The locations for the workshops and the abstractbook in PDF-format will be published on this website later on.

Class and Gender

Indigenous movement and gender

Out of the Ordinary: Challenging Commonplace Concepts in Anglophone Literature

Perspectives on Arctic knowledge

Rethinking Citizenship and Belonging in a Global World

Sexualities, gender, age and ethnicity - locally and globally constructed realities and intersecting differences

Traveling truths, traveling tales – translating feminist thinking


Class and Gender

Chair: Kirsti Lempiäinen,  

Thursday 28 November at 15.00 - 19.00 class room: SS18

15.00-15.10 Opening words: Kirsti Lempiäinen
15.10-15.35 Marja-Terttu Kivirinta: Two Artists: Helene Schjerfbeck&Juho Rissanen Gender, Class and the Art Scene in Finland of the early 20th Century
15.40-16.05 Hannele Harjunen: Neoliberal bodies: the Case of the Fat Body
16.10-16.35 Mona Mannevuo: Nobody cares what you had for lunch! Textual performance, class and intimacy on Facebook
16.40- 17.05 Anu-Hanna Anttila: Class and gender order in the servant society
17.05-17.20 Break
17.20-17.45 Lauri Lahikainen: The political ontology of class antagonism and its displacements in social and cultural theory
17.50-18.15 Anna-Leena Riitaoja: Construction of Otherness in everyday encounters of primary education in Finland
18.20-18.45 Jussi Ojajärvi:The Dirty Class, or, the Disposable Worker

28.11. at 15.10-15.35
Marja-Terttu Kivirinta:
Two Artists: Helene Schjerfbeck&Juho Rissanen
Gender, Class and the Art Scene in Finland of the early 20th Century

Framing the historiography of Art history my paper, concentrates on the issues of gender and class. In the center there are two artists, Helene Schjerfbeck and Juho Rissanen, who were evaluated into the Canon of Finnish Art during the early years of the 20th century. They had had their artistic breakthroughs earlier, already at the turn of the century or even before. The focus of my paper is to analyze through the concepts of gender and class the discourses used in the connection of meaning making process of the artists and their art. My point is therefore on the issue of taste, as analyzed by Pierre Bourdieu, on the taste of the middle class that had defined art and the rules of art. The paper is connected to the period of many important historical processes – the 1910’s and 1920’s – the period of the constructing Finnish national art scene and art market as well as that of the World war one and its historical, political, economical and cultural consequences to the building of the nation state Finland. It was the time of slow modernization of Finland as well as many social changes.

The breakthrough of the artists into the art scene was not easy. Especially hard it was for women and young males. Gender, generation and age influenced in the art scene. Besides that there were other reasons, like class, ethnicity and language. The powerful middle class men formed the art scene, some of them were Swedish speaking, but some of them were Finn-nationalists who for political reasons wanted accentuate their native language and Finnish culture.

At that time Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) was between her fifties and sixties, a Swedish speaking artist from the middle class, the value of whose art was noticed by many actors in the art scene; they were art historians, critics, dealers, other artists and so on. The main actor was the dealer Gösta Stenman sure about the quality of her modernistic art that he had achieved a lot into his collection. He wanted to show and sell it. It was the idea of a professional dealer who understood also the importance of publicity and the significance of criticism for the evaluating process. Most of the critics were open to her art and its quality. But as analyzing the discourse of criticism it is possible to differentiate how many of the critics (mostly male) were diminishing it through the representation of her gender. Some of them wrote: ”Is she still alive!” Some of them evaluated her and her art having had the possibility to be ”one of the best” – in the world art/or in the Scandinavian art, if the artist were not female in this case. There was a strong discourse of her as an old and sick woman. But for Schjerfbeck’s own identity very important was equality; she did not want to accentuate herself being a female artist.

Although Juho Rissanen (1872-1950) had got a central place in the art scene already at the turn of the century he could not get rid his background in lower social classes of Kuopio. The taste of middle class critics and dealers dominated. The best part of his art was seen to be that of his early period, in the paintings of ordinary people from the near countryside of Kuopio. In the beginning of the 20th century he had been one of the very few Finnish-speaking artists. For the more or less nationalistic actors of the art scene Rissanen was important because of his “Finnishness” that was important also for his own identity. As an artist he was a kind of symbol of social rise for the national movement, especially in the 1920’s. In spite of that the art historical representation of Rissanen was tight into the modest worker class background of his childhood. Some of the critics were even hostile seeing ”foreign” influences in the paintings he had made before and after the World war one in France. The art historical narrative of Juho Rissanen is full of comical adventures and entanglements. He was looked from up to down, as his art was degusted through middle-class taste. In spite of the studies of Rissanen in several art schools, the myth of him as a self-taught artist is still alive.

28.11. at 15.40-16.05
Hannele Harjunen
: Neoliberal bodies: the Case of the Fat Body

The body has been at the centre of intensive sociological and feminist inquiry at least since the 1980s. Social, political, and moral aspects of the gendered body have been investigated. Especially, the Foucauldian disciplining side of the body has been in focus: how discourses and discursive practices produce normative bodies, how bodies are governed and how technologies of power produce gendered bodies and subjects. So far the economic dimension of the body has been less often examined in social scientific and/or feminist research on the body. Yet, bodies are inevitably produced by the economic conditions and the approach that prevail. Over the past decade “obesity” and “obese” bodies particularly have been in the focus of policies and sanctions that follow neoliberalistic reason. My objective here is to look into the production of the “neoliberal body” and how the neoliberal economic discourse and discursive practice work on the gendered fat body.

28.11. at 16.10-16.35
Mona Mannevuo
: Nobody cares what you had for lunch! Textual performance, class and intimacy on Facebook

In her recent study on Facebook Seija Ridell (2011) noted that Facebook is a place with a demanding audience – other Facebook user-producers. The user-producers tend to be easily annoyed especially when other users do not respect the rules of efficient, informative and modest, yet witty, communication. The values attached to textual performance have, however, their own history. As Melissa Gregg (2011) argues, textual abilities required in Facebook are similar to the ones required in middle-class knowledge work. Those include for example the use of written word with care, and knowing how to perform oneself clearly and interestingly to large audiences.

Interestingly, these rather internalized expectations of proper Facebook communication are similar to the ones brand managers in universities and large companies recommend as productive behavior in social media: do not spam, do not shout, do not bother others with trivial messages etc. As the imperative do not is more often connected to fordist factories than open networks, Alan Liu (2004) asks whether we are in the middle of the complex process of “Fordization of the Face”. Thus, in my paper I ask whether Facebook, with its classed rules of behavior, could work as a material through which one could grasp to this fordization process, also known as the corporatization of intimacy (Illouz 2007).

28.11 at 16.40- 17.05
Anu-Hanna Anttila
: Class and gender order in the servant society

During the last decades, hired domestic cleaning has been mainly a question of tax-reliefs in the Finnish public discussions. However, it is also question of re-emergence of service (or servant) society and class society with an especial connection with gender, class and migration - as for example the Swedish feminists have pointed out in the mid-1990s. It is necessary to contemplate what kind of class, gender and other equality considerations and implications the ‘feminised’ and globalised labour market has produced. To understand the complexity, we have to consider, how class has been made in gender order - and how gender has been made in class order? These questions are both theoretical and practical. I will analyse these aspects with the data of Finnish newspaper articles and the Finnish Parliament records and minutes of plenary sessions (1995–2014) concerning hired domestic work and tax-reliefs. In my presentation I will merely concentrate to open the dimensions of diverged gendered division of labour, class, ethnicity and their intersections. This case study is my sub-project in Voice and Silence of Class project (VoxClass 2012-2014).

28.11 at 17.20-17.45
Lauri Lahikainen
: The political ontology of class antagonism and its displacements in social and cultural theory

Class for Karl Marx, rather than classifying people into predetermined groups, was about changing the world. Class antagonism was about how capitalism, by creating a dispossessed majority, made its own gravediggers. For Bourdieu, class was perhaps no less political, even if he did not subscribe to Marxist theories of historical change.
Today, despite the theoretical renaissance of class, the political - ie. changing the world - aspect of class remains in the margins of social and cultural theory and political philosophy. There are several historical reasons for this, from the defeats of traditional workers' movements to the neoliberalization of academia. These historical reasons notwithstanding, I would also suggest that class antagonism gets both displaced into other social antagonisms and individualized into conflicts within the self. These displacements are not just theoretical and ideological - they also shape and delimit human beings and their capacities to interact with the world individually and collectively.
I will discuss three concepts for mapping the processes that in contemporary capitalism tend to depoliticize and individualize class both theoretically and ontologically: displacement, individualization, and the commodification of human capacities as "human capital". Finally, I will argue that since these processes happen at the intersections of home, school, and work; they are at work in the realms of education, reproduction, care, love and gendered divisions of labour; and they concern identity and the self, theories of gender are especially important in understanding them.
Keywords: Class antagonism, Marx, Bourdieu, Skeggs, Displacement, Individualization, Human capital, Ontology, Philosophical anthropology

28.11. at 17.50-18.15
Anna-Leena Riitaoja
: Construction of Otherness in everyday encounters of primary education in Finland

I discuss how the other is otherised in everyday encounters in primary schools in Finland. My theoretical background derives from postcolonial, poststructural and related feminist literature. I analyse inequalities at the epistemic, discursive, social and material levels paying attention to the intersections of “race”/ethnicity, class, gender and religion. Through the examples from my data, I discuss how the social categories are constructed and hierarchically ordered resulting in various privileged and altered positions for different subjectivities. I also analyse how the other is constructed as deviant and inferior compared with white, middle class, secular-Lutheran and heterosexual subjectivities becoming the object of education, help, righting, and domestication. The data includes ethnographic observation and interview data in two primary schools in Helsinki. The presentation is based on my PhD thesis (Riitaoja 2013).

28.11. at 18.20-18.45
Jussi Ojajärvi: The Dirty Class, or, the Disposable Worker

”The piss surged with power, yet the wind dispersed the shower. I felt the spray in my face. I licked my lips: salty like seawater.” (Arto Salminen, Paskateoria, The Shit Theory, 2001.)

The figure of the ’dirty class’, referring to the habitus of the ‘lower’ or working classes, seems to have re-emerged in contemporary culture and literature. In this presentation, I begin and end with the discussion about the ways in which the Finnish writer Arto Salminen uses the figure in his critique of neoliberalism. Yet I also refer to some other uses of the figure in literary history and contemporary culture. In the context of neoliberal capitalism, the figure of the dirty class seems to have emerged as a cultural counterpart of the socioeconomic figure of the disposable worker (cf. Harvey 2005, 169). In media representations, articulations of dirt may be symptomatic. To clarify this, I am applying the psychoanalytic concept of ’projective identification’ in proposing that the middle-class audiences may use the figure of ’dirty class’ in translating the experience of their own economic insecurity into a cultural binary opposition by the means of which they distantiate themselves from the neoliberal disposability of workers. Simultaneously, the insecurity still in fact may remain their own neoliberal disposability, for often they, too, are neoliberal labor. In Salminen’s critique of neoliberalism, in turn, the figure of the dirty class acts as a diagnostic tool, an ironic – still also ambivalent – way of revealing that under re-intensified commodification and social fragmentation, working class subjects are treated as disposable. 

Indigenous movement and gender

Chair: Irja Seurujärvi-Kari,  


Out of the Ordinary: Challenging Commonplace Concepts in Anglophone Literature

Chair: Joel Kuortti,  

Saturday 30.11. at 09.00-11.00 class room: LS05

09.00-09.30 Joel Kuortti: Out of the Ordinary: South Asian Diaspora Contesting the West
09.30-10.00 Kaisa Ilmonen: Out of the Genre. The Uses of Bildungsroman in the Caribbean
10.00-10.30 Elina Valovirta: Beside Sense: Affect as Method in Sexual Readings 

30.11. at 09.00-09.30
Joel Kuortti: Out of the Ordinary: South Asian Diaspora Contesting the West

Encounters with alterity in postcolonial literary texts frequently foreground the problem of the constitution of the self and the other (Kuortti 2007). The concept of ‘the other’ has been successfully employed in postcolonial literary studies to refer to that which remains outside the self, but in the process ‘the other’ has also become so commonplace that it has in fact become ordinary, not an ‘exotic’, special other. Defamiliarizing that which has generally been considered ordinary – in opposition to the exotic other – may then take us beyond the axiomatic self-other relationships predominantly reproduced in contemporary cultural theories.

By studying Anglophone novels by Indian diasporic, Canadian, and Caribbean writers as well as popular media forms, the research project featured in this panel focuses on that which has been regarded as ordinary, known, self-evident and formulaic. This paper’s subproject partakes in this problematisation by examining the concept of the ordinary in relation to diaspora and diasporic literature with a special focus on gender and ethnicity in works by diasporic South Asian women writers such as Kiran Desai, Ramabai Espinet, Amulya Malladi, Bharati Mukherjee and Manjula Padmanabhan. I argue that the texts by – and the representations of – diasporic South Asians do not yield to simplistic, univocal readings that merely celebrate diasporic, transnational existence, but demand more nuanced engagement with the ordinariness of such conceptions. As the question of transculturality has taken on the emblem of the usual or the expected form of existence, it is the nation and national discourse which then becomes a source of alterity. It is thus essential to examine those postcolonial master narratives of fluid contexts where identities move and mix which supposedly challenge ‘national’ discourses. The hegemony of diasporic narratives posits a demand for new active ethical reading, where the possibilities of the nation to bear upon the diasporic is requestioned instead of the customary embrace of hybridity and the diasporic postcolonial condition.

30.11. at 09.30-10.00
Kaisa Ilmonen: Out of the Genre. The Uses of Bildungsroman in the Caribbean

This paper examines applications of the Western Bildungsroman in the Caribbean literary context, where the novel form is used for identity political purposes in the writings of feminist creole authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, and Ramabai Espinet. Paradoxically, the genre is used in the Caribbean to represent de-colonizing processes of identity construction but the medium itself is imbued with the very models of identity which subjugate the depicted as “Other”, thus defining the other as self. The emancipated “other” in Caribbean Bildung narratives celebrated by postcolonial literary criticism bases itself on the commonplace concepts of Modern individuality of the Bildungs genre. Consequently, one of the most essential features of the Caribbean Bildungsroman is the particular crisis that many protagonists are faced with when they realize that the ideals of individuality are unreachable for them within the Caribbean/postcolonial reality.

The paper addresses the logic of de-familiarisation through dislocation in the context of the Bildungsroman genre. What happens to the genre when it is transferred into a cultural context other than the conditions that led to its emergence? How does the genre of Bildungsroman migrate “out of the ordinary”?

30.11. at 10.00-10.30
Elina Valovirta: Beside Sense: Affect as Method in Sexual Readings

This paper argues that readers’ multifaceted affective and sexual ties to the texts they read can enable re-negotiations of difference that grow out of the seeming ordinariness of the material in question. The ‘sexual feelings’ arising from reading experiences can be mobilized in meaning production by looking at those instances of Anglophone global culture often dubbed as ordinary, banal or already known to produce certain harmful stereotypes such as women’s literature (chick lit, mommy porn) or representations of Black women in hip hop culture. The ways in which these forms of culture are represented within the popular media and written reception (professional and amateur reviews) denote that the ordinary could stand re-scrutiny by an approach which sees it neither as automatically oppressive or emancipatory but as productive of myriad affects that can be mobilized for feminist readings.

Sexuality appears as the key element in meaning-production that takes place through affectivity, i.e. the ways in which readers engage with texts through feelings, emotions and embodied experiences, either explicitly by the texts’ very outset or implicitly as a result of their reception. The project interrogates theoretical and empirical readers alike and aims to construct a model of reading that not simply facilitates meaning production or exposes patriarchal or imperialist power structures but, rather, that builds on and elaborates Sedgwick’s (2003) notion of reparative reading, a project left unfinished in her introduction to the method.


Perspectives on Arctic knowledge

Chairs: Marjo Lindroth  and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen  

Thursday 28th November 2013 at 15.00-18.00 class room: LS17

15:00-15:10 Welcome and introducing The biopolitics of sustainable development in the Barents region, BIOS, project
15:10-15:50 Monica Tennberg: Governmentalisation of the Barents Region: Regionalism, knowledge and economy
15:50-16:30 Pekka Rantanen: The rise and fall of the Santa Claus Land
16.30-17:10 Joonas Vola: ARCTIC REGALIA - Cultural ’Relics’ in Performing Sovereignty via Economy in the Global North
17:10-17:50 Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen: Vocabularies for human development: Arctic politics and the power of knowledge
17:50-18:00 Discussion

28.11. at 15.10-15.50
Monica Tennberg: Governmentalisation of the Barents Region: Regionalism, knowledge and economy

This paper investigates Nordic scholarship on the Barents Euro-Arctic Region and the ways in which this scholarship has understood the economy as a part of political reasoning and the practice of region-building. Regional governmentality – a political rationality and practice of region-building – requires knowledge about politics and the economy and the connections between the two. In principle, knowledge and experts play a central role in neoliberal regional governmentality by enabling governance at distance and by self-identification. The main discursive practices identified in this genealogical analysis that establish relations between the economic and political spheres in the Barents Region are the need to be governed and the need to have an identity. These discourses are indicative of a process of governmentalisation in the region, a development which has not been fully completed. As a result, the knowledge base about the region and its development is fragmented, limited and partial.

28.11. at 15.50-16.30
Pekka Rantanen: The rise and fall of the Santa Claus Land

Once upon a time there was close to nothing by the Arctic Circle located near to Rovaniemi. There was a sign erected in 1930s to indicate that crossing of the Circle would take place at the spot. Then Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt was to visit Rovaniemi in 1950. This came as a surprise to the presumed hosts. A cabin was erected by the Arctic Circle in a week and was ‘ready to receive its distinguished visitor’. The cabin and the development of the site afterwards have been important for local tourism. Today, there is a huge complex of buildings where tourists can meat the Santa Claus. The presentation studies the growth of the tourism industry in Lapland. The development of local tourism industry is followed by investigating the rise and fall of the Santa Claus Land ltd. The company aimed to promote tourism and trade. It was established in the late 60s and lived actively up to about 1980. The story of the Santa Claus Land ltd. ended there, but its legacy of constructing Finnish Lapland as ‘the original Santa Claus land’ had taken hold. The subsequent boom of the tourism industry in Lapland has used this ‘knowledge’ actively, and the presentation argues that without the immense planning and development efforts of the Santa Claus Land in 1960s and 1970s the Santa Claus would now dwell somewhere else.

28.11. at 16.30-17.10
Joonas Vola: ARCTIC REGALIA - Cultural ’Relics’ in Performing Sovereignty via Economy in the Global North

This study looks into contemporary use of inukshuk in the conflicts of Northern political economy as a signifier of region, livelihoods and violence. Inukshuk is a human figure erected from stones, traditionally used by Inuit in hunting caribou and as navigation aid. In 2011 Chinese animal welfare groups blamed the Canadian government of “racist bias” and “cultural imperialism” for selling their country seal products banned by the European Union.
Business is small but politically sensitive, because sealers are mainly from Inuit communities whose incomes have collapsed due to the melting of Arctic ice and diminishing demand. In PETA’s campaign inukshuk-logo of Vancouver’s Olympic Games was re-established as a violent seal slaughterer. Inuksuk which as an expression of collective labor and approach
toward the surrounding landscape escaped from the local micro-economic context into a global scale of conflicting political economies. Simultaneously it performed mint regalia, sovereign insignia of economic production and rules of exchange in the region. The study asks how the representations of inukshuk expresses the agency and relation between body, collective and landscape as a form of sovereign power in the context of emerging crisis in
political economies relating to indigenous practices, political activism and global bioeconomy.

First part of the paper describes the historical background of inukshuk in the light of anthropological study on material culture, simultaneously estimating and opening the understanding for the agency of material objects and a subjectification defined by acts. Alongside the essence of regalia as the insignia characteristic of sovereign's Body politic is related to material practices of moving within the region and economic subsistence.

Second part continues with the formation of hypothesis on Arctic Regalia by looking into contemporary form of inukshuk which redefine the region in relation to international and global context and the legitimacy of animal based subsistence.

28.11. at 17.10-17.50
Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen: Vocabularies for human development: Arctic politics and the power of knowledge

The Arctic Council has been accorded the status of knowledge holder and knowledge provider for the Arctic region. The paper probes the broader definition-making power of Arctic knowledge, challenging the common notion that the knowledge is value neutral. It argues that attention should be paid to the ways in which power is exercised in and though the various reports and assessments published under the auspices of the Council. The specific focus of the paper is human development and gender as an aspect of that development. The research analyses the Arctic Human Development Report in order to examine the ways in which knowledge defines human development and its agents in the Arctic. The paper draws on Foucault-inspired and feminist approaches to analyse three vocabularies of rule in particular: strength of the community, vulnerability and the need for adaptation. These vocabularies are coexistent and share an emphasis on communities. Yet, questions of gender seldom figure in them, a lack of salience that reveals the power of the partiality of knowledge. The politics of knowledge operates by foregrounding only certain accounts of Arctic development.

Rethinking Citizenship and Belonging in a Global World

Chairs: Tiina Seppälä  and Jarno Valkonen  

Workshop 1 (in English)
Chair: Tiina Seppälä

Thursday 28.11. at 15:00–18:00 class room: SS14

15:00–15:20 Rusten Menard (University of Helsinki): Analysing modalities in the construction of hegemonic and counter discourses; an example involving classifications of equality and difference in a study on social order
15:20–15:40 Ville Erkkilä (University of Helsinki): Belonging and narrating as key structures in nationalistic thought
15:40–16:00 Julia Honkasalo (University of Helsinki): Rethinking citizenship and human rights: Arendt and Butler on the right to belong
16:00–16:20 Coffee break
16:20–16:40 Heino Nyyssönen (University of Tampere): Kaksoiskansalaisuus ja äänestämisen politiikat
16:40–17:30 Discussion

Workshop 2 (in Finnish)
Chair: Jarno Valkonen

Friday 29.11. at 15:00–18:00

15:00–15:20 Pekka Rantanen (University of Tampere): Navigating registration and administration in Finland: foreign-born persons’ experiences of authorized belonging
15:20–15:40 Marja Alastalo & Riikka Homanen (University of Tampere): Doing ‘official’ belonging in the practices of residence registration and population statistics
15:40–16:00 Mikko Hautakangas (University of Tampere): Young Men’s Media Participation, Citizenship and Sense of Belonging
16:00–16:20 Coffee break
16:20–16:40 Mari Maasilta (University of Helsinki): Social networks as a source of relevant information about society
16:40–17:00 Tiina Räisä (University of Helsinki): Refugee woman of the year, media rituals as verbal practices of “tolerance”
17:00–17:20 Katja Mäkinen (University of Jyväskylä): Scales of EU-citizens’ identity and participation
17:20–18:00 Discussion

28.11 at 15.00-15.20
Rusten Menard: Analysing modalities in the construction of hegemonic and counter discourses; an example involving classifications of equality and difference in a study on social order

In this paper I approach belongingness in relation to how hegemonic, exclusionary discourses are built as well as disarticulated, resisted and reformulated in communication using modalities. In social semiotics, modality generally describes the relational, classificatory, communicative resources that construct positions speakers take towards the content of their speech as well as those that build solidarity and distance in interaction. In storylines (representation), modalities qualify categorisations, produce values and draw moral boundaries. In enunciation (interaction), they construct the image of speakers and addressees. Modalities function in negotiating power dynamics, controlling the validity of representations, and ordering discourses.

My aim is to demonstrate the centrality of modalities in building and disarticulating hegemonies, as well as to present one means of analysing modalities as resources that operate at microinteractional and macrostructural levels of discourse. Modal analyses can assist critical researchers in identifying not only the categories that frame a particular interaction, but also in delineating the normative knowledge structures to which various differences are compared and expected to simulate; they are therefore valuable for illuminating dominant and counter discourses.

Using textual examples, I demonstrate modal analyses of hegemonic and counter discourses, focusing on evaluative classifications arguably focal in contemporary Finnish social structuring: those of equality, sameness and difference. The examples come from my research dealing with positioning and the interpersonal production of socially salient values in lay conceptualisations of social order, and were written by people with variant socially determined potentials for being categorised as ‘different’: People from the general population, people diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and people with transgendered life experiences.

The analyses show that dominant, naturalising discourses affect modal articulations; how and in what form they tend to surface in text production. At the same time, although discourses are prescribed by convention and cultural habits, they are also shaped by relational categorisations that are performed and chosen by subjects. As such, modalities are intimately entangled in both invisible and concrete power relations that are involved in the formation of knowledge; whether dominantly, homogenously and somewhat statically constructed, or resistant, a bit more dialogical and potentially creating something new. The modal analyses also illuminate a struggle in Finland in relation to the meaning of equality; between producers of an equality that demands sameness and producers of an equality that seeks to accommodate, simultaneously, both equality and difference.

28.11. at 15.20-15.40
Ville Erkkilä: Belonging and narrating as key structures in nationalistic thought

My paper analyzes citizenship as a shared narrative to resort emotions and memories in a way that traumatic breach(es) in individual’s and group’s life becomes possible to live through and set aside as the past. As a historical example I study ways to cope the Civil War traumas in 1920’s Finland.

Then winners of the war were able to explain and justify their personal losses and emotions of sorrow, fear and aggression through a story of pure army of people who banished the historical nemesis, and the masses infected by its lies. Thus the losing side, “the reds”, were excluded from the core of the new born Nation, and denied citizenship, but also from their right to commemorate and work through personal traumatic memories as a part of an eternal community, the Nation.

As winning side’s political unity started to fragment, local ways to repeat the healing and explanatory power of narrative of independence distinguished, and started to reproduce other distinctions and identities. They were twisted branches of original narrative, but still brought feeling of belonging instead of traumatic helplessness. Special attention in this paper is cast to the AKS, homosocial student association, which created a strong reparative narrative of masculine warrior-nationalism, based on extreme emotions of hatred and love.

28.11. at 15.40-16.00
Julia Honkasalo: Rethinking citizenship and human rights: Arendt and Butler on the right to belong

This paper problematizes the legal interrelation between citizenship and human rights, with a particular focus on the question of Stateless people and undocumented immigrants. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt declares that the most fundamental human right should be the right to belong to a political community. This right she defines as ‘the right to have rights’. Arendt argues that people are not equal due to some universal characteristic of equality, such as humanity. Instead they become recognized as ‘human’ and ‘equal’ by becoming members of a political community that grants its members equal participatory rights, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, sexuality or gender for instance. Human rights should thus be regarded as more than mere citizenship rights, and therefore as rights that protect also stateless people, such as refugees and undocumented immigrants. In more recent feminist political theory, Judith Butler has built on Arendt in order to theorize non-national forms of belonging. Through a reading of Arendt and Butler, I ask: how can we understand human rights outside the model of the nation-state and citizenship? Furthermore, in what principle ought ‘the right to have rights’ be grounded?

28.11. at 16.20-16.40
Heino Nyyssönen: Kaksoiskansalaisuus ja äänestämisen politiikat

Paperi tarkastelee kaksoiskansalaisuuskäytäntöjä eri Euroopan maissa, erityisesti Euroopan itälaidalla. Samalla paneudutaan erilaisiin käsityksiin kaksoiskansalaisuudesta ja niiden poliittiseen käyttöön. Tutkimus taustoittaa Unkarin uutta vaalilakia, joka ensimmäistä kertaa antaa naapurimaissa asuville unkarilaisvähemmistöille äänioikeuden valtiollisissa vaaleissa 2014. Ulkounkarilaisten avulla Unkarin hallitus tavoittelee poliittista tukea, ja täysin uusi asetelma voi muuttaa vaalitulosta merkittävästi. Silti tarkempi tarkastelu osoittaa käytännön yleisemmäksi: Jo itse EU:n alueella kaksoiskansalaisuuden käytännöt ovat kirjavia, ja kansalaisuuden myöntäminen tai sen saamisen helpottaminen kuuluvat valtiotason politiikkaan. Tämä herättää kysymyksiä valtiollisesta suvereniteetista ja kansalaisten asemasta, ja käytännöt voivat vaihdella aina paluumuutosta erilaisiin lapsihuoltajuuskiistoihin. Kun kansalaisuuteen kuuluu olennaisena osana myös äänioikeus, paperissa kysytään, miten kaksoiskansalaisuudesta on tullut poliittisen vallantavoittelun väline. Esimerkiksi Romania on hyödyntänyt Moldovan kaksoiskansalaisia poliittisessa kamppailussa, ja Italia tai Kroatia valinneet ulkokansalaisilleen kiintiön parlamentissa. Missä määrin tämä tuottaa uudenlaista kuulumista ja missä määrin kyse on historian ja nationalismin revisiosta yli rajojen? Missä määrin tämä voi merkitä ulkokansalaisten ratkaisevaa asemaa vaalituloksessa, jonka seurauksista he eivät ole vastuussa? Paperin teesinä on, että samalla kun valtiolliset raja-aidat ovat madaltuneet, havaittavissa on yrityksiä määritellä kansakuntaa ja sen rajoja uudelleen.

Workshop 2 (in Finnish)

29.11. at 15.00-15.20
Pekka Rantanen: Navigating registration and administration in Finland: foreign-born persons’ experiences of authorized belonging

People who move to Finland for different reasons for a longer time are required to register their stay at the local registering office. The registration is linked with the access to social rights as a resident in a given municipality, though the access calls for additional steps within the administrative system. The web-pages of the government site concerning registration describe it in their frequently asked questions section under the heading “what does registration mean?” The answer does not really tell what registration means. Rather, it states what information is collected from migrants, and towards which ends this information is used by the Finnish government. Drawing on interviews with migrants and refugees settled in Finland, this paper focuses on foreign-born persons’ experiences of registering at local municipality offices and navigating in Finnish administration system. Based on these insights, we show how the knowledge concerning the significance of registration varies, and making sense of the Finnish administration takes effort to understand. A need to handle a particular institutional matter leads to better understanding of administrative system. The particular issue at stake may have different consequences in migrants’ lives depending how well they knew the system. Knowledge for handling these institutional matters is pivotal and come unevenly from variety of sources. The interviews have been collected as a part of the ongoing research project ‘Mobile people: Challenges to Population Statistics and Population Forecasts’.

29.11. at 15.20-15.40
Marja Alastalo & Riikka Homanen:
Doing ‘official’ belonging in the practices of residence registration and population statistics

In citizenship studies full national citizenship is no longer considered as the only expression of formal belonging. Instead, official belonging is viewed as enacted in multiple interlinked practices of state authorities. In our presentation we explore doing ‘official’ belonging in the practices of residence registration and population statistics in Finland. In Finland, migrants are required by law to register at local magistrate offices or, more recently, in cases of short-term migrant labor at the local tax offices. The state objective is to compile comprehensive population statistics based on administrative registers.

We draw on ethnographic material collected at local register offices in two big cities and documentary material from various sites of controlling migrants’ registration and population statistics compilation. The analysis shows that the practices of migrant registration and population statistics compilation can be viewed as practices of enacting belonging and lack thereof. For example, registration is the precondition for access to welfare state services and benefits, such as health and social services. Not everybody is, however, eligible for registration of certain statuses or in general. Further, it seems that the practices of interpreting the laws on registration at the offices vary according to the country of origin and change over time. Overall, it seems that the state is keen to get basic information from the migrants via registration but not to offer residence-based social rights and benefits, and, thus, official belonging.

29.11. at 15.40-16.00
Mikko Hautakangas: Young Men’s Media Participation, Citizenship and Sense of Belonging

Mass media plays an important part in the functions of democracy and the formation of citizenship. On one hand, mass media, and particularly journalism, has a crucial role as “the fourth estate”, informing citizens about the actions of the power elites and providing arenas where citizens can discuss the common issues of the society (“the public sphere”). On the other hand, the media representations and discourses, including popular media and entertainment, shape our understanding of how our world works and who we are (“identity politics”). The first view on media is directly connected to political and economic citizenship, whereas the latter has been discussed mostly in the framework of cultural citizenship, “the right to know and speak” (Miller 2011, 57).

Cultural studies has paid extensive attention to the role that media culture plays in including or excluding certain groups in the society, i.e. producing recognition and sense of belonging as “valid citizens”. Understandably such studies have focused on the experience of oppressed groups; for instance, the question of gender and media has mainly been problematized within feminist and queer studies. Such studies have foregrounded the role of media in reproducing gender and related power structures, and also paid attention to the empowering potential that media provides in the socialization of girls as active members of the society.

However, the similar attention to male gender has been scarce – boys have been “the invisible norm”, and their gendered processes of socialization and participation have been neglected in research. How do young men relate to public discourses? On what kind of arenas do they feel comfortable participating in? Or, on what arenas do they feel excluded? What kind of “alternative citizenships” are voiced through media participation, especially in the internet communities and subcultures?

This presentation is based on the research project Young Men’s Media Culture and Participation (“Pojat ja nuoret miehet mediakansalaisina”). The project approaches the questions of citizenship and sense of belonging by studying the media use and participation of boys and young men in contemporary Finland. The project was launched in April 2013 and is designed to end in August 2014. It is funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and it takes place in Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication, in University of Tampere. The theoretical framework of the study builds on social sciences and cultural studies; especially on the fields of audience studies, gender studies and studies of digital culture and social media.

29.11. at 16.20-16.40
Mari Maasilta: Social networks as a source of relevant information about society

Keeping members of society informed of news and current affairs is important for participation in social life and for community integration. Migrant women out of labor force are in danger to be marginalized because they are often disconnected from news media that disseminate this information. Migrant women follow fewer traditional media, use less Internet and are more dependent on help from other family members than other migrants (Maasilta, Simola & af Heurlin 2008; Maasilta 2010; Rydin & Sjöberg 2008).

New media, especially the Internet and various types of social media, have become important sources of information and provide new ways to connect other people and institutions. Regular encounters with family members and friends (strong ties) do not necessarily increase knowledge or lend migrant women for discussing current issues or politics of the new society. To reach a larger number of contacts and traverse greater social distance home-staying migrant women need social networks besides to kin relationships. Through interpersonal contacts with local people (weak ties) they can get access to information different from otherwise received. (Granowetter 1973; 1983.)

This paper presents a new research project that aims to study the role of social networks and interpersonal communication in migrant women’s engagement in the Finnish society and the emotions related to these communication processes. The study asks what kind of new media-based (e.g. social media, mobile phone) or non-media-based networks and interpersonal connections migrant women have and with whom. What kind of information about public issues is shared in these relationships and how does it help migrant women to engage in civic life in the Finnish society? What links are there between interpersonal communication, unofficial networks and civic engagement? And what is the role of emotions and affections in the networked interpersonal communication?

The study will apply ethnographic methods, innovative audience research strategies and social network analysis. It will be conducted with 30 migrant women out of labor force that are networking with local volunteer women offering them tuition in integration, literacy or practical issues related to everyday life.

29.11. at 16.40-17.00
Tiina Räisä: Refugee woman of the year, media rituals as verbal practices of ”tolerance”

Since 1998 the Finnish Refugee Coucil has annually nominated and rewarded a refugee women of the year. The project can be said to be aiming at negotiating growing hate speech tendencies in Finland this kind of political programs can, obviously, be regarded as convinient or correct ways to rethink and re-express the discussion on refugees and immigrants. The assumption appear to be that instead of hate and hostility we need good examples, best practices that can balance the (most often) negative or problem-oriented texts on “immigrant issues”.

The political project “the refugee women of the year” is in the analysis regarded as an example of a media ritual (Couldry 2003, Sumiala 2013). It highlights the need to understand also culturally close media rituals (compared to the death of princess Diana) also as political pograms that are distributed in certain historical moments for rather specific ideological purposes.

I use critical discourse analysis (Fairclough and Wodak 1997) and the concept of language strategies (Wodak et al 2009) in the analysis of “editorial” products (press releases as news articles) published in Hufvudsstadsbladet during 1998–2012. The mediated ritual takes place every year at the International Womens Day. By focusing on the strategic language and the journalistic product published in Hbl I try to understand what constitues a good refugee, or more specifically, a good refugee woman in Finland? What can she do, or be, as semantically coherent verb constructions? How can the mediated discourse of refugee women in Finland be explained? What do these texts tell us about the practical interpretations of “integration” – what does the concept actually translate into? – especially when contrasted to the concept of assimilation (”making the same”)? And finally, and most important: what are the consequences of this kind of ritual and repetitative programs and the ritual language practices for the majority’s (being the target group of these messages) understanding, knowledge, of refugee women in Finland? I will present my findings of the linguistic analysis and I look forward to input on the ideological, sociological and cultural approaches to the langauge data. 

29.11. at 17.00-17.20
Katja Mäkinen:
Scales of EU-citizens’ identity and participation

Citizenship means membership in a polity, but due to multilevel governance and many other international and sub-national transformation processes, it is not clear, what the polity is. The membership consists of multiple kinds of relations between citizens and community. This presentation focuses on identity and participation as central dimensions of citizenship.

In this presentation, I will analyse the scales of citizenship in two sets of material: a) EU-documents regarding EU-programmes on citizenship and youth and b) texts produced within the projects funded by these EU-programmes. My aim is to find out, in each set of material, which communities are relevant as polities and how citizens' relations to these polities are constructed through identity and participation.

In the texts given by the EU-institutions concerning EU-programmes on citizenship and youth, citizenship is addressed from the territorial perspective: both identity and participation are defined with attributes which emphasise "Europeanness". In this "European" citizenship, national, regional and local levels are present to some extent, whereas global level is absent. Citizenship is seen as a channel through which citizens may feel belonging with the European Union and with each other in different member states. Citizenship is thus equated with the concept identity. To be a Union citizen means to share a certain "European identity" defined primarily with cultural attributes such as values and heritage. Participation, too, is discussed as a way to create this kind of belonging.

When moving from the official EU-documents to the material produced by the projects funded by the programmes, it is possible to find different kind of stories about the scales of citizenship. In this presentation, I am analysing how different territorial levels are represented in the texts written in a project funded by the Youth in Action -programme and in a project funded by the Citizens for Europe -programme. These narratives about identity and participation include similar elements to official EU-documents, but their relations to different territorial levels appear more complex.

Sexualities, gender, age and ethnicity - locally and globally constructed realities and intersecting differences

Chairs: Jeff Hearn, Tammy Shefer, Katarina Jungar  
ja Jukka Lehtonen  

FIRST SESSION Thursday 28.11.2013 at 15:00-18:00 (chair Tamara Shefer)
class room: 115 Fysiikka

15:00-16:30 Symposium: Engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being
16:30-17:00 Rob Pattman: How can qualitative research with young women and men in South Africa contribute to good pedagogic practices in sexuality education?
17:00-17:30 Floretta Boonzaier: Methodological disruptions: Interviewing domestically violent men across a ‘gender divide’
17:30-18:00 Jukka Lehtonen: LGBT youth work in Finland and in South Africa: focus on data production and aims

SECOND SESSION Friday 29.11.2013 at 9:00-11:00 (chair Jukka Lehtonen)
class room: 115 Fysiikka

9:00-9:30 Tamara Shefer: Gender, power and heterosexual practices in university contexts: Campus life as a site of change among young people
9:30-10:00 Raisa Jurva: Older women dating younger men. Heterosexual dynamics with a difference?
10:00-10:30 Auli Arvola Orlander: "What do we want then, men and women? Is there any difference from what the animals want?"
10:30-11:00 Katarina Jungar: African homophobia in Nordic homonationalism

THIRD SESSION Friday 29.11.2013 at 15:00-16:30 (chair Katarina Jungar)
class room: 114 Biologia

15:00-15:30 Jeff Hearn: Men and masculinities in Sweden and South Africa: Learning from a international collaborative project
15:30-16:00 Mbuyiselo Botha & Kopano Ratele: Why Should Anti-Racists African Males Be Pro-Feminist? Engaging Black South African Men in Working for Gender Equality
16:00-16:30 Kopano Ratele: Feminism for African Boys 

28.11. at 15.00-16.30
Symposium: Engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being

Symposium chair: Jeff Hearn (Hanken)
Other participants: Tammy Shefer (University of Western Cape), Kopano Ratele (University of South Africa), Katarina Jungar (Hanken) & Jukka Lehtonen (University of Helsinki)

The new research collaboration project ”Engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being” aims to bring together experts – both researchers and practitioners – working with young people on issues of (i) gender and sexuality, and more specifically masculinity; (ii) different manifestations of violence; (iii) income, racial, cultural, gender/sexual, health, age/generation,and other forms of social (in)equality; and (iv) social well-being among young people in Finland and South Africa. While these issues can be and are often dealt with separately, in this project they are considered as mutually intertwined and productive of each other. The collaborative work will be driven by a critical analysis of research-informed and practice-based insights on policy and programmes directed at engaging youth in the goals of social transformation, including the development of new and the building of old traditions of non-violence, gender, generational and other forms of equality, and sexual citizenship, towards health and social and material well-being. One goal of the project is to share, compare and challenge each other’s analyses of research findings, as well as to do joint analyses and co-publications. The focus will be on research interpretation and practice-based knowledge in the differing contexts of Finland and South Africa, with a specific interest in transforming the dominant discourses on the cause, patterns and explanations of different forms of violence and gender or sexual inequalities in order to attempt to shape and inform research and scholarship, as well as activist and programmatic interventions, in these social contexts. Furthermore the study of the work of organisations and grassroots political and social movements around youth and questions of violence, sexuality, (un)employment, generations, age, sexism and homophobia is important because of the particular situated knowledges that they possess. These discourses can hence be crucial in opening up and enriching these debates in South African and Finnish contexts. In the symposium the new project will be introduced and the aims discussed.

28.11. at 16.30-17.00
Rob Pattman: How can qualitative research with young women and men in South Africa contribute to good pedagogic practices in sexuality education?

The idea that young people are sexual beings provides a point of connection with educational initiatives which advocate ‘participatory’ pedagogies such as Life Orientation which was introduced into South Africa (and other sub-Saharan African countries) in response to the perceived failure of didactic teaching approaches (whether these focused on giving information or moralised about young people having sex) to stem the tide of infection. In this paper I argue for forms of qualitative research, which take the research encounter or event as an important social context, which affects and influences how research participants present themselves and what they say. I discuss the implications of doing critically reflexive qualitative research, which pays close attention to the relational dynamics of the research encounters, for doing analysis and also for working with young people in sexuality education. I draw from group interviews I conducted with black girls attending a formerly Indian gender mixed school and black boys attending a formerly white boys only school in Durban in which issues about sexuality (in conjunction with race) were introduced and addressed in engaged and nuanced ways by the young people themselves (signaling their importance and complexity as themes in their lives).

28.11. at 17.00-17.30
Floretta Boonzaier: Methodological disruptions: Interviewing domestically violent men across a ‘gender divide’

This methodological paper is a commentary on interviewing domestically violent men across a ‘gender divide’. The paper reviews the politics of feminist research, in particular the theoretical insights feminist theorists have made in understanding ‘research across difference’. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews with men who have perpetrated violence against intimate women partners. Consistent with Parker’s (2005) characterization of ‘radical’ research, the paper examines moments where relationships between interviewers and interviewees ‘broke down’, as well as exploring the interview as an encounter as an opportunity for the elaboration of mutual agendas – by both interviewers and interviewees (Banister, Burman, Parker, Taylor, & Tindall, 1994). The paper raises some challenges of feminist research and contributes to contemporary debates on researching across difference.

28.11. at 17.30-18.00
Jukka Lehtonen: LGBT youth work in Finland and in South Africa: focus on data production and aims

As part of the research project ”Engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being” (lead by prof. Jeff Hearn, Academy of Finland 2013-2016) my research focus is on non-heterosexual and transgender young people (their wellbeing, violence they faced, and agency etc.), and the youth work done with them in the LGBT rights organization in Finland and South Africa. I have started to produce data with young people and employees of the national LGBT organization Seta. In my multi-sited ethnography, I produce interviews, focus group and other discussions, observation data, document data (money applications, internet sites, leaflets etc). In Summer 2014 I have done 4 interviews, one focus group interview, observation in youth happenings, and document data collection. There was also produced a large survey on wellbeing of rainbow youth (over 2000 respondents between 15-25 years old), in which I was involved, and will use it as part of my research data. This data was produced by Seta and Youth Research Network. I am interested in various issues, such as what kind of sexuality and gender is constructed/performed in the youth work and by young people, how various other differences (age, social class, ethnicity, ability, health) are linked to that and taken into account in the youth work (inclusion-exclusion, intersectionality), what is the meaning given to youth work and how it is negotiated within the lager environment (projectisation, marketisation, therapeutisation, responsibility), what is the position of young people in activism, and other dilemmas in youth work and its place in society. In the presentation I will concentrate on some methodological issues of my work and discuss the position of the South Africa in my research.

29.11. at 09.00-09.30
Tamara Shefer: Gender, power and heterosexual practices in university contexts: Campus life as a site of change among young people

Recent high profile cases of alleged sexual harrassment at South African universities have brought a renewed national focus to the challenges of gender inequalities and gender-based violence in higher education. A range of contemporary empirical studies similarly highlight how normative gender roles and gender power inequalities, intersecting with a range of other markers of difference and disadvantage, such as class, ‘race’, nationality and age, are reflected and reproduced in tertiary educational campus life in South African contexts. Arguably higher education has the imperative to not only ensure the safety of young people while they are studying, but also to provide a critical and supportive framework for challenging the campus and larger social framework of gender and other inequalities as they are articulated through heterosexual practices. This paper elaborates on key themes emerging from a study with a group of students that speak to the challenges faced with respect to gender and other forms of inequality in the particular context of campus life. These include: the construction of campus as a sexualised space; the continued reproduction of binaristic gendered expectations of male and female sexualities in the negotiation of heterosex; normative practices of transactional sex which articulate a range of power inequalities; and the pervasiveness of coercive, violent, non-equitable and unsafe sexual practices and relationships. While many of these findings are not new in the South African and international literature on gender, heterosexual practices and HIV/AIDS, campus life clearly represents a specific location with particular contextual factors that serve to both reflect and reinscribe a range of social inequalities and divides. Addressing such practices in a more nuanced approach that accounts for the multiple, intersecting and complex dynamics of gender norms and heterosexual practices among young people in higher education, may be a productive space to impact on graduates who are expected to play leadership roles in civil society.

29.11. at 09.30-10.00
Raisa Jurva: Older women dating younger men. Heterosexual dynamics with a difference?

According to recent studies of heterosexual couples in the Nordic countries equality is not present or strived for. Rather, women and men express a strong resistance to equality. (Magnusson 2008; 2005.) Feminist research has pointed out that heterosexual conventions and also narratives of romantic love contribute to problematic positions for women. It seems that the concept of equality is ill-fitting to intimate relationships because it often connotes juridical rights and contracts, which does not describe how intimate relations work. Husso (2003) points out that empiric studies of relationships do not support the idea of independent individuals who cognitively recognize their own wishes and rights, and thereafter rationally act according to them. Rather, people have unconscious desires and dependencies, and also efforts to control and manipulate their partners in relationships. It has been suggested that nowadays the institutions have somewhat lost their power to give significance to heterosexual relationships and relationships are being perceived as more individualized. This also entails greater responsibility to emotional sustainability within the relationship when there is less institutional support for the relationship. Nevertheless it can also be misleading to downplay the significance that the institutions still have on people living in heterosexual relationships. Gross (2005) explains that while regulative traditions of institutionalized heterosexuality, such as marriage, have declined, meaning-constitutive traditions, which promote romantic love remain significant in organizing intimate relationships. In my doctoral thesis I analyze women’s narration of their heterosexual relationships in general and of relationships with a substantially younger man in particular. The unconventional age difference might position these women somewhat differently within heterosexual dynamics, which can make visible the norms regulating heterosexual relations. I ask: How do women make sense of their experiences of heterosexual relationships, age and gender? and What kinds of subjectivities are constructed in women’s narration of their relationships in general and with a younger man in particular? The material consists of 20 thematic interviews with open-ended questions, which will be analysed by tracing discourses and modalities. With these analytical tools I wish to provide understanding of how cultural, social and individual aspects of heterosexuality are intertwined in the interviewees’ accounts of their lived experiences.

29.11. at 10.00-10.30
Auli Arvola Orlander: "What do we want then, men and women? Is there any difference from what the animals want?"

The purpose of the study is to discuss and problematize notions of femininity and masculinity constructed in teaching situations among Swedish upper-secondary students studying Natural Science. The empirical material comes from a teaching session with the theme of sex education. For the moment I’m focusing on the metaphors inherent in a lesson that has its origins in the animal world. The preliminary result shows that the lesson "sex and relationships in the animal world" is full of anthropomorphism - metaphors that humanize animal behavior. Teachers and students compare the animals' sexual behavior with human behaviour, with the result that the animal world can be perceived as representative of 'the natural sexual behavior'. The survey illustrates the problems of how the examples are permeated by cultural values ​​in the presentation of the animal world and how these examples form constructions of femininity and masculinity in the classroom.

29.11. at 10.30-11.00
Katarina Jungar: African homophobia in Nordic homonationalism

African homophobia has lately been widely discussed as a concern in political debate and in popular media in Finland, Norway and Sweden. In this paper I am analyzing this Nordic discussion about the homophobia of others. More specifically I am doing a close reading of various pictures of maps of the African continent with different shades of criminalization of homosexuality, that has emerged lately in mainstream media and in publications by national development agencies. The empirical material is taken from www pages of Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian Ministries and national development agencies as well as mainstream local and national newspaper articles. Furthermore www pages of LGBTQ-organizations. The attempt to map African homophobia and in a way trying to understand it in this ways becomes interesting. Mapping Africa has played an important part in colonial imaginations often together with projections of statistics. The paper will also connect these representations to nation building or homonationalism in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Furthermore contrasting these Nordic representations of African homophobia with activist voices on the continent will show the effects some of these representations can have on LGBTQ-struggles in local contexts.

29.11. at 15.00-15.30
Jeff Hearn: Men and masculinities in Sweden and South Africa: Learning from a international collaborative project

Building on earlier collaborations with researchers in South Africa, the project “Hegemonic Masculinities and Men in Sweden and South Africa: Theorising Power and Change” began in 2009 and ran until 2013, led by Jeff Hearn (formerly Linköping University, Sweden) and Robert Morrell (formerly University of KwaZulu-Natal, now University of Cape Town). This collaborative project reviewed critically and reflexively the use of the concept of hegemonic masculinity and associated concepts in the gendered, largely feminist and profeminist, national literatures in the two countries. It also sought to deepen understandings of how to approach work to change men to build gender equity, reduce gender-based violence and improve men’s health. The project brought together teams engaged in theorising and researching men and masculinities to discuss their findings and experience in both research and activism in their different national settings in an effort to enhance understandings of how men relate to power, how they use this power, and how this can be changed. The project engaged both researchers and gender activists in Sweden and South Africa in order to reflect on how the theoretical work can inform and be informed by the applied work of gender practitioners. Six joint meetings and several single country meetings were held between researchers and activists over more than three years. The project examined different ways in which conceptualisation has developed theoretically, comparing the two different political and conceptual locations where it has been employed. While both South Africa and Sweden have strong feminist traditions, they are distinguished by marked differences in history, geopolitical location and socio-economic structure. This in turn raises more general questions on the relation of the travelling of theory and concepts, and national and transnational contexts. In this presentation some of the practical, methodological and theoretical lessons from this project are explored, with a view to informing future collaborative work. The implications of differences and similarities in cross-national collaboration, for example, languages, disciplinary traditions, and relations of research, activism and state responses to social problems, between and within countries and research teams are raised.

29.11. at 15.30-16.00
Mbuyiselo Botha & Kopano Ratele: Why Should Anti-Racists African Males Be Pro-Feminist? Engaging Black South African Men in Working for Gender Equality

How might we go about representing issues of gender equality to African men as ‘pro-black’ – and not a white European and North American women’s thing? While there is highly visible activist, governmental and scholarly attention to gender violence in the country, much of the historical and contemporary political activism and analyses of South Africa have tended to foreground race and/or economic relations over other forms of oppression. Assuming that it is worthwhile to consider both men’s power and men’s fear in relation to gender-based violence, the main question we want to explore in this chapter is not, to what extent can men be feminist but rather should anti-racist and -capitalist African men be pro-feminist too? Entangled with several other questions about the place of feminism in black life and African cultures and traditions, it seems to us that the question of politically conscientised men as feminist subjects – as co-authors of African feminist theory and activism – is one which sooner or later must engage critical male actors involved in struggles around gender equality. It seems that just as feminism shorn of anti-racist and anti-capitalist insight will always be on the defensive in Africa, so will anti-racists without a pro-feminist consciousness be challenged by the issue of sexual and gender-based violence. Thus, first, the paper engages a particular form of anti-male feminist discourse that remains sceptical about accepting African men as co-workers for gender equality and in projects against gender-based violence. And second, we argue for a culturally-grounded anti-patriarchal conscientisation work out of the view that racist and capitalist oppression are only part of many social forces that prevent black men from attaining fully liberated masculinities.

29.11. at 16.00-16.30
Kopano Ratele: Feminism for African Boys

African boys make some feminists uneasy. Not only is it government but in feminist literature produced in South Africa too, black boys tend to be signified not as children but too often simply males. Oddly, some feminist scholarship, similar to technocratic gender and non-feminist literature, puts black boys at risk of patriarchal ills. This paper, primarily addressed to African feminism, but of potential interest to other parties with interest in in boys and gender equality, makes the case for a feminism made for African boys. The case rests on the assumption that educating girls for a feminist, confident, healthier and happier life without empowering African boys with feminist education is to make them vulnerable to the life-threatening attractions of hegemonic, multinational capitalist, white, patriarchal masculinities. While all males may get some patriarchal reward from older men’s power, it is argued that African boys in many countries that face the ravages of social and economic poverty and inequalities are also rendered vulnerable by the hegemonic ideology of multinational capitalist, white, gender order which is not geared to make African boys’ live healthier or happier. Like girls, African boys from poor families and areas are at heightened risk of premature death from disease, violence, and accidents. The paper makes some proposals as to how a feminism for black boys might look like.

Traveling truths, traveling tales – translating feminist thinking

Chair: Heta Rundgren  

Thursday 28th November 15:00–17:30 class room: SS20

15:00–15:30 Katrine Smiet: Travelling Truth. Sojourner Truth and the Transatlantic Trajectories of Intersectional Feminisms
15:30–16:00 Soili Petäjäniemi-Brown: Cultural/Feminist/Non-literary Translation and the Manual for a Life-Support Machine
16:00–16:30 Tuija Pulkkinen: Translating Gender Trouble: How does the writing style travel and which tales does it tell? Politics of philosophy.
16:30–17:00 Heta Rundgren: They wonder 'what she means', then ‘whether she means’, then... it’s in print, and they start reading. “Le rire de la Meduse” and “Sorties” de Hélène Cixous from start to Finnish?
17:00–17:30 Time for discussion with everyone who wants to share their thoughts and experiences in translating feminist thinking (texts, concepts, ideas, cultural identities, stories, ...)

28.11. at 15.00-15.30
Katrine Smiet:
Travelling Truth: Sojourner Truth and the Transatlantic Trajectories of Intersectional Feminisms

My research project takes up the iconic figure and story of Sojourner Truth to think through the relationship between intersectional feminist theorizing from the United States and Europe. To which extent have the European debates on intersectionality (and specifically race/ethnicity within feminist theory) been shaped by the U.S. American debates? To which extent have U.S. American scholarship and concepts been 'translated' to speak to European locations, with their specific historical legacies and socio-political presents?

I address these questions by tracing how the story of Sojourner Truth has travelled in feminist scholarship: both conceptually, disciplinary as well as spatio-temporally. To which extent does the story of Sojourner Truth serve as an inspiration for contemporary intersectional and anti-racist feminisms in Europe? To which extent does the story carry within it a 'distancing effect': situating the problematic of black feminisms and intersectionality at a historical distance (relevant then: the 19th century, slavery history) as well as a geographical distance (relevant there: the United States)?

Practically, I will examine the 'travels' of Truth by looking at how, where and why the story of Sojourner Truth and the 'Aren't I a Woman' speech appears in different local/national feminist academic contexts in Europe - by looking at course syllabi, publications, (national) journals, as well as conducting interviews. Language and translation play a significant role in this project.

The 'translation' of Truth that I explore is on the one hand conceptual. On the other hand, there is also the practical, concrete level of translation: looking at how Truth is taken up in particular local contexts, also means looking at how the speech and the story is translated and referenced in local language scholarship. These two aspects of translation overlap and interplay in curious ways: the story can be 'literally' translated without being conceptually transculturated and vice-versa.

At the workshop, I hope to brainstorm and reflect more on the role of language and translation theories in my project of tracing 'Sojourner Truth as travelling truth'.

28.11. at 15.30-16.00
Soili Petäjäniemi-Brown: Cultural/Feminist/Non-literary Translation and the Manual for a Life-Support Machine

In this presentation, I explore, through the narrative device of a manual for a life-support machine, the differences in the metaphorics and tasks of translation in translation studies, feminist translation, and what has become known as “cultural translation.” In other words, I trace how “translation” travels in these three contexts, how it changes as it travels, and what kind of dialogues it excites along the way. While in these three discursive contexts mainstream theorizing today vouches for a greater or lesser problematization of the original/translation distinction, very different notions emerge as to what the task of a translator, conceived in particular as an ethical task, might entail. I narrow these larger themes down by focusing on two theoretical interchanges: on feminist translation as debated by Lori Chamberlain, Luise von Flotow, and Rosemary Arrojo, and on cultural translation as discussed by Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. In addition, I draw on my own experience in non-literary translating. From contractual obligation and from fidelity to hijacking and, again, to a term entrusted with the philosophical-political task of divesting “the universal” from its authority, translation is on the move.

28.11. at 16.00-16.30
Tuija Pulkkinen: Translating Gender Trouble: How does the writing style travel and which tales does it tell? Politics of philosophy.

The paper is based on reflections during my co-translation of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble into Finnish (Hankala sukupuoli Gaudeamus, 2006) with Leena-Maija Rossi. I will reflect on Judith Butler’s politics of theory played through her language use, as well as on her philosophical commitments and generational attachments conveyed through her stylistic choices and writing manner. The writing style, as much as the use of particular concepts in particular ways, becomes an issue in the process of translation, as the translator is confronted with choices that must be made when putting the text into another language. The traveling of certain terms, such as “gender” and “trouble” caused problems in this translation, but even more interestingly, I argue, several aspects of Butler’s politics of theory also surfaced, and became an issue in the process. In this paper I will take up a number of those cases, and discuss the questions of style together with the problems of some key concepts.

28.11. at 16.30-17.00
Heta Rundgren: They wonder 'what she means', then ‘how she says’, then ‘whether she means’,’s in print and they start reading. “Le rire de la Meduse” and “Sorties” de Hélène Cixous from start to Finnish?

(More than) two translators. (More than) two texts. (More than) two locations. (More than) two languages. Two signatures. One commodity.

Recognizing a debt to an intense dialogue with Aura Sevón, the responsible translator of Medusan nauru ja muita ironisia kirjoituksia (Tutkijaliitto, 2013), I would like to raise questions through a story of beginnings. Starting with: How do they start translating? From the fact that Hélène Cixous republishes and updates two of her articles in 2010 and presents them with a reference to “queer”? From the second title “Sorties”, vague and “susceptible of multiple interpretations”? From a difficulty to choose, visible in the English translation, where “Sorties” becomes “Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/Forays”? From a list of more than one translation for different concepts or combinations of words? From the idea that the translation is supposed to somehow correspond at least in length or “ideas” or “style” to the “original”? From the recognition that these texts overlap and have more than one genre? From the idea that translation started long before “Le rire de la Meduse” or “Sorties” appeared, that Hélène Cixous often writes in more than one language? From the fact that when you listen to the text, and with a queer foreign ear in particular, you lose control over grammar and have difficulties writing this way instead of another? From the English/German/Latin/Greek/etc. you hear or see in the “French”? From attention to etymology? To the reader? From the fact that they are limited in their capabilities and resources (time, money, patience, skill...) and that the text will naturally be partial and full of holes? From the idea that the writer is not exactly “one” either? From the idea that it’s almost impossible not to think about authorial intention? Or from the contention that these texts are all over the place and thus (un)readable wherever whenever for whoever anyway? How to keep on starting something that is “about” endless generosity and multiple beginnings, but needs to be controlled, finished and signed?



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