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Mia Liinason


Department. of Cultural
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
412 55 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg


Gender Studies
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg

About Mia Liinason

I am Professor in Gender Studies and teach at all levels of the area. I am director of TechnAct: Research Cluster on gender, sexualities, emergent communities and technocultural assemblages and research leader for the 5-year research project Spaces of Resistance. I am a member of the Antiracist Academy and Young Academy of Sweden. In 2015, I was appointed Wallenberg Academy Fellow by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2016-2021). I have been guest professor at the Institute for Diversity Research, Göttingen University (Germany) and Academic Fellow at the Gender Institute, the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK).

Ongoing research

Across several research projects, I have been interested in examining the relationship between power and resistance in feminism as a transformative project, among other things by researching academic feminism; feminist and anti-racist grassroots engagement; and the relationship between women’s organizations and states in Scandinavian contexts. Today, my research has the overarching ambition to examine the impact of globalization on struggles for rights. This interest emanates from the insight that power relationships and practices of resistance are not easily contained within national borders. In relation to the current intensified process of globalization, different justice movements experience a widened space of action and often develop transnational collaborations across national and regional borders. Among researchers, these changes has awakened an interest to think around the potentials of civil society on a global arena. Yet, researchers have also criticized globalization for strengthening global power centras. My research takes departure in an understanding of globalization as the result of a variety of interactions on a global arena - economically, culturally, politically and socially. I examine these issues within the frames of the research project Spaces of Resistance. A Study of Gender and Sexualities in Times of Transformation (Knut and Alice Wallenberg’s Foundation 2016-2021).

Together with a group of scholars, in this project we explore how women and LGBTI people in Turkey, Russia and the Scandinavian countries navigate local, national and transnational relations of power in their everyday lives and in their resistance against different kinds of marginalization, discrimination, threats, violence and oppression. We also study conditions for coalitions across borders, the production of the political, transnational cooperations and possibilities for solidarity. We are currently preparing a joint book from the project.

Postcolonial feminist scholarship, showing how global gender injustices interact with colonial structures has been an important source of inspiration for my research, in addition to queer- and trans studies scholarship which demonstrates how modern, secular and liberal nations take shape through the inclusion of ‘legitimate’ LGBTI people in the nation. Moreover, I have been influenced by transnational feminist scholarship that highlights how human rights work in transnational NGO may risk to result in a new kind of neoliberal imperialism on a global arena. I want to contribute to these understandings by attending to the complexities that arise as the result of multiple relations of power that are not easily contained within national borders, and by seeking to provide a more pluralistic image of the situation for women and LGBTI people as well as of their struggles for justice.

I am Director of the Research Cluster TechnAct: Transformations of Struggle. Research cluster on gender, sexualities, emergent communities and technocultural assemblages (Swedish Research Council 2019-2023). This initiative creates a cutting-edge interdisciplinary research venture at the interface between informatics, social and cultural theory and gender studies, connecting an interdisciplinary core group of researchers from the humanities, social sciences and technology. Our goal is to produce new knowledge about the impact of digital technologies on civil society engagement and on social movements.

Today we know little about how places, nations and borders are (re)shaped, how communities transform and groups of collective actors emerge through digital technologies. We know even less about the risks and ethical dilemmas that arise as the result of such practices. With respect to the need for deeper understandings of potential ethical dilemmas, risks or possibilities resulting from the use of digital technologies for social justice purposes, a study of this kind will contribute with important knowledge for theory as well as policy development.

Research networks

I am the coordinator of the research network Transforming values. Gender, religiosities and secularities across the globe (funded by RJ 2018-2021). This network takes seriously the increased interest for religiosity and secularity, as well as for the relationship between them. We do this by initiating and advancing interdisciplinary and transregional conversations on the intricate dynamics of secularity, religiosity and gender across the globe. During six meetings over three years, we will initiate interdisciplinary and transregional conversations on these dynamic relations. Follow the program of activities on the website of the network via the link above.

I am also member in the network Transforming Identities. Exploring changes, tensions and visions in the Nordic region through the prism of identity politics (funded by NOS-HS 2018-2019). The network aims to examine central tensions and convergences in debates concerning identity politics across the Nordic region and across political landscapes within the Nordic countries and beyond. We arrange three workshops in 2018 and 2019. See call for papers on the website of the network (link above).

In a European context, I have been committed to strengthening the institutionalization of gender studies. I have been active as a board member in diverse projects and associations, such as the Nordic Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Sveriges Genusforskarförbund (SGF) [the Swedish Association for Gender Research] and Atgender - the European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation. I have been engaged in several European gender studies networks, including GenderAct: Academic Cultures and Transformation in European Gender Studies (funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond); ATHENA: Advanced Thematic Network in European Gender Studies (funded by the European Commission); and the Futures of Feminisms in the Nordic Region (funded by NOS-HS and NIKK 2016-2018).

Recent books and editorial experience

Together with two colleagues I am currently finalizing a monograph about encounters across borders within feminist and LGBTI+ activism. The book presents findings from a multi-situated ethnographic study of transnational exchanges locally and across national borders within and beyond Russia, Turkey and the Scandinavian countries, In 2018, I published the book Equality Struggles. Women’s Movements, Neoliberal Markets and State Political Agendas in Scandinavia (Routledge). The book examines some of the largest and most established women’s organizations in the Scandinavian countries. The book deepens feminist understandings of existing discourses and norms around gender equality, equal rights and of masculinity and femininity that characterize the Scandinavian neoliberal welfare states today, their historical links and contemporary manifestations.

In 2016, I published the book Hoppets politik. Feministisk aktivism i Sverige idag (Makadam förlag), with Marta Cuesta. The book present findings from the project Feminist critique, feminist resistance, feminist hopes (Swedish Research Council 2012-2015) examining contemporary feminist grassroots activism in Sweden.

I also have extensive editorial experience. I have been the guest editor of a number of academic journals such as Women's Studies: International Forum (vol. 54 2016, with Sabine Grenz) and Gender, Place and Culture. A Journal of Feminist Geography (2018, with Erika Alm). I was the Editor-in-Chief for the Graduate Journal of Social Science (2007-2009), and editorial board member and book review editor of NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research (2010-2012). Since 2013, I am a member of the SAGE Open Editorial Board.