Gendering Asia Network Conferences

The Gendering Asia Network was initiated in 2005 and the first Gendering Asia Conference was held at Kungälv in Sweden in May that year. The second conference ‘Gendered Modernity and Vulnerabilities in Asia’ was held in Iceland in 2007, and the third conference on the theme of ‘Gender, Mobility and Citizenship’ was held at Helsinki University in 2009.

The words of keynote speaker Professor Maila Stivens at the first conference define the overall approach of the Network to studying gender. She said that when applying a gender perspective the aim is not simply to analyse the ‘effects’ on women of the dramatic economic, social and political changes sweeping the region or to add women to the mainstream accounts that seem so resolutely to mostly exclude them. Rather, the aim is to explore the thoroughly gendered processes that construct many dimensions of Asian modernities and their incorporation into a globalizing world.

There were several reasons why we wanted to set up such a network and bring together people for conferences:

The overall aim is to strengthen research and teaching on gender and Asia in the Nordic countries

  1. On the one hand we knew that several scholars were engaged in research and teaching on gender and Asia in more or less all the Nordic countries, but on the other hand we also did not have an overall picture of who exactly was doing what and where. We wanted to facilitate exchange by building a database of scholars and students working on gender and Asia.
  2. Asien studies environments in the Nordic countries are all relatively small and although we all have our individual networks within and beyond the Nordic countries we believed there was room for increased Nordic interaction, exchange and collaboration that could be facilitated by a formalised network.

The Nordic perspective was emphasized. However, we very deliberately chose not to call this a Nordic Gendering Asia Network. Much of our work takes place in collaboration with colleagues in Asia and elsewhere in the world and the network, as reflected also by participation in the three conferences, is open to colleagues from all parts of the world.


The first and the second conferences led to the following publications:

No. 2, March 2006

Gendering Asia

(pdf-file, 1,91 MB)

No. 1, June 2008

Gendered vulnerabilities in Asia

(pdf-file, 1,09 MB)

A selection of papers from the third conference has been published in Mikako Iwatake (ed) 2010 Gender, Mobility and Citizenship in Asia Helsinki: Renvall Institute Publications.

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