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Introduction to GEXcel

Centre of Gender Excellence

In 2006, the Swedish Research Council granted 20 million SEK to establish a Centre of Gender Excellence (GEXcel), at the inter-university Institute of Thematic Gender Studies, Linköping University & Örebro University for the period 2007-2011. Linköping University has added 5 million SEK as matching funds, while Örebro University has added 3 million SEK as matching funds.  GEXcel is created as a temporary (5 year), collegium-like excellence centre for Advanced Gender Studies. A core activity of GEXcel is a Visiting Fellowship Programme organized and defined by a number of thematical foci.

Overall Research Theme

The overall research theme of GEXcel is defined as transnational and transdisciplinary studies of changing gender relations, intersectionalities and embodiment. We have chosen a broad and inclusive frame in order to attract a diversity of excellent scholars from different disciplines, countries and academic generations. Specificity and focus is also given high priority, via annually shifting thematical foci.

Generally, GEXcel research will put focus on currently pressing theoretical and methodological challenges.

By the keyword “transnational” we underline that GEXcel research should contribute to a systematic transnationalizing of research on gender relations, intersectionalities and embodiment, and, in so doing, develop a reflexive stance vis-a-vis transnational travelling of ideas, theories and concepts, and consciously try to overcome reductive one-country focused research as well as pseudo-universalizing research that unreflected takes e.g. “Western” or “Scandinavian” models as norm.

By the keyword “changing” we aim at underlining that it, in a world of rapidly changing social, cultural, economic and technical relations is crucial to be able to theorize change, and that this is of particular importance for critical gender research due to its liberatory aims and inherent focus on macro-, meso- and microlevel transformations.

By the keyword “gender relations”, we aim at underlining that we define gender not as an essence, but as relational, plural and shifting processes, and that it is the aim of GEXcel research to contribute to a further understanding of these processes.

By the keyword “intersectionalities”, we stress that a continuous reflection of meanings of intersectionalities in gender research should be integrated in all GEXcel research. In particular, we will emphasize four different aspects:

a) intersectionality as intersections of disciplines and main areas (humanities, social sciences and medical and natural sciences);

b) intersectionality as intersections between macro-, meso- and microlevel social analyses;

c) intersectionality as intersections between social categories and power differentials organized around categories such as gender, ethnicity, race, class, sexuality, age,nationality, profession, dis/ablebodiedness etc);

d) intersectionality as intersections between major different branches of feminist theorizing (eg. queerfeminist theorizing, Marxist feminist theorizing, postcolonial feminist theorizing etc.) 

Finally, by the keyword “embodiment”, we aim at emphasizing yet another kindof intersectionality, which has proved crucial in current gender research - to explore intersections between discourse and materiality and between sex and gender.

The Visiting Fellowship Program

The Visiting Fellowship Programme is open for excellent senior researchers and promising younger researchers both from Sweden and abroad. Fellows will normally stay at GEXcel from 1 week and up till 12 months. The Fellowship Programme functions primarily via applications within the framework of the annually shifting thematical foci. The visiting fellows are taken in after application and a peer-reviewed evaluation of the applications.

 The fellows carry out GEXcel research activities together with the core GEXcel staff of six professors and also other relevant members of the research staffs (professors, PhD students, postdocs etc.) from the universities of Linköping and Örebro, who meet the selection criteria of research excellence within the given thematical focus.

GEXcel Open Positions’ Programme for Self-Funded Visiting Scholars

In addition to the Visiting Fellowship Programme, GEXcel also offers a limited number of Open Positions for scholars, who, on a fully self-funded basis, want to visit GEXcel in order to do research at either Linköping University or Örebro University for a longer or shorter period of time in relation to one or more relevant GEXcel research themes.

Applications to the Open Positions’ programme will be peer evaluated on the same basis as other applications to GEXcel. The evaluation will be undertaken by an evaluation panel including an external evaluator, the Professor/s who chair/s the relevant GEXcel theme/s and the Director of GEXcel. In addition to the excellence of the applicant’s scholarship, relevance for GEXcel research and overall aims will also be taken into account as part of the evaluation, as well as available places for Open Positions’ scholars in Linköping or Örebro at the given moment.

Applications can be sent in at all times. Answer will be given within 2 months from the receipt of the application.

Applications should be sent to the academic coordinator of GEXcel (mail coordinator[at]genderexcel.org)

Scholars applying for the Open Positions’ Programme should send in
• their full CV;
• a research plan/proposal;
• a clear indication of the period of time the applicant wants to be in residence at GEXcel, and whether s/he wants to be affiliated with Linköping University or Örebro University;
• a letter of motivation, indicating how the applicant intends to contribute to GEXcel research, and with which theme/s and theme chairs s/he wants to be affiliated.

Open Position scholars will be able to enjoy the attractive research milieu of GEXcel, including exchange with other GEXcel scholars in residence. They will also be invited to participate in GEXcel events, including internal research workshops and seminars.

It should be noted that appointment as visiting GEXcel Open Position scholar does not automatically entitle the appointed scholar to officespace, computer etc. Such facilities will, if possible, be made available, but cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, Open Position scholars are not entitled to any funding from GEXcel, and they will also be responsible for finding and funding accommodation themselves.

Expectations of the Fellows

While staying at GEXcel, the primary task of the fellows will be to devote their time to GEXcel research along the lines of the given thematical foci, including the production of publications and contribution to research conferences. But, while residing at GEXcel, they will also, to some extent, be expected to contribute to relevant seminar series. A mentoring scheme for younger researchers will also  be implemented as part of GEXcel.