Web page: http://www.genderexcel.org
In 2006, the Swedish Research Council granted 20 million SEK to establish a Centre of Gender Excellence (GEXcel), at the inter-university Institute of Thematic Gender Studies, Linköping University & Örebro University for the period 2007-2011. Linköping University added 5 million SEK as matching funds, while Örebro University added 3 million SEK as matching funds. GEXcel was created as a temporary (5 year), collegium-like excellence international centre for Advanced Gender Studies. This inter-university institute has been located at the Department of Gender Studies, Linköping University, the Center for Feminist Social Studies (CFS), Örebro University, and the Division of Gender and Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University.
In 2011, the Swedish Research Council made an evaluation of the “Centres of Gender Excellence” (CGEx) at Uppsala, Umeå and Linköping-Örebro in collaboration. The evaluation panel concludes that the Centres have established both new and internationally recognized gender research and that the CGEx grants have facilitated research at a higher level of quality and greater international impact than would have been possible through individual research grants. The evaluation will form a basis for decisions on further calls using Centres of Excellence as a funding instrument. Read the evaluation.
• Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden (Tema Genus, hus T)
• Center for Feminist Social Studies (CFS), Faculty of Social Sciences, Örebro University, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden (Långhuset, Fakultetsgatan 1)
• Division of Gender and Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine; Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden (Hälsans hus, entrance 15, 10th floor )
GEXcel Director: Prof. Nina Lykke (Linköping University)
GEXcel Co-directors: Prof. Anna G. Jónasdóttir (Örebro University); Prof. Anita Göransson (Linköping University); and Prof. Jeff Hearn (Linköping University).
GEXcel has had a mission to carry out new research, and one of the aims was to create a platform for a more permanent Sweden-based European Collegium for Excellent and Advanced Transnational and Transdisciplinary Gender Research. A core activity of GEXcel is a Visiting Fellows Programme, set up to attract excellent senior researchers as well as promising younger scholars from Sweden and abroad and with backgrounds in a variety of disciplines and interdisciplines. Together with local staff, the visiting fellows will jointly carry out thematically organized gender research under the direction of one of the six local Gender Studies professors, who are responsible for the programme. Fellowships are regularly announced as well as publications, seminars, conferences and other events.
During the period August 2007 – August 2008, GEXcel worked on the theme no. 1: ”Gender, Sexuality and Global Change”. The team leader for this theme has been Prof. Anna Jónasdóttír. The idea guiding this research program is the need for a new approach to thinking about sexuality and its relationship to gender. The objective was to contribute to feminist thought and gender theory and research by developing a specific, complex conception of sexuality. It undertakes a shift in perspective from defining sexuality as an identity category to analysing sexuality as a set of relations, activities, needs, desires, productive/reproductive powers and capacities, identities, values, institutions, and organizational and structural contexts.
Already in the Fall 2007, the proceedings from GEXcel Theme 1 on Gender, Sexuality and Global Change were published. It included a paper by the Indian PhD Candidate Rajeev Kumaramkandath(photo to the right) from the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) in Bangalore. He spent two months during the Fall 2007 in Örebro, and it resulted in a paper titled ”The Construction and Remembrance of a “Homogenized Home”: Shifting Patterns of Hegemony and Purging out the Deviant Bodies in Keralam”.
Read the full paper, as Chapter 8 in the Progress Report Volume II.
A workshop conference on the same theme (Gender, Sexuality and Global Change) was held in Örebro 22–25 May 2008. Papers were invited from junior and senior scholars whose research directly addresses one of the following three sub-themes: 1) Sexuality, Love and Social Theory; 2) Power and Politics: A Feminist View; and 3) Common and Conflicted: Rethinking Interest, Solidarity, and Action. More information.
Dr. Suruchi Thapar-Björkert (photo to the left) holds a senior lectureship at University of Bristol at the Department of Sociology, but has also an affiliation to Linköping University. During the Fall 2004 she was a guest researcher at the Dept. of Ethnic Studies, supported by ACSIS (Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden, also based at Linköping University Campus Norrköping). During her time in Sweden she gave lectures at different universities. On Tuesday 23 November 2004 she also visited Lund University and gave an interesting SASNET lecture on ”Gendered Caste Conflicts in rural North India”. More information on the lecture.
Later Dr. Suruchi Thapar-Björkert has been connected to GEXcel, and the Division of Gender and Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine; Faculty of Health Sciences at Linköping University.
In 2006 she also completed a project with Integrationsverket, Sweden entitled ”State policy, strategies and implementation in combating patriarchal and ‘honour-related’ violence”.
Her current research focuses on – Globalisation and Caste Violence in India; – Gendered Violence in South Asian Diaspora (with specific focus on Honour violence in UK and Sweden); – Gender, Social Capital and Differential Outcomes among Pakistani Muslims in Bradford; and – Feminist Methodologies. More information on her personal web page.