Nordic Women's and Gender History Conference

Nordiska kvinno- och genushistorikermötet

University of Oulu, Finland
7-9 June 2018



Detailed programme of parallel sessions, see below (updated 30 Jan, 2018)


Thursday, June 7


Registration open at 8.30–16


10.00-10.30   Opening session, welcoming address

10.30-12.00   Keynote: Beyond the Veteran Body: Gendered Visions in the History of War Disability
                       Dr Ana Carden-Coyne, University of Manchester

12.00-13.00   Lunch

13.00-14.30   Parallel sessions 1

14.30-15.00   Coffee break

15.00-16.30   Parallel sessions 2

16.45-18.00   National meetings


19-21             Reception


Friday, June 8


9.00-10.30     Parallel sessions 3

10.30-11.00   Coffee break

11:00-12:30   Keynote Biography, Gender History, and the Limits of Reconciliation
                       Professor Pamela Scully, Emory University, USA: 
                       12.30-14.00   Lunch

14.00-16.00   Parallel sessions 4


19-23             Conference dinner and party


Saturday, June 9


9.00–10.30    Parallel sessions 5

10.30-11.00   Coffee break

11.00-12.30   Keynote: Professor Anu Koivunen, University of Stockholm

12.30-13.00   Closing remarks


15.00-23.00   Excursion to Hailuoto Island (separate registration & fee)




Parallel sessions 1

Thursday, 7 June at 13:00–14:30



1a: Women facing economic crisis and financial distress in Scandinavia in the 16th–19th century I

Organisers: Sofia Gustafsson (University of Helsinki) & Riina Turunen (University of Jyväskylä)

Chair: Sofia Gustafsson (University of Helsinki)

Commentator: Karin Hassan Jansson (Uppsala University)


Anu Lahtinen (University of Helsinki), Riches – to rags – to riches: The choices of a sixteenth century merchant widow

Kirsi Vainio-Korhonen (University of Turku), From maiden to merchant: Maria Augustin as business successor in 18th century Turku

Guðný Hallgrímsdóttir (University of Iceland), Independent women in the eighteenth century and their struggle for a decent life

Tiina Hemminki (Stockholm School of Economics), Female investors, creditors and debtors. A source critical study at probate inventories in the end of eighteenth century urban Finland


1b: Queer history on the margins of the Nordic Region


Organisers: Íris Ellenberger (University of Iceland) & Riikka Taavetti (University of Helsinki)


Ásta Kristín Bendiktsdóttir (University of Iceland and University College Dublin)

Hafdís Erla Hafsteinsdóttir (independent historian, Vienna)

Elsi Hyttinen (University of Turku)

Íris Ellenberger (University of Iceland)

Tuula Juvonen (University of Tampere)

Riikka Taavetti (University of Helsinki)



1c: Humanitarian crises and gender – narratives and practices of transnational relief work in mid-19th to mid- 20th Century

Organiser: Maria Småberg (Lund University)



Norbert Götz (Södertörn University), Women in Aid Appeals and Relief Work: The Case of the Great Irish Famine, 1846/47

Maria Småberg (Lund University), Sexual Violence and Survival – Humanitarian narratives of Armenian women as victims and agents during the 1915 Armenian Genocide

Lina Sturfelt (Lund University), Swedish Rädda barnen in the wake of the ‘gender order crises’ after the disaster of the First World War

Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Volda University College, Norway), Transnational Relief and Local Practices: The Swedish School in Jerusalem, 1936-1948


1d: Images and Agency of Women in the Political Left and Right



Rakel Adolphsdóttir (National and University Library of Iceland), Women in political and self-identity crisis within the Socialist Party in Iceland, 1939–1974. Were they active agents or merely decorations to catch the women’s vote?

Liisa Lalu (University of Turku), ”Good ideology ruined.” The Collapse of the Soviet Union in personal narratives of Finnish left-wing female activists

Marja Vuorinen (University of Helsinki), Little wives, feminist whores and Valkyries: The threefold imagery of the feminine in the 2010’s Nordic far right


1e: Motherhood and Marriage in Transition I



Erla Doris Halldórsdóttir (independent historian), Widowers after losing their wives in childbirth in the 19th century

Johanna Annola (University of Tampere), ‘Everything looks so dark for me’: Facing widowhood in 19th-century Finland



1f: Constructing Masculine Identities in 19th and 20th Century Finland



Henrik Forsberg (University of Helsinki), Masculine submission: National narratives of the last great famine in Finland, c. 1868–1920

Cecilia Hortlund (Umeå Universitet), In the name of country, homestead and the domains of our fathers: A study of masculinity, nationalism, citizenship and identity in the Swedish speaking Civil Guards in Ostrobothnia 1918-1944

Eira Juntti (University of Jyväskylä), ‘Crises of masculinity’ in Finnish literature in the late 19th century


1g: Gender and Transformation of Society: Individual and Collective Experience and Agency



Ainur Elmgren (University of Helsinki), Radical Ambition, Critical Reaction – Ada Norna and the Cultural Crisis of the 1930s

Heidi Haggrén (University of Helsinki), Women on strike: Crisis of the system and legitimacy of collective action

Heidi Kurvinen (University of Turku / University of Oulu), Finnish male journalists participating in the reconstruction of the nation in the 1950s



Parallel sessions 2

Thursday, 7 June at 15:00–16:30


2a: Women facing economic crisis and financial distress in Scandinavia in the 16th–19th century II

Organisers: Sofia Gustafsson (University of Helsinki) & Riina Turunen (University of Jyväskylä)

Chair: Sofia Gustafsson (University of Helsinki)

Commentator: Karin Hassan Jansson (Uppsala University)


Tiina Miettinen (University of Tampere), Secret Solutions. Gentlemen and their housekeepers in 18th and 19th century Finland

Jezzica Israelsson (Uppsala University), Providing for themselves and others. Women's strategies for support in petitions to Swedish county administrations, ca 1730 to 1840

Riina Turunen (University of Jyväskylä), The question of fairness, but fairness to whom? Conflicting principles regarding the liability of abandoned wives to repay a household´s debts in nineteenth-century urban Finland

Pirita Frigren (University of Jyväskylä), Makeshift economy of deserted and divorced wives in the nineteenth century Finnish cities


2b: Borders of Nordic Voting Rights: Economic Eligibility and Gender in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden before and after Universal Suffrage

Organiser: Fia Sundevall (Stockholm University & Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and Library)

Chair: Astrid Elkjær Sørensen (University of Aarhus)

Commentator: Åsa Karlsson Sjögren (Umeå University)


Eirinn Larsen (University of Oslo), Suffrage – first and foremost a question of honour? Norway 1814–1919

Minna Harjula (University of Tampere), Economic competence and voting restrictions after universal suffrage (1906) in Finland

Fia Sundevall (Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and Library), Money and citizenship: economic suffrage restrictions in Sweden 1921–1945

Thorgerdur Thorvaldsdottir & Ragnheiður Kristjánsdóttir (University of Iceland), Suffrage (not) granted – or lost. Suffrage, gender and class. Intersectional reflections on the construction and constraints of a lawful citizen in Iceland, 1915–1934


2c: Otherness, Gender and Boundary Crises: Discourses on Minority Peddlers in Late Nineteenth-Century Finland

Organisers: Jutta Ahlbeck & Ann-Catrin Östman (Åbo Akademi University)



Jutta Ahlbeck & Hanna Lindberg (Åbo Akademi University): Anxieties and Peddling in Nineteenth-Century Finland

Sandra Waller (Åbo Akademi University): Implicit Crises: Othering and Questionnaires

Anna Sundelin (Åbo Akademi University): Peddlers Settling Down. Crises in Community?

Johanna Wassholm & Ann-Catrin Östman (Åbo Akademi University): Curiosity, Fear and Conflict: Strangers on the Fair in Nineteenth-Century Finland


2d: Gender and Biography


Organiser: Maarit Leskelä-Kärki (University of Turku)


Tiina Kinnunen (University of Oulu)

Birgitte Possing (University of Copenhagen)

Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir (University of Iceland)

Maarit Leskelä-Kärki (University of Turku)



2e: Motherhood and Marriage in Transition II



Dalrún J. Eygerðardóttir (University of Iceland), “What else could I do?” A historical analysis of single mothers working as housekeepers in the Icelandic rural society 

Natalia Pushkareva (Russian Academy of Sciences), From sexual anarchy to attempt to restore the tradition: The crisis of marriage in Russia and its overcome in the 1920s

Erla Hulda Halldórsdóttir (University of Iceland), Housewives in crisis: Conflicting ideologies 1945–1970


2f: Encounters with the “Other”: The Personal and the Political



Annika Berg (University of Stockholm), Women's rights in Swedish development aid – a prehistory

Christian Gerdov (Mittuniversitet), Kris i befolkningsfrågan – ett (tredje) världsproblem?

Ritva Larva (University of Turku), Acquiring a new skill during the war times – Marta Keravuori becoming a Japan specialist

Yulia Gradskova (Södertörn University), presentation of the book Gendering Postsocialism. Old Legacies and New Hierarchies




Parallel sessions 3

Friday, 8 June at 9:00–10:30


3a: Remembrance and emotions I



Eve Annuk (Estonia Literary Museum), Body, femininity and motherhood: Women’s unspoken stories about Soviet period Estonia

Ilmari Leppihalme (University of Oulu), Embodied memories and affective (re)mapping in Anu Kaipainen’s evacuee novels

Maarit Leskelä-Kärki (University of Turku), Life’s catastrophes: Interpreting life crises in biographical research


3b: Free and unfree labour in the Nordic Countries: A gender historic perspective I

Organisers: Fia Sundevall (Stockholm University & Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and Library) & Yvonne Svanström (University of Stockholm)

Chair: Fia Sundevall

Commentator: Ann-Catrin Östman


Carolina Uppenberg (University of Gothenburg), Servants in free and unfree labour. Gender and labour relations in 18th and 19th century Sweden (Tjänstefolk mellan fritt och ofritt arbete. Genus- och arbetsrelationer i 1700- och 1800-talets Sverige)

Hanne Østhus (independent researcher), Perspectives from free/unfree labour and gender history. The example of service and slavery in eighteenth-century Denmark-Norway (Ikke-europeiske tjenestefolk og slaver i 1700-tallets Danmark-Norge og forskningsfeltene fritt og ufritt arbeid og kjønnsforskning)

Astrid Elkjær Sørensen (University of Aarhus), Narratives about the Swedish women working in Denmark 1850–1900 (Fortællinger om de svenske piger 1850-1900)

Nina Trige Andersen (Society for Labour History, Denmark), Laboring and organizing on the margins: Filipina Service Workers and Au Pairs in Denmark 1970s-2010s


3c: Gendered histories of bodies, nationality and commercialism related to the Swedish popular press 1920–2015

Organiser: Emma Severinsson (Lund University)


Klara Arnberg (Stockholm University), The Gentlemen's Paradise? Stockholm's 'porn street' as a commercial, gendered and medialised space, 1960-1990

Ulrika Holgersson (Lund University), In light of her death. Funerals as media events in Sweden from queen Sophia of Nassau 1914 to Secretary of state Anna Lindh 2003

Emma Pihl Skoog (Stockholm University), Den kommersiellt gångbara vältränade mannen: massmediala framställningar av den muskulösa manskroppen under mellan- och efterkrigstiden

Emma Severinsson (Lund University), Jakten på den ideala svenskan – ras, nationalitet och feminitet i skönhetstävlingar 1921-1933

Helena Tolvhed (Stockholm University), Building her body. Representing and negotiating femininity in women’s bodybuilding 1970-2015

Wilma Sjöberg (Stockholm University), Motorsport and Masculinity: the Construction of the Driver in Rally and Formula 1 in Swedish Media 1948-1999



3d: State, gender and eugenics



Merle Wessel (University of Helsinki): Motherhood in Crisis – Eugenic Feminism in the Nordic Countries, ca. 1890-1940

Sophy Bergenheim (University of Helsinki), Women bringing down and saving the nation. National and collective crises as gendered issues in Finland and Swedish-speaking Finland, 1920s–1950s

Malin Arvidsson (Lund University), State redress for involuntary sterilization in Sweden and Denmark




3e: New perspectives: letters and crises



Margrét Gunnardóttir (University of Iceland), The tragedy of a Danish adventurer. “The King of Iceland!” in 1809, Jörgen Jörgensen, as seen in his letters to his mother and siblings

Marjo Kaartinen (University of Turku), Practices of Coping with Separation: The Case of Vera Hjelt (1857–1947)

Heini Hakosalo (University of Oulu), Högbergsgatan 13 at war: A microhistorical case study on the effects of the outbreak of the Winter War (1939–40) on the gender and social relationships of a Helsingfors housing company


3f: Crisis, gender and literature



Katarina Leppänen (University of Gothenburg), Crisis of femininity in early 20th century Nordic novels

Nina Työlahti (University of Oulu): Crisis as a Literary Device – Sentimentalism in Heikki Meriläinen’s Novel The Girls of Pietola (1892)

Merlin Kirikal (Tallinn University), Obsessive working and divided self – Crisis and female creativity in Johannes Semper’s Jealousy (1934)


3g: World War I and civil war as frames for gender and crisis

Chair: Tiina Kinnunen


Íris Ellenberger (University of Iceland), Gendered aspects of foreignness in Reykjavík 1900–1920

Ulla Wikander (Stockholms Universitet), Finska inbördeskriget 1918 och svensk kvinnoopinion

Marianne Junila (University of Oulu) & Tiina Lintunen (University of Turku), Thinking back on the Finnish Civil War 1918 – Young girls’ ways of coping with crises and trauma





Parallel sessions 4

Friday, 8 June at 13:30–15:30


4a: Remembrance and emotions II



Hanna-Leena Nissilä (University of Oulu), War, memories and women writers – “Evacuee literature as creative remembrance

Kirsi Tuohela (University of Turku), Breakdown – crises in women’s autobiographies of mental illness

Tuija Huuki & Maija Lanas (University of Oulu), Affective, historical and material entanglements in a painful past-present lecture-assemblage of an Arctic adult-child

Synne Myrebøe (Umeå University), Rational crises: Martha Nussbaum and the politics of emotions


4b: Free and unfree labour in the Nordic countries: A gender history perspective II

Organisers: Fia Sundevall (Stockholm University & Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and Library) & Yvonne Svanström (University of Stockholm)

Chair: Carolina Uppenberg

Commentator: Astrid Elkjær Sørensen (University of Aarhus)


Yvonne Svanström (University of Stockholm), Unemployed and Forced to Labour: Vagrancy, Legislation and Gender in Sweden 1920s–1950s

Fia Sundevall (Swedish Labour Movement’s Archive and Library), Personnel Crisis: Gender, Demography and Free/Unfree Military Labour, Sweden 1945–1975

Johanna Overud (Umeå University), Bound by location: The localization of jobs and the activation of women in the 1960s and 1970s Swedish rural north

Concluding discussion: Themes, concepts, methods


4c: Silencing, neglecting and controlling women in public life



Birgitte Possing (University of Copenhagen), Against the Motion: On the structural distaste exhibited by generations of men in relation to the desire of female human beings to exercise influence on the societal community

Piia Vuorinen (University of Turku), Women who were suspected, followed and possibly interrogated by the Finnish security police in 1919–1944

Emma Lundin (Queen Mary University, London), Writing Women Out of History: Post-Crisis Lessons from Southern Africa and Scandinavia


4d: Men and honour in the time of crisis from the 17th to the 19th century

Organisers: Mari Välimäki (University of Turku) & Saara Hilpinen (University of Helsinki)

Chair: Mari Välimäki (University of Turku)


Saara Hilpinen (University of Helsinki), The anatomy of personal scandals and life crises of men of the elite in 19th century Grand Duchy of Finland

Anna Koivusalo (University of Helsinki), “Redemption” or southern honor? Change in honorable emotional expression in the U.S. Suth during Reconstruction (1865–1877)

Jonas Liliequist (University of Umeå), From the frustrated duellist to the steadfast man – changing social logics and emotional practices of honour and manliness in early modern Sweden

Mari Välimäki (University of Turku), Sexuality, honour, communities and men in 17th-century urban Sweden


4e: Women, War and Survival: Coping with Political Crises, Persecutions and Unrest in China and the Middle East, 1898–1930

Organiser: Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Volda University College)

Chair: Inger Marie Okkenhaug

Commentator: Lina Sturfelt (Lund University)


Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Volda University College), Scandinavian Involvements, War and a Gendered Refugee Crisis, Turkey and the Levant, 1915–1930

Camilla Brautaset (University of Bergen), Women, War and Survival in China. Anna Jakobsen Cheng and the Boxer Upraising, 1899–1901

Malin Gregersen (Linnaeus University), Coping with Revolt and War in China: Scandinavian Missionary Experiences of Crises, 1900-1930

Karina Hestad Skeie (NLA University College), Violent death, fear and spiritual warfare. Norwegian Missionaries and Chinese Christians in Hubei and Henan 1898–1930


4f: Post-crisis and post-conflict gender dynamics in the UN

Organisers and chairs: Martin Ottovay Jørgensen (Aalborg University) & Maria Simonsen (Aalborg University)


Martin Ottovay Jørgensen (Aalborg University), Militaraay sexual hygiene in UN cold war peacekeeping

Maria Simonsen (Aalborg University), Unesco Courier and UNESCO’s communication strategy in raltion to gendered peacebuilding initiatives

Marianne Paasch (Aalborg University), The role of archives and archivists before, during and after UN peacekeeping operations


4g: Kunskapens kön – perspektiv på akademisk maskulinitet

Organisatörer: Helena Bergman & Kirsti Niskanen (Stockholms Universitet)

Ordförande och kommentator: Sigrídur Matthiásdóttir


Anders Ahlbäck (Åbo Akademi), Om att identifiera akademisk maskulinitet inom undervisningskulturen

Helena Bergman (Södertörns högskola & Stockholms universitet),  Vetenskapens osynliga män – vetenskaplig auktoritet och maskulinitet i svensk alkoholforskning, 1940–1960-tal

Hanna Lindberg (Åbo Akademi), Om män, för män, av män – Den finländska efterkrigstida alkoholforskningen som en maskulin arena

Kirsti Niskanen (Stockholms universitet): Maskulinitet i förändring – filosofen Einar Tegens akademiska persona mellan 1920- och 50-talen





Parallel sessions 5

Saturday, 9 June at 9:00–10:30


5a: The conscious emigrant (Den medvetna emigranten): Emigration as a crisis or conscious act?

Organisers: Sigrídur Matthiásdóttir (Reykjavík Academy) & Ann-Catrin Östman (Åbo Akademi University)

Chair: Hanna Lindberg (Åbo Akademi University)


Ulla Aatsinki (University of Tampere), Immigrant women educating new citizens into American society

Sigrídur Matthíasdóttir (Reykjavík Academy), Transnational agents or fleeing victims? Single women who emigrated from Iceland to North America

Ann-Catrin Östman (Åbo Akademi University), Education, edification and respectability in life stories of rural men


5b: Women as subjects and objects in science and scholarship



Anna Niiranen (University of Jyväskylä), “A source of dread, anxiety, and subsequent regret”? Pregnancy as a potential crisis in nineteenth century British medicine

Malin Nordvall (Chalmers University of Technology), Reform and resistance: Responses at Chalmers University of Technology to a gender equal recruitment project in the early 1990s



5c: Gendered memories in post-war Norden

Chair: Marianne Junila


Hafnis Hafsteinsdottir (independent historian), Crises in memory: The image of the “war-bride” in Reykjavik and the construction of female sexual deviance

Anu Heiskanen (University of Helsinki), Gendered coping and surviving strategies in the aftermath of World War II


5d: Resistance and Empowerment: Gender in Art and Media



Elina Karvo (University of Turku), Crises in men’s friendships – a televisual view

Susan Lindholm (Malmö University), Boundaries of Sisterhood – a comparative approach to US and Latin American Hip-hop feminism

Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir (University of Iceland), Feckless and hotheaded: Towards an alternative feminist art-historical narrative


5d: Using Big Data in Historical Research: New Approaches, New Results

Chair: Heini Hakosalo


Emil Marklund (Umeå University), Teachers needed! The socio-economic background of teachers in northern Sweden 1870–1950

Inger Nørgård (Museum of East Jutland), More records about individuals! Does it bring us closer to a more gender equal history?

Lotta Vikström & Erling Häggström Lundevaller (Umeå University), Did disability bring crisis? Gendered and demographic life-course findings on disabled and non-disabled people in 19th-century Sweden

Tiina Männistö-Funk (Chalmers University of Technology), The Gender of Walking and the Crisis of Mobility in the Car City: Female Pedestrians in Street Photographs 1890–1989