NEWS no. 1 / 2007

Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and Research in Europe



7th European Feminist Research Conference


AOIFE is pleased to announce that the 7th European Feminist Research Conference will take place from 4-7 June 2009 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, hosted by the Graduate Gender Programme of Utrecht University, organised in cooperation with AOIFE and ATHENA. The title of the conference is “Gendered Cultures at the crossroads of imagination, knowledge and politics”.


The conference focuses on Europe and European perspectives, combining the Humanities with (inter)disciplinary research from other scientific traditions. It actively seeks cutting-edge scholarship by working with papers organised at the intersections of the following themes:

  1. Post-secular Europe, feminism & political crisis
  2. Imagination: art & politics
  3. Global female connections & social economic change
  4. Sexualisation of public domain & global consumption
  5. Violence - war
  6. Media & technology: politics of representation
  7. Multi-ethnicity in Europe
  8. Histories & memories
  9. Generations of women
  10. Cultures of knowledge


Both young and established researchers are invited to present papers that accept this challenge for the future. The conference organisers are looking for papers that address:

  • Literary, visual and artistic representations
  • Disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods of feminist, gender & women’s studies research
  • The political dimensions of gender and diversity in contemporary Europe


European women’s associations are invited to hold their annual meetings in conjunction with the conference. Please contact the organisation for more information:


More information about the conference will be announced at:





AOIFE continues to support the activities of ATHENA. The Advanced Thematic Network in European Women’s Studies is currently in its third cycle of activities (2006-2009).


The annual meeting of ATHENA3 was held in Budapest, Hungary, from 31 May - 3 June 2007, bringing together more than 150 representatives of the ATHENA partners. At the annual ATHENA meeting a public seminar took place in relation to the European Commission ‘European Year of Equal Opportunities for All’. The seminar was hosted by ATHENA working group 3A ‘Strengthening the societal impact of Women’s Studies’ and the Department of Gender Studies of the Central European University.


ATHENA3 has a new website. It provides information from the coordination to all partners and includes a space where working groups can post information about their activities.



Honorary degree awarded to Rosi Braidotti


On 25 May 2007, the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki has conferred 16 degrees of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa. This is the highest honour the University can bestow. One of these degrees has been bestowed on Rosi Braidotti, former vice-president of AOIFE.


Whilst the Faculty of Philosophy has been split into the Faculties of Arts, Behavioural Sciences, Biosciences, Pharmacy, and Science, these five Faculties still come together for this special occasion.


Rosi Braidotti, professor at Utrecht University, is a highly respected and innovative feminist theoretician. She has published widely, renewing approaches and questions concerning sexual differences, materiality, embodiment and nomadic subjectivity. She has been involved extensively in European cooperation in Women’s Studies both within and beyond the academic world.



Declaration of intent for a new European association of Women’s Studies


In cooperation with ATHENA and WISE (Women’s International Studies Europe), AOIFE intends to set up a professional European association of academics and practitioners in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, Feminist Research, gender equality and diversity. This permanent structure will represent the interests of this field of knowledge at European level.


At the annual ATHENA meeting in Budapest, 31 May - 3 June 2007, representatives of the three organisations (Kirsi Saarikangas, president of AOIFE; Berteke Waaldijk, scientific coordinator of ATHENA3; and Barbara Bagilhole, board member of WISE) have signed a Declaration of Intent, stating the objectives and activities of the association and the aim to launch the new association no later than September 2009.



European Platform of Women Scientists


AOIFE has become a member of the European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS). This platform supports the work of a whole range of national, European and international networks of women scientists from all disciplines (natural, medical and social sciences, engineering and technology, arts and humanities). The EPWS aims to act as a link between women scientists and EU policymakers and to promote the inclusion of the gender dimension in science.



7th Framework Programme


In the 7th Framework Programme of the EC, AOIFE has supported the following research proposals: 

·         Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN). Stage 1 proposal “GenderKNOW: Gendered knowledges: Transgressing disciplinary boundaries” submitted by Utrecht University, involving eight AOIFE members / ATHENA partners.

·         Capacities Programme, part 5, science in society. Proposal under the topic ‘Meta analysis of gender and science research’ submitted by the consortium of the Centre for Gender and Diversity of Maastricht University and Human European Consultancy.

Both proposals were submitted in May 2007. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a positive evaluation!