Challenging Anti-Gender Politics with Postcolonial, Feminist and Queer Theory  

Send a paper proposal for this session via the submission form


What nationalist anxieties and fantasies are played out in anti-gender campaigns? How is homophobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny juxtapositioned or formulated in tension with one another in anti-gender politics? What are the historical and colonial genealogies of contemporary anti-gender politics and how do they map out in the practices and experiences in different regional and global locations? 

This paper session aims to analyze anti-gender campaigns to explore how anti-gender narratives and movements challenge and engage critical race, feminist and queer scholarship, with their mobilization of biological essentialism, insistence on heteronormativity, nationalism and white supremacy, and critique of postcolonial, feminist and queer studies’ relevance and legitimacy in knowledge production and policy work. If, as much relevant research has shown, anti-gender movements are well-organized transnational and global phenomena, it is clear that local, national and regional specificities must be connected to and compared with broader patterns of shared values, norms, and rhetoric. This is not least important in the Nordic context, given its self-image as the pinnacle of gender equality and tolerance, as well as given the limited research literature available on the topic here.  

The session moreover aims to center the role of critical race, feminist and queer theory in attempts to articulate and realize otherwise worlds in this historical moment, in the context of rising anti-gender politics, populism, fascist re-emergences, destabilized left-right political axes, progressive failures, and pandemic and climate crises. As such it is a call to confront and destabilize ideologies of gender stability and patriarchal and white supremacist norms as the very basis for society.  

We welcome paper proposals that address the panel topic, broadly conceived.  


Erika Alm holds a Ph.D. in History of Ideas and is associate professor in Gender Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and editor-in-chief of the Nordic lgbtq and queer studies lambda nordica (with Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen). Alm’s research focuses on knowledge production on trans and intersex in medicine and law, and activist knowledge production and organization as practices of resistance. Together with Engebretsen Alm is the editor of a forthcoming special issue of lambda nordica on anti-gender politics and queer theory.  

Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen is an associate professor with the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger, and coordinator of the UiS Queer Research Group, a platform for queer research/ers in Norway. Engebretsen is editor-in-chief of the Nordic lgbtq and queer studies journal lambda nordica (with Erika Alm). Current research projects are concerned with Pride politics, queer history, queer and feminist activism and anti-gender movements.  

Diana Mulinari is professor of Gender Studies at the Department of Gender Studies, Lund University, Sweden. Questions of colonial legacies, Global North/South relations (with a special focus on Latin America), racism, and the diversified forms of resistance and organization to old and new forms of power have stayed with her through all the work she has conducted. Her research has developed in a critical dialogue with feminist and other theoretical and methodological contributions that make a strong case for emancipatory social science. Mulinari is the project leader of “An ethnographic exploration of anti-genderism: ideas, identities and political practices in the Nordic region” (Vetenskapsrådet). 

Published Sep. 20, 2021 10:45 AM - Last modified Sep. 21, 2021 2:56 PM