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Center for Gender Studies, Karlstad University, 2015

Postal address: Karlstad University, SE-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden
Visiting address: Universitetsgatan 2
Web page: http://www.sam.kau.se/genusvetenskap/
Contact person: Professor Ulf Mellström, Head, Centre for Gender Studies, phone: +46 (0)54-700 2013

The Center for Gender Studies (CFG) is a multidisciplinary research centre at Karlstad University, where scholars from several disciplines meet and cooperate interdisciplinary, as well as side by side within their mother disciplines. Religious Studies, Cultural Geography, Sociology, Economics and Literature are some of the disciplines more active in the present group. CFG has existed since 1 January 2006.

South Asia related activities at the Center

The Center for Gender Studies at Karlstad University wants to develop the post-colonial and third world aspects of gender theory, gender equality work, women’s rights, and conflict solution. Since Karlstad University already has a long well-established collaboration with the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India (more information about the collaboration), it has been natural for CFG to cultivate contacts there.
Professor Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya is Head of the Dept. of Political Science, and Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences at BHU. Her research fields cover ”Communal and Ethnic conflicts in South Asia and their cross border ramifications” and ”Gender and Conflict Transformation”. For several years she has been one of the key persons within Karlstad University’s India Program, serving as a supervisor for many students. She has another Swedish connection with the Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University. She received an Advance International Diploma in Conflict Resolition fom this department in 1990, and has later come back and carried out some advanced research. In 2001 Dr. Upadhyaya worked as the Director (Research) of INCORE, United Nations University Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity, at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

In August 2006, Cristina Grenholm, Professor of Religious Studies and Gender Studies was given SEK 20 000 as a SASNET grant to cover a guest lecture programme to bring Prof. Upadhyaya to Sweden (more information about the SASNET grants 2006). In the Fall 2006 she therefore visited both Karlstad University and the Centre for Gender Studies at Stockholm University. Professor Upadhyaya lectured at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels, on topics such as ”Women and Development: A Critical Agenda”; ”Role of Women in Political Participation in India”; ”Development, Multiculturalism and Indigenous Peoples”; and ”Conflict Resolution and issues of Gender – South Asian and other International examples”.

In October 2012, Professor Ulf Mellström was granted a project grant from the Swedish Research Council (total amount SEK 4.58 m in three years, 2013-15) for a comparative study in Educational Science, together with Associate Professor Per-Anders Forstorp, Culture, Society & Media Production, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture (ISAK), Linköping University, Campus Norrköping. The project is entitled ”Beyond the national university: Global corporate universities in India, Brazil and Dubai”.
Project abstract: Higher education worldwide is object to great challenges and changes and faces rethinking the idea and practice of universities. In this application two interrelated and general phenomenon are at the center of these changes and challenges: globalization and commodification. Following the neoliberal restructuring of global higher education we can observe increasing differentiation and stratification both regarding traditional national universities and new form for higher education. We can note the increasing degree of cooperation between universities on a global scale which results in mobility of teachers and students, mobility of careers, joint platforms for providing education and organization. We can also discern new actors on the market of higher education in the form of corporate universities with global ambitions. This project is situated at the nexus of these tendencies and developments through focusing on global corporate universities that are accredited. The aim of the project is to study three corporate universities and an international interest organization for corporate higher education (Infosys, Petrobras. Hult International Business School/Education First och Global Council of Corporate Universities). Based on field studies of these cases the questions concern pedagogy and learning, values and epistemology, and goals and motivations.

Jagriti Tanwar is an Indian PhD student and guest fellow at Centre for Gender Studies since January 2013, funded by a Swedish Institute scholarship, and working with Professor Mellström. Otherwise she is based at Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany. Tanwar’s research focuses on employment behaviour of women around marriage and childbirth in service sector in India and also look at the welfare policies for working women. The project is entitled ”Exit or Re-entered Women: Service Sector, Social Policies and Welfarism in India”. She hopes to defend the PhD thesis during 2014.
In 2011 Jagriti Tanwar participated in SASNET’s Third Nordic Conference on South Asian Studies for Young Scholars in Falsterbo. More information.