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Gender Studies
Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies

Unioninkatu 38 E
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00014 University of Helsinki
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Christina Research Seminar

This page is no longer being updated regularly. Please see the website of the doctoral programme SKY for the latest information and the updated programme of the research seminar.

Led by the professor of Gender studies, Christina research seminar provides a forum of discussion on resent research for both national and international visiting scholars, as well as scholars with an interest in this field of research, working in the different departments and units at the University of Helsinki. With high quality public presentations and discussions Christina research seminar contributes to academic discussion, an essential element of any international research university. The seminar is open to everybody with an interest in research questions related to gender studies. You can participate in selected lectures or join the whole seminar.

The invited speakers include scholars working on the most interesting, recent research in the field, and every presentation is followed by an intensive and critical discussion, which provides a view to the diversity of and the multiple voices in the field. The seminar provides an opportunity to enjoy intellectual debate and moments of inspiration in the midst of academic everyday work – be sure to mark the dates in your calendars.

See who's been at the previous Christina Research Seminars


Programme for autumn term 2016

13 September, 2pm–4pm
Lecture hall A205, Unioninkatu 38 A (Topelia)
Josephine Hoegaerts (Research Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies): Articulating Masculinity – The Citizen’s Voice in the Making in the Nineteenth Century

27 September, 2pm–4pm
Lecture hall F205, Unioninkatu 38 F (Topelia)
Marie-Andrée Jacob (Professor, Keele Law School), Anna-Maria Tapaninen (Dr., Anthropology, University of Eastern Finland) and Antu Sorainen (Docent, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki)): Future of Kinship! – The Launch Discussion of the Contrasting and Re-Imagining Margins of Kinship Project (CoreKin)

11 October, 2pm–4pm
Theresa Wobbe (Professor, University of Potsdam, Sociology of Gender): How Sexual Classification Works in Labour, Law, and Politics: The Case of the International Labour Organization, 1919–2010

12 October (Wednesday), 10am–12pm
Auditorium XI, Main building (Unioninkatu 34)
Hanne-Marlene Dahl (Professor, Roskilde University, Society and Globalization): Gendered Governance – What is it? And how can we study it?

8 November, 2pm–4pm
Lecture hall D112, Unioninkatu 38 D (Topelia)
Joanna Mizielinska (Associate Professor, Sociology at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities): Families of Choice in Poland

22 November, 2pm–4pm
Lecture hall D112, Unioninkatu 38 D (Topelia)
Sara Edenheim (University Lecturer, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS) Umeå University): Lost and Never Found – The Queer Archive of Feelings and Its Historical Propriety


13.9. Josephine Hoegaerts
(Research Fellow, HCAS Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies)

“Articulating Masculinity: the Citizen’s Voice in the Making in the Nineteenth Century”

Time: 13.9.2016, 14–16
Venue: Lecture hall A205, Unioninkatu 38 A (Topelia), University of Helsinki

Masculinity has generally been theorized as an identity “quietly assumed rather than explicitly articulated” (Dudink, 2012). In histories of nationbuilding and nationalism in particular, masculinity usually remains unmarked, difficult to find in source-material as it was hidden in seemingly universal categories such as ‘mankind’ and rarely questioned as a qualifier of soldierdom or citizenship.

In this talk, I argue that articulations of masculinity can be recovered from the nineteenth century ‘national’ archive. Interpreting the practice of articulation literally (i.e. as an acoustic practice), can lead us to an aspect of the embodiment of gendered identities that is often hidden by the mute nature of archival material: that of vocalization. Using the case of the process of nationbuilding in Belgium, I will show how citizenship was spoken and sung in explicitly gendered ways throughout the nineteenth century. The talk is based on my recently published monograph on histories of citizenship in Belgium, which takes three ‘spaces’ in which both masculinity and nationhood were represented, acquired and performed as its point of departure: the (primary) school for boys, the army and parliament. These places were exclusively accessible to men, and in all three of them, vocalization played an important role in imparting knowledge about the nation, representing oneself as part of that nation, and articulating citizenship.

Josephine Hoegaerts is a Core Research Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and the author of Masculinity and Nationhood, 1830-1910, Constructions of Identity and Citizenship in Belgium (Palgrave, 2014). In her current work, she studies the history of the human voice. Focusing mainly on practices of voice formation and improvement, she analyses how the voices of children and adults were formed, trained and differentiated by medically and musically trained professionals throughout the nineteenth century. Recent publications include “Speaking like Intelligent Men: Vocal Articulations of Authority and Identity in the House of Commons in the Nineteenth Century”, in: Radical History Review, 121, (2015) 123-144 and “Recording the Subaltern’s Speech: Children’s Voices in the Antwerp School Archives, ca.1850-1905” in: BTNG, XLVI, 1, (2016), 10-31.

27.9. Marie-Andrée Jacob
(Professor, School of Law, University of Keele), Anna-Maria Tapaninen (Research Fellow, Anthropology, University of Eastern Finland) and Antu Sorainen (Academy Research Fellow, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki):

“Future of Kinship!” – The Launch Discussion of the Contrasting and Re-Imagining Margins of Kinship Project (CoreKin)

Time: 27.9.2016, 14–16
Venue: University of Helsinki, Lecture hall F205, Unioninkatu 38 F (Topelia), University of Helsinki

Kinship is both a (self-evident/naturalized) social category and a complicated and contested theoretical concept.

Our conversation between three leading scholars in the fields of law, gender studies, anthropology and sexualities seeks to open up what is conventionally seen as the “new” in family configurations or the “marginalised” in kinship. The discussants maintain that both the idea of novelty and the illegitimate emerge from an evolved predisposition to attend to the so-called Euro-American kinship model. Not only is this model based on heterosexual relatedness, marriage and blood relations but also certain understandings of class, whiteness and relationship form.

Focusing particularly on the theories of kinship, sexuality and law as they interact with studies of relatedness, family and care, the discussants posit that care and support relations are a process of individual lives and historical “events”; not only in how they are affected by and embedded in the state policies and economic currencies but also in how they resist and redescribe norms and state powers.

By reimagining new ways to reroute the question of “what kinship is all about” the conversants touch the real-world problems, based on the unique empirical research done by each of them. They suggest to find and contrast the off-scene, the illegitimate and the unusual over the future course on research on kinship by investigating domestic domains and the more encompassing legal, political and economic domains in different societies through quantitative and qualitative empirical data, linked to diverse forms of state and political power.
In this way, the conversation looks to provide future insights on how kinship norms that affect care relations in the margins could be re-imagined through a brave recoupling and rerouting of such variegated frameworks as legislation, economics, politics, sexualities, queer, ethnography and gender.

Marie-Andrée Jacob is Professor of Law at Keele University. Her socio-legal work is strongly interdisciplinary, drawing on ethnographic and more recently on archival methods. In 2010 she received the Article Prize of the Socio-Legal Studies Association for ‘The Shared History’: unknotting fictive kinship and legal process’ (Law & Society Review). Her book “Matching Organs with Donors: Legality and Kinship in Transplants” was published in 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. As part of her current research on the category of research integrity, Marie explores modern patterns in the documentation of research regulation and conducts ethnographic observations in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). In 2016-8, she is working on a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, ‘Figuring ‘bad apples’: legal-bureaucratic assemblages of research misconduct, 1850-1990.’

Anna-Maria Tapaninen currently works as research fellow Department of Social Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland.  Dr. Tapaninen is a  one of the leading thinkers and teachers on anthropological studies of kinship in Finland. She has carried out archival research on institutional child abandonment in 19th century Europe, Naples in particular.  She has studied the use of DNA testing for family reunification in the  project DNA and Immigration: Social, political and ethical implications of DNA analysis for family reunification (IMMIGENE) supported by the Academy of Finland and currently in the project Bodies of Evidence: Interplay of documents, narratives and biotechnologies (funded by the Kone Foundation) . Anna-Maria co-edited a book on family reunification (2016), and has published widely on the topic. 

Antu Sorainen is an Academy Fellow and Docent in Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has conducted empirical studies in lesbian court cases and queer inheritance practices, and published work on sexualities in law and urban space. She is the co-author of an anthology on the contingent conceptual history of Sittlichkeit in Finland (with Tuija Pulkkinen). She currently holds a 5-year Academy of Finland Fellowship for a project entitled "Wills and Inheritance Practices in Sexually Marginalised Groups". She is the Director of the research project "CoreKin – Contrasting and Re-Imagining Margins of Kinship" (2016-2020, Academy of Finland).

12.10. Hanne-Marlene Dahl
(Professor, Roskilde University, Society and Globalization)

“Gendered Governance – What is it? And how can we study it?”

Time: 12.10.2016, 10–12
Venue: Auditorium XI, Unioninkatu 34 (Main building), University of Helsinki

A lot has been written about women in politics and gendering as a social and political process of subject production. Although these are important themes of research, I will argue that we also need to study contemporary forms of governance from a different, feminist position, that of gendered governance. Redirecting our attention to the way gendered governance works out (also in different national contexts), I outline an analytical framework for studying it. Gendered governance is a theoretical perspective to study (androgynous) discourses from a feminist perspective being attentive to struggles, silencing and valorizations. I give examples of how it is played out in the framings and policy instruments of neo-liberalism in care.

Hanne Marlene Dahl is a professor at the Dept. of Social Science and Business at Roskilde University. She works with the state and the governance of care, primarily elderly care in a context of the Nordic welfare state. Increasingly, governance of care is about the travelling of discourses between different institutional levels such as international organizations, national and sub-national levels and it involves struggles between and at various levels including resistance and silencing citizens. Dahl studies the logics in the neo-liberal governance of care, their relationship, translation and implications for professional carers, care workers as well as the recipients of care. Dahl has participated in national, European and international research projects, co-edited two books ‘Dilemmas of Care in the Nordic Welfare State – Continuity and Change’ and ‘Europeanization, Care and Gender: Global Complexities’ and published widely in international journals. She is currently writing a book entitled “Struggles about (Elderly) care – a feminist View” for Palgrave to be published in the beginning of 2017.

8.11. Joanna Mizielinska
(Associate Professor, Sociology at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities)

“Families of Choice in Poland”

Time: 8.11.2016, 14–16
Venue: Lecture hall D112, Unioninkatu 38 D (Topelia), University of Helsinki

The subject of my lecture is rooted in many sources. First, it goes back to my previous work on the translation of queer theory into non-Anglo-American context and de-centring Western sexualities. In a way, it is about “diagnosing” the situation of hegemonic over-determination of non-Anglo-American queer studies by Anglo-American one. Second, it is mostly based on my recently finished research project on “Families of choice in Poland” which was 3 years (2013-2016) multi-method research concentrated on daily life of non-heterosexual families. Its findings often contest Western theories of same-sex intimacies and relationships. Instead they demonstrate how theoretical tools developed in different geo-temporal context need to be tailored to the lived experience of participants. Social factors that have impact on family and intimate life of non-heterosexual people are embedded in their local context and shaped by specific understandings of what it means to build a family and gain any forms of recognition. On chosen examples from the fieldwork I want to demonstrate how certain concepts born in the Anglo-American contexts and described in books on queer families/kinship do (not) work in different geo-temporal realities or work differently. Therefore, the aim of my lecture is twofold. First, to highlight how geo-temporal conditions shape LGBTQ intimate and family experience and as such unsettle dominant Western knowledge on queer kinship. And second, to show the urgent need for a greater attentiveness to spatial and temporal choices in any theorising on queer family and intimate lives.

Joanna Mizielinska is Associate Professor at the Institute of Psychology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Principal Investigator of the project Families of Choice in Poland (2013-2016),which is the first multi-method project on non-heterosexual families in Poland. Her work moves in a large area of intimate relations, gender and sexual politics, and she has published widely on queer families, empirical studies on relatedness, post-social sexualities and translations of queer theory. Specialist on the CEE sexualities, she works currently on the politics of family in Anglo-Saxon queer theory. She is an expert in LGBTIQ issues, conducting qualitative and quantitative research which demanded close co-operation with various LGBTIQ groups and organisations. Previously she worked for the University of Social Sciences and Humanities from 2006-2013 as an Associate Professor at the Institute of Sociology (2009-2013) and as a Director of that Institute (2012). She was a Fullbright scholar at Princeton University, where she worked under the supervision of Professor Judith Butler. Joanna has also been a visiting researcher in the Helsinki University as well as in Sweden. She has published the book Families of choice in Poland. Family life of nonheterosexual persons (with Marta Abramowicz and Agata Stasińska, 2015), co-edited De-Centring Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspective (with Robert Kulpa, 2011) and edited a special issue of lambda nordica "in transition?: central/eastern European sexualities" (2012).

22.11. Sara Edenheim
(University Lecturer, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS) Umeå University)

Lost and Never Found – The Queer Archive of Feelings and Its Historical Propriety

Time: 22.11.2016, 14–16
Venue: Lecture hall D112, Unioninkatu 38 D (Topelia), University of Helsinki

In research and activism concerning the queer archive-of-feelings, few historians have openly engaged in the discussion on the limits and possibilities of the archive per se. As an historian, I want to provide a critical perspective on this debate and an analysis of historicity, historical methodology and, foremost, fantasy. Is there really such an unambiguous difference between the historian’s view on the traditional archive, filled with bureaucratic waste, and the assumed radical archive-of-feelings, consisting of ephemerals and “feelings”? Is it not with the future in mind that both the historian and the queer archivist insist on conserving documents and feelings alike?

Through an analysis of an art exhibition, described by the curators as presenting a unique and radical queer archival activism that disdains the traditional archive for excluding (queer) feelings, I reach a different conclusion where the traditional archive may be seen in a new light: or rather, in a new darkness, where the implications of the (Lacanian) negativity on queer theory and politics are addressed and a too ‘future-oriented’ version, foremost represented by Halberstam, is criticized. 

Sara Edenheim is a senior lecturer at Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Umeå University, Sweden and associate professor in History from Lund University, Sweden. Her recent publications in English are “Representations of Equality: Processes of Depoliticization of the Citizen-Subject”, in Gendered Citizenship and the Politics of Representation (co-authored with Malin Rönnblom) (2016); “Performativity as a symptom: the trembling body in the works of Judith Butler”, Lambda Nordica vol. 20 (2015) “Lost and Never Found: The Queer Archive of Feelings and Its Historical Propriety”, differences 24:3 (2014).


Earn credits for attendance

Students at the University of Helsinki (including PhD students) can get up to 2 study points by attening the seminars and writing a learning diary.

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Christina research seminar pays tribute to gender studies, and the history of Queen Christina’s name connected to this field of studies at the University of Helsinki.

The open lectures are organized in together with the doctoral programme Gender, Culture, and Society.