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Future visions of GEXcel

CATSgender

The long-term aim of GEXcel is to develop a Sweden-based European Collegium for Advanced Gender Studies (CATSgender).  With a foundation in the excellent research records and transdisciplinary complementarity of the internationally highly experienced team of six professors, united within the framework of the Institute for Thematic Gender Studies, the establishment of GEXcel is planned to make it possible for the group to take their already well established and extensive international and interdisciplinary research collaborations to an important and decisive new level.  

In its capacity of a temporary structure, established for 5 years, GEXcel is intended to be a developmental scheme for a more long-term European centre of gender excellence, i.e. for an institute- or collegium-like structure dedicated to advanced, transnational and transdisciplinary gender research, research training and education in advanced Gender Studies. 

While we contentwise take our point of departure from existing gender research excellence and on this basis develop a cluster of innovative themes to be researched by GEXcel, we ares tructurally inspired by the models of leading European and North American institutes for advanced study, such as Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of California Irvine, and in Sweden The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies (SCAS at Uppsala University).  These institutes are all attractive environments, famous as creative meeting places where top scholars in various fields from all over the world, and from different generations, may find time for reflective work and for meeting and generating new, innovative research. 

These centres of excellence have been very productive over the years both in ideas and publications. We would like to explore how this kind of academic structures that have proved very productive in terms of advancing excellence and high level, internationally important and recognized research within other areas of study, can unleash new potentials of gender research and initiate a new level of excellence within the area. The idea is, however, not just to take an existing academic form for unfolding of excellence potentials and fill it with excellent gender research. Understood as a developmental scheme for CATSgender, GEXcel should build on inspirations from the above mentioned units for advanced studies, but also further explore and assess what excellence in this particular area of research means in terms of both contents and form/structure.  


GEXflex: Gendering Excellence in reflexive organising

GEXflex is that part of the Centre of Gender Excellence that seeks to develop GEXcel by way of an explicit reflexive organisational project. This is to be done throughout the history and development of GEXcel. This involves developing a reflexive way of organising and documenting, that is, seeing the organising of GEXcel as an integral and critical part of the developing gender excellence in research, and not just an instrumental matter or an optional add-on. 


GEXflex thus includes:
* developing a reflexive, feminist way of organising;
* documenting and describing how the process of organising is done, as a key part of feminist methodology;
* developing an appropriate publication strategy;
* studying existing models of institutions for advanced study in Sweden and abroad and reflect on optimal ways of adapting them to fit the area of Gender Studies. This is part of working for the long-term goal of constructing a platform for a more permanent Sweden-based European Collegium for Advanced Gender Studies;
* exploring socio-technical models for combining virtual and physical co-presence while doing joint gender research: We plan implement sociotechnically innovative ways of combining the benefits of spatial co-presence in the same physical environment with use of a maximum of ICTs to facilitate communication and research collaboration. Physical co-presence is given high priority by the Fellowship Program. We also think that careful experiments with ICTs can benefit the area immensely, if implemented creatively.