Department of Politics and Society

Newsletters from the Future of Feminisms in the Nordic Region Network (FFNN)

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    Newsletter #3

    The third and final workshop of the network was organized 25.-27.8.2017 at the University of Oslo with the theme ‘New Nordic Feminisms?’. Approximately 25 feminist researchers and activists gathered to discuss the future of feminism, decolonial perspectives and social justice.

    The first day of the workshop was opened by the keynote lecture of Prof. Encarnacion Gutierrez Rodriguez from Justus-Liebig-University in Germany, who spoke about “Refugee Crisis - On Coloniality, Racism and the Asylum-Migration Nexus”.

    Encarnacion Gutierrez Rodriguez

    The lively discussions that followed Prof. Gutierrez Rodriguez’ lecture were continued in the four sessions of presented papers, involving prepared comments by discussants, and one session for oral presentations. The themes of the papers ranged from examining the whiteness norm in the LGBTI-movement to Sami feminism and the possibilities of rethinking sisterhood in Nordic feminism.  

    The keynote speaker of the second day was Prof. Rauna Kuokkanen from the University of Toronto and the University of Lapland. Her lecture Decolonizing Feminism in the North hit the core of the network themes and provoked many thoughtful discussions. Unfortunately, Prof. Kuokkanen was hindered from arriving to Oslo as planned, but she gave her speech by Skype.

    Rauna Kuokkanen

    The workshop also included brainstorming sessions on publications and research funding applications. These were picked up by the coordination group (Pauline Stoltz, Beatrice Halsaa, Diana Mulinari, Christel Stormhøj and Suvi Keskinen) when they met in January 2018 in Malmö to discuss future activities of the network. The group is amongst others working with a special issue of the journal Labrys and two books: one on the Nordic Forums 1988, 1994 and 2014, and an anthology with the working title “Feminisms in the Nordic region”. A call for papers regarding the latter is planned to be sent to network members by the end of January 2018.

    Diana Mulinari, Pauline Stoltz, Christel Stormhøj, Suvi Keskinen and Beatrice Halsaa at the meeting of the coordination group in Malmö in January 2018. Beatrice retired from her post at Oslo University in December 2017, but is still actively involved both in the publications of FFNN and as editor at the journal Nora.

    Happy news about future research network funding, involving members of this network, have also reached us. Dr. Elisabeth Engebretsen from Oslo University has received funding for a Nordic network “Transforming identities: Exploring changes, tensions and visions in the Nordic region through the prism of identity politics" (NOS-HS, 2018-2019), together with network member Mia Liinason, Lene Myong, Mons Bissenbakker and Antu Sorainen.

    Suvi Keskinen from the University of Helsinki is partner in the research network “Decolonial critique, knowledge production and social change” (DENOR), which also received funding from NOS-HS. This network is led by Adrian Groglopo, with co-partners Stine Helena Bang Svendsen and Julia Suarez-Krabbe.

    Suvi Keskinen at the FFNN workshop in Oslo, August 2017. A few weeks later she started a new position as professor at the University of Helsinki.  

    The network members are also active in civil society. Dr. Faith Mkwesha, a member of The Futures of Feminism in the Nordic Region -network and researcher at Åbo Akademi University, has established an organization called SahWira Africa International, which is fighting for women’s and girls’ rights and against racism, poverty and violence. The organization is based on Unhu/ubuntu/ntu African feminist philosophy.

    Faith Mkwesha in front of the camera, Heikki Kauhanen behind

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    Newsletter #2

    The second workshop of the Future of Feminisms in the Nordic Region network was held at the Department of Gender Studies at Lund University in Lund, Sweden, 10-12 March 2017. The title was ‘From National to Transnational Feminist Movements?’. Approximately 40 people attended, including about 10 MA students from Aalborg University and Lund University.

    The conversations we had concerned queer, anti-racist and indigenous perspectives upon feminism as well as political economy, neo-liberalism, conservatism and nationalism. 

    Astri Dankertsen 

    Just as during the first workshop was the conversation intense, but as the comments on the Facebook page suggests, above all inspiring and energizing. 

    From left to right: Faith Mkwesha, Sheila Ragunathan and Paula Mulinari 

    The first keynote addressed the issue whether there is a Nordic feminism and if it does, whether it embraces diversity? Who is a Nordic feminist or for that matter a Norwegian, Danish, etc.? This was emphatically discussed by Fakhra Salimi from The MiRA Resource Centre for Black, Immigrant and Refugee Women in Oslo, Norway. She put these questions in the context of her recollections of the organization of the different Nordic Forums in Oslo, Åbo and Malmö. Also Ulla Manns addressed the issue of ‘the Nordic’.

    Keynote by Fakhra Salimi

    Ulla Manns

    Transnational feminism was addressed by our second keynote, Chandra T. Mohanty from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA. She addressed transnational feminist activism amongst others in relation to the in early 2017 held Women’s Marches and the role of Black Lives Matter in the 8 March women’s strikes. 

    Chandra T. Mohanty and Diana Mulinari

    Parallel to the workshop had Diana Mulinari a conversation with Chandra T. Mohanty and Linda E. Carty for the Feminist Freedom Warriors project. This is a digital video archive with conversations which Chandra and Linda have with feminist scholar-activists. Taveeshi Singh, who also took part in the workshop, helped with the technology. The result of the conversation between Diana, Chandra and Linda can be watched here

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    Newsletter #1

    The network arranged its first workshop, August 2016 in Copenhagen, under the heading “Diversity and tensions in Nordic feminist mobilization”. 35 women and one man from different academic fields, from various women’s and civil rights organizations, of different generations and belonging, met for three days, and keenly engaged in presentations, discussions and practice on the topic of diversity and tensions. It was frustrating and tense, at some points, fun at other points – and all in all a refreshingly useful network workshop.

    The network is now well established with workshop activities, ongoing collection of research materials, production of papers and plans for publications. We have a website, and the five research partners are assisted by a project secretary and a research assistant.

    The workshop was both filled with fun and frustration, which is also shown here by the five organizers: (from left) Christel Stormhøj, Diana Mulinari, Pauline Stoltz, Suvi Keskinen and Beatrice Halsaa.

    The workshop also provided two keynote speeches from Elizabeth Evans, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Elisabeth Eide, Professor of journalism at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Oslo and Akershus University College. Evans gave a speech called 'Sisters, Sluts and Solidarity: Feminist Activism in the US and UK', and Eide gave a speech with outset in the Nordic Forum in Oslo 1988; ‘Against Many Odds - A Nordic Feminist Experiment - A Conference Newspaper and Its Legacy’.

    One of the keynotes, Elizabeth Evans, dancing in the middle as a part of a presentation from May-Britt Öhman.

    Material from the workshop – the video Nordiskt Forum Oslo (1988), recordings of the Memory Work sessions and written material form the Future Workshop is being archived at the University of Aalborg. Negotiations with the staff at AAU as to ethical regulations for keeping and using our material are taking place. The film ‘Nordiskt Forum Oslo’ (from 1988) was converted to an applicable format, and is available for members upon request (contact Marianne Ellersgaard at 

    The organizers have evaluated the proceedings of the workshop carefully – the selection of topics as well as the organization of Memory Work and Future Workshops. We have adjusted the format of workshop 2 – to take place in Lund 10-12 March 2017 according to this. The heading is as planned “From national to transnational feminist movements?” and two keynote speakers have accepted our invitation: Professor Chandra T. Mohanty from Syracuse University and Director of MiRA Centre Fakhra Salimi. There will be no Memory Work or Future Workshops, but more time for panels and discussions – and more space for network members not employed in academia to present their work.

    The call for papers is out; deadline for abstracts is December 12th 2016, for registration 1 February 2017 and for papers March 1th 2017. For further information please see here.

    Three members of the network - Beatrice Halsaa, Pauline Stoltz and Christel Stormhøj - have collected material and conducted interviews with organizers and participants at Nordic Forum in Oslo 1988, in Åbo 1994 and in Malmö 2014. Collection of material will continue. We are excited about the material, and look forward to doing systematic and critical analysis. Members of the network who are interested in either sharing material with us, or using our material in their research, are welcome to approach us.

    The five network partners – Pauline Stoltz, Diana Mulinari, Suvi Keskinen, Christel Stormhøj and Beatrice Halsaa met in Malmö in the beginning of November 2016. Ideas for publications, which were also sketched during Workshop 1, were discussed further. At present, three volumes are being discussed, with these preliminary themes: “Feminist mobilization in the Nordic region”; “From Beijing to Malmö – Comparing feminist mobilizations in China and the Nordic region”, and “FFNN activist book on the future of feminisms”. We are also exploring the possibility of finding people who could produce a You-tube presentation of network members’ thoughts on the future of feminisms in the Nordic region, without being too optimistic if this actually can be realized.

    The network’s website  is being updated on an irregular basis. Our Facebook group has at the time of writing 36 members, and continues to be open to new members – so please tell your network about it. The Facebook group contains pictures from our workshop, and news from the activities that have been uploaded. We encourage all network members to use the group for sharing information and to engage in discussions. 

    We congratulate for example Ulla Manns, Marianne Liljeström and Ulrika Dahl with the newly published “The Geopolitics of Nordic and Russian Gender Research 1975–2005” which obviously has a lot of food for thought for our network!


Project coordiator Pauline Stoltz 

Research assistant Anna Stegger Gemzøe

Project secretary Marianne Ellersgaard

Further information
Department of Politics and Society • Fibigerstræde 1 og 3, 9220 Aalborg East • Frederikskaj 10B, 2450 Copenhagen SV
Phone.: +45 9940 8192 • Email:
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