The expertise of the researchers involved in the Graduate Gender Programme lies at the interface of cultural and memory studies, postcolonial studies, gender and ethnicity, social work and the European history of welfare, and feminist philosophy.
Together they focus on the ways in which instances of gendering occur, that is, on how cultural practices and artefacts get to perform gender in a context that is thoroughly power-laden. The programme looks at the ontology and epistemology, ethics and aesthetics of gender in its entanglement with other axes of socio-cultural differentiation such as ‘race’/ethnicity, sexuality, and age. The research programme 2020-2025 consists of the following four thematic strands:
- Cultural Critique
- Colonial Legacies-Postcolonial Formations
- Crossing/Contesting Boundaries
- Critical Epistemologies
With its interdisciplinary research, the programme adds to contemporary (feminist) debates about transnational justice, post-colonialism, post-humanism and post-secularism.
The Gender Studies research group is further embedded in the faculty Research Institute of Cultural Inquiry (ICON), and the UU Strategic Theme Institutions for an Open Society (IOS), and in particular in the Hub Gender and Diversity. UU Gender Studies also directs the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG) and is the initiator of the Postcolonial Studies Initiative (PCI).
NEWS: Gender Studies at Utrecht University qualified as ‘excellent’ in international research evaluation
The Graduate Gender Studies Programme at Utrecht University is part of the research Institute for History and Culture (OGC). This institute is evaluated every six years by an external committee of peers. The evaluators follow the Standard Evaluation Protocol 2009-2015 for Research Assessment in the Netherlands (SEP). This SEP protocol was created by the Royal Netherlands Academy of the Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch universities for use in all research evaluations conducted under their auspices.
The evaluation committee that assessed the institute – in the summer of 2012 – over the years 2005-2011 consisted of renowned scholars from some of the best universities in the world:
• Prof. Rosamond McKitterick – Chair (University of Cambridge, UK)
• Prof. Elleke Boehmer (Oxford University, UK)
• Prof. Jeffrey Muller (Brown University, USA)
• Prof. David Rodowick (Harvard University, USA)
Both the institute in total and each of its ten research programmes have been evaluated on four main criteria. The research group Gender Studies scored the highest possible grade on each of the four criteria:
Quality 5; Productivity 5; Relevance 5; Viability 5.
Quote from the current evaluation report: “This world-class programme has continued, over the past six years, to produce the kind of dynamic first class research for which it had already become well-known both nationally and internationally.”
The programme herewith established a reputation of excellence over the past 15 years. The previous international assessment chaired by Prof. David Goldberg (University of California, Irvine) covered the period 1997-2004: Quality 4,5; Productive 5; Relevance 5; Prospects 4,75.
Ranking Gender journals
Publications in refereed – top – journals are important for reseachers in the gender area. The European Science Foundation (ESF) made ranking lists for various research areas, including gender – the so-called European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH).
The ESF signed in January 2014 a memorandum of understanding with the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) to transfer the maintenance and operations of the European Reference Index for the Humanities to NSD. The ERIH database operated by NSD is called ERIH PLUS and you can find it here.