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 webpages, 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.

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Eivind Senneset

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Current projects

Get an overview of the current projects at SKOK. See here for completed research projects.

PROTECT - The Right to International Protection

Title: PROTECT -The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization?
Project leader: Professor Hakan G. Sicakkan, UiB
Researchers at SKOK: Christine M. Jacobsen, Marry-Anne Karlsen                                   University partners: Queen Mary University of London, University of Giessen, Ryerson University, Ghent University, University of Surrey, University of Catania, University of Ljubljana, Lund University, Wits University, University of Stuttgart
Project period: 2020-2023
Financed by: EU - Horizon 2020

PROTECT is a research project studying international refugee protection that was officially launched on February 1st, 2020. The project is conducted by an international consortium of 11 universities in Europe, Canada, and South Africa and led by Professor Hakan G. Sicakkan on behalf of the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

Professor Christine M. Jacobsen and Dr. Marry-Anne Karlsen at SKOK are part of the University of Bergen team. In PROTECT,  Jacobsen and Karlsen are involved in the work of WP4, which maps the ground level actors that are involved in the reception of migrants and asylum seekers in selected entry zones in France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, as well as South Africa and Canada. They apply their ethnographic experience and expertise in investigating if and how the compacts on refugees and migration influence ground-level actors’ understanding of ‘vulnerability’, particularly related to gender and legal status, and if and how it changes how they cooperate to meet special needs.

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: University 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.

Temporary protection as a durable solution? The 'return turn' in asylum policies in Europe (TemPro)

Title: Temporary protection as a durable solution? The 'return turn' in asylum policies in Europe (TemPro)
Project leader: Senior researcher Jessica Schultz, Chr. Michelsens Institute
Researcher at SKOK: Marry-Anne Karlsen
Project period: 2020-2024
Financed by: The Norwegian Research Council

TemPro is a collaboration between anthropologists, gender and legal scholars in Norway, UK and Denmark that explores the effects of temporary protection in the current asylum- and refugee systems. These measures, part of a ‘return turn’ in the practice of refugee law post-2015, include granting short-term protection permits to refugees from certain groups, stricter requirements for receiving permanent residence, and regular protection reviews to identify people whose need for asylum no longer exists.

Dilemmas these policies pose for inclusion and welfare are intensified by the fact that affected refugees often come from fragile states like Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria. Return to their previous homes remains a remote possibility for most. At the same time, they retain only limited membership rights in their place of residence. Temporary protection policies thus create particular challenges for the inclusion of refugees in receiving communities, and for the welfare system more broadly.

The project draws on an intersectional perspective to explore the implications of increased legal fragmentation of refugee protection in and across refugee law, policy, and the lives of refugees. The project further builds on and extends recent advances within migration studies that approach the temporal dimensions of migration governance.


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.

FEMSAG - Feminist Theory after Sex and Gender

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 – Feminist Theory After Sex and Gender seeks to develop conceptual tools with which to address nature-nurture issues pivotal to the current philosophy, science and politics of sex and gender. This overall research objective is implemented in and through three individual work packages (WP). In WP1, the project engages with current efforts in feminist science studies to address biases of sex and gender in contemporary brain research. WP2 contributes to the philosophical debate within so-called 'material feminisms' regarding the more foundational issue of what a feminist construal of the very terms 'nature' and 'nurture' (or 'culture') might look like. Lastly, in WP3, the project aims to add to ongoing conversations on how to open up the phenomenological tradition in European philosophy to the lives and experiences of transgendered people.

Read more about the project on the official web page.

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: 2018-2019
Financed by: Peder Sather Center at UC Berkeley

This project is the first stage of a joint collaboration between researchers on two campuses at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Bergen, 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.

Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Immobility and Movement Across Contested Grounds

Title: Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Immobility and Movement Across Contested Grounds
Project leader: Professor Christine Jacobsen, SKOK and Leti Volpp, UC Berkeley
Co-workers: Beth Piatote, Native American Studies, UC Berkeley; Fantasia Painter, Native American Studies, UC Berkeley; Marry-Anne Karlsen, SKOK; Kari Anne Drangsland, SKOK; and Jessica Schultz, Faculty of Law, UiB.
Project period: 2020-2022
Financed by: Peder Sather Center at UC Berkeley

This research project is the second stage of the joint collaboration between researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Bergen, and follows up the project Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides.

Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Immobility and Movements Across Contested Grounds will make intellectual contributions to how we understand immobility.  This present moment during the Covid-19 pandemic is one of unprecedented immobility, both across nation-states with bans to entry on all noncitizens or some noncitizens, and within local communities, with lock-down, quarantine, shelter-in-place, and self-isolation creating an experience of being stuck in place and what has been called “immobility trauma.” We are also examining how we understand movement, in several senses.  This includes the physical migration of bodies across nation-state borders as well as the movement of territorial borders themselves. Our project will also examine contested grounds.  These are the spatial realities of borders, courts, and carceral spaces, but also tense public policy and scholarly debates with their differing claims about political futures, rights, and justice.

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: University 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)