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Nature/culture boundaries and transgressive encounters

The Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University is working to promote sustainable interdisciplinary encounters and networking. As a consequence, we were awarded the Swedish Research Council’s funding for "Centres of gender excellence 2007–2011", in order to continue building a centre of international excellence in empirical research, theoretical development and teaching.

The aim of our GenNa-programme is to study empirically and reflect theoretically on the ways in which knowledge about gender and gendered knowledge are produced in the intersection between the natural and cultural sciences. We continuously identify different focus areas for research, collaborate with internationally renowned researchers, and organise transgressive seminars and conferences. By bridging organisational and conceptual divisions, we offer a unique meeting place for researchers and students from different disciplinary backgrounds and from all over the world.

Transgressive encounters

What characterises GenNa is the explicit cooperation across nature/culture boundaries and diverse disciplinary fields. This is visible in the profiles of the research groups within GenNa (Gender and Science, HumAnimals, and Body/Embodiment), as well as in the broad variety of disciplines that are represented among our visiting guest scientists.

As expressed in our five year plan we also aim at having such an attraction that researchers from other countries will locate their research in Uppsala, at the same time as “our” researchers will be active in international networks, research projects and conferences. During the past years we have organised sixteen conferences and several workshops with international participants and keynote speakers. Moreover, we have hosted an impressive number of lecturers and scholars for shorter or longer stays. Several of these are returning regularly, participating in activities, building networks, and thus contributing to a creative and inspiring research environment. Apart from research activities, the GenNa program involves outreaching activities to the community, such as popular scientific oral and written presentations.

Research of high international standard

The overall scientific quality of our GenNa programme is “very good to outstanding”, according to the final evaluation report of the centres of gender excellence which was completed during autumn 2011 by an international expert panel on behalf of the Swedish Research Council (VR). The expert panel appreciated the very effective work of the GenNa research groups, building up new research fields in the university and linking the topics to the international gender research community.

The fine grades from the Research Council were confirmed in the Uppsala University’s own evaluation KoF11, also published during 2011. According to the University, the Centre is a positive, lively and proactive research unit with research of high academic standard. In particular the two research groups HumAnimal and Body/Embodiment were seen as very promising, both described as holding internationally high standard with the potential to become ‘top-quality’.

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