By January 1, 2001 the secretariat of AOIFE (Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and Research in Europe) moved from NIKK to its new home, Deptartment of Gender Studies at Linkoeping University, Sweden. The move of the secretariat happened in a phase, where an expansion of activities has been on the agenda as well.

Since the beginning of AOIFE in 1997, the main activity of the organisation was the network ATHENA, a thematic network, which is funded by EU's SOCRATES-programme 1998-2001, and which focuses on joint curriculum development in European Women's and Gender Studies. Now ATHENA is in the final stage and a very productive meeting took place in Firenze March 31-April 2, hosted by Gender Studies Programme, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute and Dipartimento di Filologia Moderna, Università di Firenze. The meeting put much focus on the reports which will conclude the work of the first ATHENA project, but it also initiated a discussion about an ATHENA 2 project which will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting, which will take place in Madrid Oct 26-27 this year. It is important that as many AOIFE members as possible wanting to join ATHENA 2 take part in the Madrid meeting.

Simultaneously with the successful finalising of ATHENA 1, which has given fertile soil for the preparation of ATHENA 2, AOIFE has also engaged in a new sphere of activities. Several research proposals have thus been sent to the 5th Framework Programme of the EU. An application for a project co-ordinated by Gabriele Griffin has already received funding.

Another proposal for a research and training network "Theory, methodology, epistemology and context in interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies" has recently been sent in. This project aims at exchange of PhD-students between European PhD-programmes in Women's and Gender Studies.

In order to strengthen the communication between AOIFE members, the AOIFE council is also planning to launch a regular AOIFE newsletter. However, we are happy that NIKK kindly has given us the possibility in a transition phase to continue to use NIKK's newsletter as an AOIFE bulletin board

Nina Lykke ( and Berit Starkman (

AOIFE-secretariat/Department of Gender Studies

Linkoeping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden