Mission statement

The Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University wants to promote lasting interdisciplinary encounters and networking across the border between the cultural and natural sciences. By bridging the organizational and scientific divides we offer a meeting place for researchers and students from different disciplinary backgrounds in a way that is unique in (gender) research. With the help of the Swedish Research Council’s funding of strong research environments 2007–2011, we want to create an environment that is internationally strong in excellence with a view of transgressions between nature and culture in teaching.

The aim of the programme “Nature/culture boundaries and transgressive encounters” is to maintain a research environment that promotes empirical investigations and theoretical reflections on the way gender and gendered knowledge is produced in the borderland between the cultural and the natural sciences and in the knowledge-producing interactions between empirical research, theory and teaching.

The process is not initiated from strictly disciplinary standpoints, which could hamper the process of producing and gendering knowledge. Instead our starting points are such themes that are being investigated today and theorized within the humanities as well as the natural and social sciences. We want to create a forum for interdisciplinary encounters about sex and gender, animals and humans, nature and culture, and to develop a research environment where disciplinary differences will become methodological advantages that enrich the kinds of questions asked and theories produced.

From this point of departure we want to use our experiences in interdisciplinary research, theory development and teaching in the borderland between nature and culture to develop new transgressive themes, fields and questions. As examples we focus on the relationship between gender and embodiment, the diffuse boundaries between humans and animals, and the gender didactics between nature and culture. In other words, the programme has a broad perspective and includes questions on the meta level as well as didactic and scientific encounters across the nature/culture divide.

Transgressive encounters and passionate discussions are of utmost importance when one wants to communicate and learn from one other and proceed with the theory development necessary for future critical advances in gender theory. This communication is of intra-disciplinary importance, but also necessary for further interdisciplinary theory development within the field. The venture also has considerable societal and political relevance. The way gender and gender-related questions are understood in academia has effects in a number of societal arenas and institutions such as families, schools and the healthcare, just to mention a few.