal egalitarianism or communitarian measures of affirmative action, nor should it be restricted to notions of liberation or emancipation. There seems to be a tendency within gender research either to take the concept of freedom for granted (and thus leave it unquestioned), or to confuse different traditions of thinking on freedom. Such confusion happens, for instance, when the liberal tradition of negative freedom (the legacy of Wollstonecraft) is conflated with the existential tradition of freedom as transcendence (the legacy of de Beauvoir). In this project, we would like to throw new light on the nexus between different philosophical notions of freedom and different gender conceptions.

Within the parameters of the overall project, the individual researchers will explore three different research areas: i) citizenship ii) bodies and sexualities and iii) new technologies. Theoretically, the project will explore poststructuralist, deconstructive, post-colonial as well as queer perspectives. A common orientation for all the projects is an acknowledgment that they operate within a post-human(ist), post-ethical, post-nation-state, post-emancipatory horizon in which there is no overriding meta-theory that can serve as a universal, absolute law or value. The theories that will be called upon to answer to the new demands of inquiry are those that question traditional notions of identity (sexual, racial, ethnic, national, religious), that is, theories that challenge the borders and boundaries of identity constructions that have hitherto dominated thinking on these questions.

The three research areas – citizenship, bodies & sexualities, and new technologies –are closely intertwined, and will be elaborated upon through a web of thematic clusters, such as: gender, sexuality and the nations-state, sexual difference and sexuate rights, equality/egalitarianism and difference/hierarchy as philosophical concepts, freedom vs. emancipation, euro-centrism and the universal subject, bare life and naked bodies, bio-politics and governmentality in transnational contexts, sovereignty and sacredness, radical democracy, virtual citizenship, depersonalization and human rights, the aesthetics of body/gender/personhood, the politics of imperceptibility, planetarianism, (inhuman) force beyond the subject, etc.

The main corpus of the project’s research will be performed by two individual researchers to be funded within the project, Randi Gressgård who will study the concept of citizenship through a critical reflection upon the gendered and sexualized symbolic and cultural assumptions of the modern nation-state (see below) and one Ph.D project, to be defined within any of the three research areas.

In additions to these participants, the project will include a number of partners from our local institution as well as from other national and international institutions. All of the partners will contribute with self-funded research to the project. The selection of partners is done on the basis of research expertise in at least two of the defined research areas. This entails that each of the individual projects, even though it will mainly fall under one of the research areas, will intersect with at least one of the other areas. Each of the participants will contribute with research articles, and they will take active part in the discussions in our joint workshops, seminars and conferences.

Individual sub-projects

Randi Gressgård, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Stavanger/Senior Researcher, SKOK, University of Bergen.

Research areas: Citizenship/bodies and sexualities

Project description: “Bondage and Boundaries: Gendered Citizenship and Radical Democracy”

Gressgård will pursue a 2-year research project within the theme “Rights and politics” in the Norwegian Research Council’s announcement. Her project will scrutinize the gendered historical and philosophical premises upon which the concepts of democracy, freedom, equality and rights rely, while focussing on the conditions of possibility for radical democratic citizenship in a globalized world. The study will result in a book manuscript in English.

The study will link up with a number of feminist studies that deal with the gendered dimensions of the modern nation-state over the last two decades, studies that have analyzed the connection between gender/sexuality, nation and concepts such as individual freedom, equality, egalitarianism, autonomy and sovereignty. Black feminists, deconstructionist feminists and queer theorists alike have pursued the question concerning how the modern, egalitarian nation-state – founded on the principle and notion of equality and freedom of individuals – implies and (re)produces a specific notion of gender and sexuality. In turn, this notion of gender and sexuality gives rise to specific approaches to gender equality and freedom. The starting premise of this study is thus that the modern nation-state and the liberal democracy characteristic of it are culturally and historically contingent upon, among other things, particular notions of femininity and masculinity.

And yet, one may ask, as does Saba Mahmood (2005: 13), whether or not the liberal presuppositions have become naturalized in Western scholarship on gender, even among scholars who endorse the basic premises of deconstruction, and thus implicitly question the naturalization of the modern, universal, transcendental and autonomous subject. According to Mahmood, the normative political subject of poststructuralist feminist theory often remains a liberatory one, whose agency is conceptualized on the binary model of subordination and subversion (14). For instance, Mahmood contends that Butler’s concept of agency is developed primarily in contexts where norms are thrown into question or are subject to re-signification. Agency is thus a political praxis aimed at unsettling dominant discourses of gender and sexuality (21), inasmuch as Butler endeavours to create the possibility of a radical democratic politics. In this regard, Butler’s analysis of power remains, in Mahmood’s view, grounded in an agonistic framework characteristic of modern, liberal thought (22).    

Mahmood’s post-Butler approach calls for a model that allows for dimensions of human action, whose ethical and political status does not fit with the binary logic of repression and resistance, in part because they are indebted to other reasons and histories. Whether or not Mahmood’s model is more compelling than Butler’s becomes a pressing question, given the premises of (de)constructionist philosophy upon which both models are based. However, the problem is not, as one might think, the (de)constructionist framework per se. Rather, the main problem seems to be the request for a “politically responsible scholarship” (38) within such a framework. The crux of the matter is the political ethics that seems to be constitutive of the feminist and liberal theoretical problem definition, which in turn conceptualizes freedom within the binary opposition of agency versus domination.

According to Vikki Bell, the political and ethical questions at stake have always been the primary issues for Butler, but in her recent works she has made the relationship between performativity and political ethics explicit (2007: 19, 20). Bell notes that both Precarious Life (2004a) and Undoing Gender (2004b) take up the task of showing the ethical implications of the (presumed) fact that “I am outside myself from the start”. Butler is concerned with the primary sociality of the subject and with the precarious nature of the social ties that sustain one’s subjectivity. Significantly, she connects the exposure to one’s own vulnerability with an accompanying sense of incomprehension. In this way, Butler makes an emphatic link between political ethics and knowledge (see also Butler 2005). She not only elucidates the political implications of her understanding of the subject and its coexistence with others, and the ethical issues arising from such a constructionist perspective; in fact she appears to have gone in the opposite direction, as it were: from “theorizing the political” (cf. Butler and Scott 1992) to “politicizing the theoretical”.

Gressgård’s project affirms the constructionist understanding of social norms as constitutive of the subject, without thereby ascribing to the political ethics of Butler’s radical democracy. From a (de)constructionist point of view, it seems reasonable to subscribe to the supposition that constative claims to some degree are performative, without at the same time assuming that the theoretical always already involves political ethics. The inevitable relationship between power and knowledge is thus sustained, without thereby presupposing a neat correspondence between the realm of political ethics (accountability, responsibility) and theory (intelligibility, knowledge). On the contrary, Gressgård questions whether or not a deconstruction of the dominant social norms necessarily presupposes an “irresponsible” stance. In this context, irresponsibility is to be understood in accordance with George Bataille’s theoretical writings (1997). Likewise, one may ask whether or not politics qua project is counter-productive with regard to transgression of norms, and furthermore whether or not the concept of freedom to which the notion of gender equality alludes must presuppose subordination and hierarchy. These questions form the basis for a further investigation of the condition of possibility for radical democratic citizenship in a globalized world, and will be discussed in relation to, among others, Wendy Brown’s deconstructive perspective on politics, freedom and resistance (1995, 2006).

However, the most central authorships with regard to the problem for discussion will be those of Georgio Agamben and Georges Bataille. If we conceive of gender and sexuality in terms of eroticism, as does Bataille (1986), and if we incorporate Agamben’s (1998, 2005) concept of “the state of exception” into this framework, we may approach the modern state and society from a slightly different angle. This entails a different – although not completely different – perspective than the one Butler takes when calling for recognition of those who are silenced by dominant discourses. For Butler these are silenced by virtue of being included and yet excluded from the moral and political community of the nation-state. Informed by Bataille and Agamben, who each in their way deal with the modern concepts of sovereignty and freedom in relation to the concepts of state, society and community, Gressgård intends to push Butler’s deconstructionist understanding of radical democracy even further, rather than turning towards a political ethics (which is somehow a non-constructionist turn).

The project will also have an empirical focus, without being based on interviews or fieldwork. The empirical part of the project aims at examining the cornerstones of the nation-state and the concepts of liberal democracy and freedom through a deconstruction of the symbolic structure of sado-masochism (SM). Through a text-based analysis of SM, the project will explore the basic structure of the nation-state with regard to component concepts within modern political ideology and prevailing values and norms. Informed by both Agamben and Bataille, SM will be conceived of as simultaneously transgressive and preserving of the prevailing norms and symbolic boundaries of the modern nation-state. It is precisely the concurrent transgression and preservation of norms and cultural/symbolic boundaries that make SM an appropriate object of study, a cultural phenomenon through which one can reflect critically on the discursive pillars of the nation-state. A philosophical examination of SM will expose the tension between autonomy, dominance and control on the one hand, and dependency and submission on the other. These paradoxical workings of power pertain to the liberal state, and will be elaborated through corresponding oppositional concepts such as equality/difference, liberty/encumbrance, rights/needs, individual/family, self-interest/selflessness, public/private and contract/consent (see Brown 1995).

The study will seek to expose the gendered and sexualized dimensions of such component concepts in relation to SM. By virtue of being an exemplary area with respect to modern “eroticism” and at the same time, a mimicry or a mirror image of the constitutive structure of the modern state – sovereignty and “homo sacer” (to use Agamben’s terms) – SM qua symbolic structure exposes the constitutive borders and boundaries that are at stake. In this respect, SM could be regarded as a catachresis, i.e. a kind of perverse reflection of the paradoxical boundaries that in the same gesture both include and exclude gendered and sexual practices of this kind. The salient question is whether or not one should search for a political-ethical or juridical solution to this “state of exception”, and call for moral and juridical recognition within the borders and boundaries of the nation-state, as some SM-organisations choose to do. Needless to say, from Gressgård’s point of view, there is a need for more rigorous questioning of the concepts of democracy, freedom and equality in regard to SM (and other marginalized practices) than the above perspective renders possible or intelligible. This is exactly what this study aims to do, based on existing textual material from SM-organisations on internet and theoretical material from studies on SM within the humanities and social sciences.

Ph.d.-student Synnøve Økland Jahnsen:

Research areas: Citizenship/bodies and sexualities

Project: Prostitution politics and the welfare state: Questioning the concept of citizenship

Other projects (self-funded)

SKOK research group, University of Bergen

Professor/Director Ellen Mortensen, SKOK.

Research areas: bodies and sexualities/citizenship

Topic: “Sexing Nietzsche’s Will To Power: Freedom, Aesthetics and Sexed Being”

Professor Vigdis Broch-Due, Social Anthropology, University of Bergen.

Research areas: bodies and sexualities/citizenshipTopic:

“Engendering Citizens: Violence and the Embodiment of Politics in Eastern Africa”

Postdoctoral fellow Kari Jegerstedt, Comparative Literature/SKOK.

Research areas: citizenship/bodies and sexualities

Topic: “The African Connection: Reading as an Oppositional Force in a Globalized Area”

Postdoctoral fellow Gaudencia Mutema, SKOK. 

Research areas: citizenship/bodies and sexualities

Topic: “Performing Gender: Gender Identity and School Performance among Immigrant African Children in Norway”

Postdoctoral fellow Sissel Rosland, History, University of Bergen.

Research areas: citizenship/new technologies

Topic: “Between Security and Liberty: Gendering Right(s) and Freedom(s) in the War on Terror”

Associate Professor Kristin Sampson, Philosophy/SKOK.

Research areas: bodies and sexualities/citizenship

Topic: “The Freedom of the Other: Ethical Consequences of Irigaray’s Conception of Sexual Difference”

Partners and people

Associate Professor Agnes Bolsø, Sociology/Gender Studies, NTNU

Research area: bodies and sexualities/citizenship

Topic: “Queer Critique of Gay Sexual Politics”

Research leader Cathrine Egeland, Work Research Institute (AFI), Oslo

Research area: new technologies/bodies and sexualities

Topic: “Feminism, Power and Critique”

Professor Anne Britt Flemmen, Sociology, University of Tromsø

Research areas: citizenship/bodies and sexualities

Topic: “Intimate Citizenship”

Associate Professor/Director Wenche Mülheisen, Gender Studies, University of Stavanger

Research areas: bodies and sexualities/new technologies (mass media)

Topic: “Normative and Counter-Normative Performativity of Intimacies and Sexualities in Popular Culture and the Arts”

Assistant Professor Ulrika Dahl, Gender Studies, Södertörn Högskola, Sweden

Research areas: bodies and sexualities/citizenshipTopic: “Femme as Figuration: Rethinking (Queer) Femininity”

Professor Nicole Fermon, Political Science, Fordham University, New York, USA

Research areas: citizenship/bodies and sexualities Topic: “Politics, Conversion, Assimilation”

Professor Elizabeth Grosz, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA

Research areas: bodies and sexualities/new technologies

Topic: “The Animal, the Human and the Inhuman: Thinking Life beyond the     Subject”

Professor/Director Marianne Liljeström, Women’s Studies, University of Turku, Finland

Research areas: citizenship/bodies and sexualities

Topic: “Geopolitics and the Production of Feminist Knowledge”

Assistant Professor Jenny Sundén, Media Technology at the School of Computer Science and Communication, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

Research areas: new technologies/bodies and sexualities

Topic: “Queering Technology: Techno-Corporeality and Post-human Feminism”

Assistant Professor Jami Weinstein, Gender Studies, Mount Holyoke College, Mass, USA.

Research areas: new technologies/bodies and sexualities

Topic:  “Techno-Zoontologies: Technology, Animality, and Human Being”


Within the project period (2009-2012), three international conferences and seminars were organized, in addition to the final conference in Bergen in August 2012: One at WGS at Rutgers University, New Burnswick in October 2010 entitled Affective Tendencies; one at Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco in April 2011 devoted to Gendered Citizenship: Global Perspectives; and one held at Södertôrn University College in Stockholm in April 2012 entitled Somatechnics.

Final conference

The final conference, THOUGHT AS ACTION, was structured around all the three major research themes of the project. It took place in Bergen August 16-18 2012.

This conference marks the completion of a four-year international research project, THOUGHT AS ACTION: Gender, Democracy, Freedom, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project has had a theoretical focus, organized around three major themes: ”Bodies and Sexualities”, ”Citizenship” and ”New Technologies”, themes that will also serve as an overarching structure for the conference. The program will consist of plenary sessions with keynote addresses as well as parallel sessions that will be organized around the three theme clusters, to which we will devote one day each. We invite scholars to submit abstracts for papers that will touch upon at least one of the theme clusters. Empirically based papers will be welcomed, provided that they touch upon theoretical questions.

THOUGHT AS ACTION: Gender, Democracy, Freedom, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project has had a theoretical focus, organized around three major themes: ”Bodies and Sexualities”, ”Citizenship” and ”New Technologies”, themes that will also serve as an overarching structure for the conference. The program will consist of plenary sessions with keynote addresses as well as parallel sessions that will be organized around the three theme clusters, to which we will devote one day each. We invite scholars to submit abstracts for papers that will touch upon at least one of the theme clusters. Empirically based papers will be welcomed, provided that they touch upon theoretical questions.

Bodies and Sexualities:

This section will address key theoretical questions relevant to the overall problematic of gender, democracy, freedom, papers which explore how we can rethink the body and sexualities today. What are the main challenges, given some of the theoretical developments in our research field? How can we theorize the body and sexuality in the wake of post-humanist theories of corporality, affect theory, disability theory, post-colonial and transnational critiques of the hegemony of the white, middle-class perspective as well as critiques of constructionist theories?


In this section we will explore multi-dimentional approaches to citizenship, gender and sexuality. What are the consequences within these fields in light if of recent transformations of the state, due to diminishing state sovereignty in the global North as well as the global South? We want to pursue the implications of these shifts for gender and sexuality. How do neo-liberal market rationalities impact on conceptions of citizenship? And how are the global forces of deterritorialization and reterritorializations connected to the way in which sexuality and gender are reconfigured? How do we understand the complex techniques pertaining to the governmentalization of the state, when sexuality and gender are taken into account? More generally, how are gender and sexuality implicated in the different aspects of citizenship?

New Technologies:

In this section we want to ask: How do current developments and innovations in (info/bio/reproductive) technologies shape our thinking on gender, democracy and freedom? Feminists theorizing technology have made obvious how technologies are intimately entwined with bodies. Hence, it becomes problematic to think of embodiment and difference (such as gender, sexuality, race, class, age, and ability) as intelligible ‘before’ or ‘beyond’ technology. In which ways do technologies form and transform bodies and their politics? What would the implications be if we approached intersectionality and embodiment through the lens of technology? In which ways do corporeal differences challenge or transgress the boundaries between natural and artificial, human and machine?

In addition to the papers that will be presented in the parallel sessions, the following scholars have accepted the invitation to speak at our plenary sessions:

Keynote speakers

Professor Elizabeth Grosz, Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University, USA

Willful Queers, Or a Queer History of Will":

Professor Sara Ahmed, Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, UK

"The Lung Cancer Patient is a Young Asian Female Non-smoker":

Professor Aihwa Ong, Socio-Cultural Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, USA

"Conundrums of citizenship post conflict":

Professor Malathi de Alwis, Women’s Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

"Thinking Reproductivity: conceptive technologies revisited":

Professor Sarah Franklin, Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK

"Corporeal Anachronisms":

Associate Professor Jenny Sundén, School of Gender, Culture and History, Södertörn University, Sweden

CONFERENCE FEE: NOK 500 (Including meals) / BANQUET: NOK 250

The conference will be held at Clarion Hotel Admiral, C. Sundts Gate 9, 5004 Bergen.

SKOK has reserved a number of rooms at Clarion Admiral Hotel (single 1210 NOK/double 1360 NOK) as well as at Comfort Hotel Holberg close by (single 1125 NOK/ double  1225 NOK). Those of you who will need accommodation, please contact the preferred hotel before 30 June.For further details on the conference, contact Tone Lund-Olsen (email: tone.lund-olsen@uib.no tel: +47 55 58 33 12)For further details on the academic aspects of the conference, contact Ellen Mortensen (ellen.mortensen@skok.uib.no) or Randi Gressgård (randi.gressgard@skok.uib.no).


Research Council of Norway (RCN), Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), University of Bergen, Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Research, Bergen


Thursday, August 16th:

11:00 - 12:00 Registration

12:00 – 13:30 LUNCH


13:30 – 13:45

Opening address by professor/director Ellen Mortensen (SKOK)

13:45 – 14:45

Elizabeth Grosz, Professor of Women’s Studies, Duke University, U.S.

14:45 – 15:00 Coffee Break

Parallel sessions: 15:00 – 17:30

I: Bodies and Sexualities II: Citizenship A III: Citizenship B IV: New Technologies

17:30 – 18:00 Coffee Break

Plenary session: 18:00–19:00

Willful Queers, Or a Queer History of Will

Sara Ahmed, Professor in Race and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK


Friday, August 17th:

CITIZENSHIP Plenary session:

10:00 – 11:00:

Conundrums of citizenship post conflict

Professor Malathi de Alwis, Colombo University, Sri Lanka

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

Parallel sessions: 11:15 – 13:30

I: Bodies and Sexualities II: Citizenship A III: Citizenship B IV: New Technologies

13:30 – 15:00 LUNCH

Plenary session:

15:00 – 16:00

The Lung Cancer Patient is a Young Asian Female Non-smoker

Aihwa Ong, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of California-Berkeley, U.S.


Saturday, August 18th:

NEW TECHNOLOGIES Plenary session:

10:00 – 11:00:

Thinking Reproductivity: conceptive technologies revisited

Sarah Franklin, Professor of Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK

11:00 – 11:15: Break

Parallel sessions:

11:15 – 13:30:

I: Bodies and Sexualities II: Citizenship A III: Citizenship B IV: New Technologies

13:30 – 14:00 LUNCH

Plenary session

14:00 – 15:00

Corporeal Anachronisms

Jenny Sundén, Associate Professor in Gender Studies, Södertörn University College, Stockholm Sweden

15:00 – 15:30 Concluding remarks / Discussion


In the parallel sessions we will have short paper presentations (15-20 minutes) and ample time for comments, questions and discussions.


Thursday 16 August

A. Sexual citizenship, homonationalism and gender non-conformity

Chair: Randi Gressgård, University of Bergen, Norway

Michael Nebeling Pedersen, Copenhagen University, Denmark: Un/liveable kinship: Reading Rosa Morena

Pia Laskar, Linköping University, Sweden: Sexual cosmopolitans? Queering the rise of sexual citizenship

Todd Sekuler, Humboldt University, Germany: Convivial relations between biomedicine, gender non-conformity and the French nation-state

B. Rethinking feminist politics and gendered citizenship in the age of global governance

Chair: Nicole Fermon, Fordham University, USA

Synnøve Ø. Jahnsen, University of Bergen: Is the immigrant sex worker a feminist killjoy?

Ana Andrejic, University of Niš, Serbia: Rethinking the conceptualizations of intimate and biological citizenship: Entanglements in dichotomies and productive problematizations

Seema Arora-Jonsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden: REDD+ as global governance: New spaces and notions of citizenship

Friday 17 August

A. Migration, family politics and cultural norms

Chair: Synnøve Ø. Jahnsen, University of Bergen, Norway

Umut Erel, The Open University, UK: Mobilizing cultural citizenship: Migration, motherhood and cultural identification in London

Catrin Lundström, Linköping University, Sweden: Migrating citizens: Citizenship as (trans)national capital among Swedish migrant women in the United States, Singapore and Spain

Ida Charlotte Erstad, University of Oslo, Norway: ‘If you give a good mother, I give a good nation’: Caring and providing practices among Pakistani women in an Oslo borough, Norway

B. Gendered political community and cultural belonging

Chair: Kristin Sampson, University of Bergen,  Norway

Elisabeth Stubberud, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway: Whose citizenship? Whose gender equality?

Erkka Railo, University of Turku, Finland: Women’s magazine Anna and the development of women’s cultural citizenship in Finland

Monika Bobako, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland; Male homosocial desire as a principle constituting a political community

Miriam Tola, Rutgers University, USA: Cosmopolitics of the common/s

Saturday 18 August

A. Race, affective displacement and citizenship

Chair: Michael Nebeling Pedersen, Copenhagen University, Denmark

Silje Lundgren, Stockholm University, Sweden: The defence of Cuban whiteness: On the centrality of gendered and sexual hierarchies to mark a position of privilege in post-crisis Cuba

Gaudencia Mutema, University of Bergen, Norway: Interrogating race after July 22nd 2011

Stine Helena Bang Svendsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway: Uneasy white men, public feelings, and the international pracariat

Evelyn Hayn, Humboldt University, Germany: How naming processes re-produce (hetero)sexist, migratist and racist conceptualizations of citizenship

B. Questioning Nordic welfare state rights and policies: culture, gender and sexuality

Chair: Randi Gressgård, SKOK, University of Bergen

Emma Björg Eyjólfsdóttir, University of Iceland, Iceland: Women – second-class citizens in Iceland’s new constitution?

Sara Edenheim and Malin Rönnblom ,Umeå University, Sweden: ‘…And never the twain shall meet’: Swedish policies on gender equality and gay rights

Hans Wiggo Kristiansen, LGBT Knowledge Center, Norway: Naked civil servants? The establishment of a state-run LGBT knowledge centre in Norway

Bodies & Sexualities

Thursday 16 August

Female corporality as battle field: national regulation, ethnic conflict, colonial power

Chair: Haldis Haukanes, University of Bergen, Norway

Deniz Özbek, Galatasaray University, Turkey: The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war: A comparative research based on Bosnian and Rwandan casesRenata Šribar, Ljubljana Graduate School of the Humanities, SloveniaEth(n)ical challenges: Ambivalences of human rights displayed by sexual violence in ethnically mixed environment

Helle Rydström, Lund University: Wrought corporeality: Encountering French colonial violence in rural Vietnam

Ezgi Türkçelik, Baskent University, Turkey: ‘What a morality!’: Discourses of state regulation over ‘women’s bodies and sexualities’ in Turkey

Friday 17 August

Questioning sexual difference and normative gender: Excess and affect

Chair: Marianne Liljeström, University of Turku, Finland

Salla Peltonen, Åbo Akademi University, Finland: Thinking through sexual difference?

Kari Jegerstedt, University of Bergen, Norway: Refiguring bodies vs./as politics of substraction: The case of Hottentot Venus

Ulrika Dahl, Södertörn University, Sweden: Femmes as orientation

Sara Irni, Åbo Akademi University: Eugenics and the chemical sex: Sex hormones in Finland in 1950–1970

Nicole Fermon, Fordham University, USA: Why brothers fight: Blood-lust, citizenship, nationality

Saturday 18 August

Transnational feminist interventions and non-hegemonic sexual politics

Chair: Wencke Mühleisen, University of Stavanger, Norway

Agnieszka Koscianska, University of Warsaw, Poland: How sexuality develops away from the market: (Post)socialist accounts

Maria Proitsaki, Gothenburg/Halmstad University, Sweden: Girlhood to womanhood and still at home: Private empowering perspectives in the poetry of Nikki Giovanni and Rita Dove

Signe Arnfred, Roskilde University, Denmark: Investigating post-colonial perspectives on sexuality in Africa

New Technologies

Thursday 16 August

Family technologies and reproduction of gender

Chair: Ulrika Dahl, Södertörn University, Sweden

Manuela Perrotta and Kristin Spilker, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway: Parts and wholes: Individual and social bodies in assisted reproduction

Lise Kanckos, Åbo Akademi University, Finland: The political construction of surrogates in Finland

Unn Conradi Andersen, University of Oslo, Norway: Surrogacy and biopolitics

Elżbieta Korolczuk, Södertörn University, Sweden: ‘Sophisticated abortion’ versus ‘the right to choose’: Mapping the discourses of IVF in contemporary Poland

Friday 17 August

New technologies, new fears: Biotechnological innovation and new concepts of the living

Chair: Sissel Rosland, University of Bergen, Norway

Merete Lie, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway: Reproduction inside/outside

Bettina Papenburg, Utrecht University, The Netherlands: Cinematic representations of prosthetics and genetics

Malin Noem Ravn, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway: Clones, twins, and bodies: Exploring concepts of bodily similarity and difference

Marietta Radomska, Linköping University, Sweden: Space-time-mattering of the (non)living: Between feminist theory and bioart

Saturday 18 August

Gendered technologies and subject formation

Chair: Tone Hellesund, University of Bergen, Norway

Hilde G. Corneliussen, University of Bergen, Norway: ‘Computing is not for me. But there’s nothing I like more!’ Building a theoretical framework for exploring women’s technicity

Jillian Hernandez, Rutgers University, USA: Meditations on the multiple: On plural subjectivity and gender in recent new media art practice

Sally R. Munt, University of Sussex, UK: Cognitive behavioral therapy as Foucault's technologies of the self

Jessica Roby Cadwallader, University of Groningen, The Netherlands: Histories, Futures, and ‘therapeutic forgetting’