RN Reports – RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies
Consuelo Corradi, RN33 Co-coordinator 2017-2019
A central arena for discussion
The Women’s and Gender Studies Research Network aims to promote academic exchanges and creative collaboration between sociologists who research in the field of women and gender perspectives and theories. The Research Network wants to facilitate European and international contacts, be a central arena for discussion and a meeting place for prominent as well as younger scholars.
RN33 was founded in 2008. The first proposal was signed by Ursula Apitzsch, Consuelo Corradi and Marie-Thérèse Letablier (who at the time were members of the ESA Executive Committee) together with prominent scholars such as Gabriele Griffin, Carmen Leccardi, and Renata Siemienska, among others. The constitution of the RN33 was approved by the ESA Executive Committee in early 2009. Ursula Apitzsch and Marie-Thérèse Letablier were the first chairs who organised sessions in the 9th ESA Conference in Lisbon, in September 2009. Sessions were organised on social inequalities and the regimes of power that shape gender relations, representations of masculinity and femininity, contradictions and paradoxes of the existing gender order in Europe, the consequences of the care drain and the gender-power relations in transnational migration processes.
Even if it is relatively new in ESA terms (only 4 more RNs have been established since 2009), RN33 is today one of the largest RNs in terms of membership with 102 members. Since 2009, it met regularly at the ESA Conferences in Geneva, Turin, Prague and Athens, and at mid-term meetings in Paris, Rome, Naples and Dortmund. Geographical, theoretical and gender diversity have always been important characteristics of our Research Network.
In May 2011, the RN33 organised its first special workshop at the French CNRS, in Paris in cooperation with the Centre de Recherches Sociologiques et Politiques (CRESPPA) of Université Paris 8. The main theme of the Conference was Gendering social sciences: A critical reading of major works in sociology, with speakers such as Harriet Silius, Shalva Weil, Eleni Varikas and Anne-Marie Devreux, among others. At the 10th ESA Conference, which was organised in Geneva (Switzerland) in September 2011, more than 15 sessions and two poster sessions hosted up to 70 papers on topics such as women and the media, transnational families, hegemonic masculinity in the market structure, femicide, domestic violence and women’s movements.
In November 2012, the mid-term conference was organised at Lumsa University (Rome, Italy) and it was entitled Gender, Justice and Tradition. After a welcoming address by Ursula Apitzsch, Carmen Leccardi opened the conference with a keynote speech on From tradition to modernity: Young women’s transitional lives in Europe, and Ute Gerhard was the closing plenary speaker on Care as a key concept of gender justice and of women’s human rights.
In November 2014, the mid-term conference was organised at the University of Naples Federico II and it was entitled Gender Equality and Institutions. After a welcoming address by Maria Carmela Agodi, the opening keynote speaker was Montserrat Duch Plana (Rovira i Virgili University, Spain) on The Welfare State and women’s citizenship in Europe. Consuelo Corradi (LUMSA University, Italy) closed the Conference with a keynote on The Role of the Women’s Movements, Nation States and the EU in Fighting Violence against Women in 10 European Countries. More than 12 regular sessions were organised in Naples on topics such as gendering economic and political institutions, new family patterns, kinship, reproduction and parenting, gender and science, among others.
The next mid-term conference of RN33 will be held in the Department of Sociology of the University of Bergen (Norway) on 14th and 15th of June 2018. The University of Bergen hosts many international research projects focusing on climate, health, water resources and welfare states. The Department of Sociology was the first national founder of a research centre for Women’s studies in 1978. The mid-term conference this year has the title Gender relations and welfare policies in transition: Markets, States, and Families. From earlier conferences we know that there will be a great variety of papers and many lively formal and informal debates. In 2018 the RN33 will be an important and central arena for debates on how global markets, transforming welfare regimes and an increased feminization of migration change families, gender relations, social policies and labour markets.
The current RN33 Board is composed of Lise Widding Isaksen (coordinator, University of Bergen), Consuelo Corradi (co-coordinator, Lumsa University), Maria Carmela Agodi, Anil Al-Rebholz, Milica Antic-Gaber, Ursula Apitzsch, Dilek Cindoplu, Catherine Delcroix, Nilay Kaya, Nicole Kirchhoff, Lena Inowlocki, Marie-Thérèse Letablier, Monica Massari, Michael Meuser, Lena Nare, Elina Oinas, Elisabetta Ruspini, Felicitas Sagebeul, Harriet Silius, Constanza Tobio and Shalva Weil.
In 2019, on the occasion of the 14th ESA Conference to be held in Manchester (UK), Research Network 33 – Women’s and Gender Studies will celebrate its 10th birthday. We want to organise something special to remember this turning point in our academic lives. Just make sure you will join us to applaud all the women and men scholars who have given their contribution to this lively network, and who will continue to do so in the future.