Centre for Women’s and Gender Research

Research projects at SKOK

The ongoing Research projects at the Center for Women's and Gender Research are listed below. Some of the projects have their own web-pages, where you will find more information about each project. You will also find a link with the contact information of the project leader in the list.

I arkivet
Eivind Senneset

Current projects

Get an overview of the current projects at SKOK. At the bottom of the page you will also find a link to previous projects.


Title: WAIT - Waiting for an uncertain future: the temporalities of irregular migration

Project Leader: Professor Christine M.Jacobsen (Social Anthropology)
Researchers at SKOK: Mary-Anne Karlsen, Kari Anne Drangsland, Randi Gressgård
Researchers at other institutions: Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University), Karl Harald Søvig (UiB), Thomas Hylland Eriksen (UiO), Odin Lysaker (UiA).

The WAIT project uses theories of temporality and the concept of 'waitinghood' as tools for producing new and critical insights into the cultural conditions and implications of migration. 'Waitinghood' is about the condition of prolonged waiting, uncertainty and temporariness which is characteristic of irregular migration.

WAIT investigates how temporal structures related to irregular migration are shaped by legal regimes, cultural norms and power relationships, and how they shape subjective experiences and life projects. The project focuses on four European migration-hubs, notably Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Marseille (France) and Hamburg (Germany).


Time and irregular migration

Title: Time and irregular migration
Researcher: Kari Anne Drangsland

Drangsland's project is part of the umbrella-project "Waiting for an uncertain future: The temporalities of irregular migration". She has done an ethnographic fieldwork in Hamburg, focusing on questions of time and irregular migration.

The WAIT project uses theories of temporality and the concept of 'waitinghood' as tools for producing new and critical insights into the cultural conditions and implications of migration. 'Waitinghood' is about the condition of prolonged waiting, uncertainty and temporariness which is characteristic of irregular migration.

WAIT investigates how temporal structures related to irregular migration are shaped by legal regimes, cultural norms and power relationships, and how they shape subjective experiences and life projects. The project focuses on four European migration-hubs, notably Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Marseille (France) and Hamburg (Germany).

Securing the future: Resilient cities in the context of migration

Researcher: Ph.D candidate Anders Rubing and Professor Randi Gressgård
Project period: 2019-2023
Funding: Universtiy of Bergen's strategic initiative "SDG Bergen" (Sustainable Development Goals)

In what has been declared in political as well as academic debate to be an increasingly complex and insecure world, there is a growing demand for long-term resilience strategies that reach beyond the current state of affairs. For instance, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Global Sustainability’s 2012 report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet", depicts resilience as a governance response to complex problems in a complex world, based on the assumption that the future is truly uncertain and hence unpredictable. The premise that the stakes of security politics are shifting as new configurations of the future and life itself are emerging – as life (both human and natural) come to be perceived as full of unpredictable and immanent dangers as well as possibilities.

To arrive at a more specific understanding of how resilience-informed security assemblages shape global challenges, the project sets out to examine the semantic production of urban security problematics in the context of migration. Empirically, it focuses on transnational networks where security challenges are shaped and circulated in terms of "best practices" and "smart" security technologies. The project is particularly concerned with possible reconfigurations of gendered and racialized challenges opened up by future-making practices in the present.


Title: Unpacking the #metoo moment: discourses of gender, sexuality and power in academia
Project Leader:Post doctor Redi Koobak
Project period: 2019-2022
Financed by: University of Bergen

My project aims to explore the impact of the #metoo movement on the stratified institutional structures of academia in Norway, Estonia and South Africa. I aim to place the discourses that surround sexual harassment within academia into a transnational context. Considering the Global North/Global South binary through the three locations I have chosen, I want to trace the dynamics of global production of knowledge and the effect of the #metoo moment on the local contexts. I look at three main elements: institutional practices, critical pedagogies and visual arts. Firstly, I am interested in how discourses that surround sexual harassment are related to gender, sexuality and power as well as regimes of truth and hegemonic practices within higher education settings. Secondly, in addition to university practitioners, I engage in dialogues with students and their views on how survivors/victims of sexual harassment tell their stories in the context of #metoo academia. Thirdly, because new knowledge is needed on remembering/retelling, representing and resisting practices regarding stories of sexual violence and harassment, I would like to create an archival and exhibitionary space for forms of activism, performance, and art that disrupt and destabilise everyday gender and sexual injustices.


Title: FEMSAG - Feminist theory after sex and gender: The nature-nurture complex in contemporary feminism reconsidered in light of the Developmental Systems Theory approach to the philosophy of biology

Project Leader: Dr Claus Halberg

FEMSAG is a cross-disciplinary and methodologically novel research action that will subject prevailing assumptions about the nature-nurture issue within feminist theory to close scrutiny. Such an endeavour is highly pertinent in light of a persistent interest – and often belief – in “essential” sex differences not only among the wider public, but also among practicing scientists focusing on the “biological basis” of behaviourally expressed sex differences. Instead of producing yet another critical review of research methods and unexamined assumptions underpinning such essentializing accounts, however, FEMSAG seeks to tighten up and strengthen the conceptual apparatus that is usually deployed by feminist scholars in their critical engagements with such accounts. This objective will be pursued by examining key bodies of work within feminist theory and science studies through the lens of Developmental Systems Theory (DST), which is an approach in the philosophy of science/philosophy of biology that foregrounds the active role of the organism in the interactive and multi-dimensional constitution of its developmental trajectory. The three bodies of feminist scholarship to be examined through this approach are contemporary feminist science studies (especially the new field of so-called “neurofeminism”), the naturalist turn in feminist theory (epitomized by the work of the Hungarian-Australian feminist philosopher Elizabeth Grosz), and Simone de Beauvoir’s classical existential-phenomenological approach to feminist theory.


Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides

Title: Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides
Project leader: Professor Christine Jacobsen, SKOK
Co-workers: Marry-Anne Karlsen, SKOK; Beth Piatote, Native American Studies,UC Berkeley; and Leti Volpp Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law Director, Center for Race and Gender UC Berkeley
Project period: 2019
Financed by: Peder Sather Center at UC Berkeley

Our project is called Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides, and it explores the interrelationships of the categories “native,” “immigrant,” and “refugee” at a time of tightening borders.  Refugees, immigrants, and natives—whether indigenous persons or not—are typically constructed as separate categories, and thus studied in isolation from one another.  But each term is entangled with the others.  These identities can serve as the basis of claims and entitlements, or be used to cast persons outside borders of belonging.  Our key questions look to the interrelated legal and cultural construction of these three groups. 

Anticipate visits to exchange research and a workshop to be held in Norway in the fall.  

Planning for pluralism

Title: Planning for pluralism
Researcher: Professor Randi Elin Gressgård (Sociology)

Planning for pluralism (PLANPLUR) analyzes security measures directed at populations in so-called "vulnerable areas" in Sweden. In these areas, there are a number of preventive measures, where police, public agencies, voluntary organizations, and private businesses collaborate to counteract crime and violent extremism. These measures represent a gradual and partial shift in governance, from traditional, centralized security policies, to more emphasis on the responsibilities preparedness of local communities. This trend reflects a international orientation towards resilience-thinking in urban security politics, and is salient in the national Swedish police reform of 2015. PLANPLUR examines how this reorientation creates new challenges - and solutions - for preventive policies. However, as the shift in paradigm is only partial, and traditional and innovative logics of governance coexist, new conflicts and dilemmas arise. And since these are the result of arbitrary logics of governance, it is not possible to solve them through ordinary tools for problem-solving. Conflicts of governance cannot be solved, only dissolved. This is achieved through new communication strategies. The significant emphasis on communication is thus not only about practical-political coordination of collaborative efforts between stakeholders, but is also about the creation of narratives and about the aesthetic and affective use of "facts" in order to create common visions for the future for urban residents and involved actors.

Gender trouble in autism: a post human cartography 

Researcher: Ph.D candidate Emily Maddox
Project period: 2019-2023
Funding: Universtiy of Bergen

The Phd. Project of Emily Maddox is researching autism and how autistic individuals relate to, and construct, their gendered identities. In particular, how do autistic individuals negotiate their gendered identities in relation to their autism diagnosis?Autism has a long history which connects it to a gender essentialism, in particular a male gender essentialism A binary understanding of gender, however, is not how many with autism relate to their gender identities. There is an over-representation of autistic individuals who do not identify as men or women but who rather identify as a-gender, gender-queer, non-binary or trans gender to name but a few of these categories. These identity formations are often deeply embedded in the politics of neurodiversity. This project will examine how autistic people relate to the neurological positioning of autism in conjunction with their gender identities and how this is related to a politics of difference, or ‘dis-identification’, which is promoted through the neurodiversity movement (Braidotti,1993). This thesis posits that autistic people are constructing emergent ontological positionalities which are troubled by and troubling to the discursive construction of autism.

Feminist new materialism and post-humanism theories are the most suitable theoretical tools for analysing the problematics at hand. The feminist post-human and new materialist philosophies are able to account for autism as biological and allow for ontologies to be situated as relational and, as connected to narrative and discourse. The post-human will be mobilised as a ‘cartography’ (Braidotti, 2013). This methodology can examine the current configurations of autism and gender which will allow them to be understood as contingent upon wider gender relations and conceptualisations of the human in the late twentieth and early twentieth century.

Shut your sexist mouth up! and other travelling discourses. 

Title: Shut your sexist mouth up! and other travelling discourses. Russian-language Intersectional digital feminist social media on vk.com
Researcher:Dinara Podgornova
End of project: 2021
Financed by:

Dinara is doing a PhD project in Gender studies on intersectional feminist discourses.

This PhD project looks at how intersectional feminist discourses travel across borders and how they get used, transformed and appropriated in Russian-speaking feminist online spaces (feminist public pages and groups on vk.com and beyond). My project is situated within debates on geopolitics of knowledge production within gender studies and feminist activism; translation and transnational circulation of feminist texts, theories and activist frames and feminist critiques of intersectionality

As part of her Phd project Dinara participates in the international collaboration: «New tools for transnational analysis in postgraduate intersectional gender research – towards long-term international collaborations in doctoral and postdoctoral training». It is a collaboration between studies in gender from Linköping, Budapest, Cape Town and Bergen.

The project is ending in late autumn 2021.

Utopia and Migration

Title: Utopia and Migration. The history of Scandinavian mormons and Utah in the 19th Century
Researcher: Associate Professor Hanne Marie Johansen (History)

Active citizenship in Scandinavia: norms, motivations and contestations

Researcher: Ph.D candidate Noor Jdid