Begrunnelse for nominasjon
The thesis is a theoretical and empirical exploration of the ways in which space and bodies intersect. Employing feminist theory on corporeality – particularly that of Grosz (1994) – and Henri Lefebvre’s spatiology, Tonje develops a sophisticated spatio-corporeal feminist perspective. Through this lens she examines Muslim female veiled bodies in public space, whilst also keeping a critical phenomenological and autoethnographic perspective on her own embodiment.
The qualitative nature of the thesis is embroidered through an autoethnographic lens. Tonje’s field is Grønland torg where she spent a total of four weeks (two weeks in December 2016 and two weeks in January 2017). Immersing herself in this space, Tonje use the theoretical tools of spatiology and feminist corporeality to observe veiled Muslim women who occupy/pass through this space, while also creatively reflecting on her own embodiment. The autoethnographic lens allows for evocative writing and encourages the use of the researcher’s entire sensory apparatus – something that is beautifully reflected in the analytical section of the thesis.
The central research question that the thesis addresses is: “What are the various ways in which bodies and space intersect – in particular, Muslim female veiled bodies, my own embodiment, and that of Grønland torg?”
Through a number of “narratives” in the analytical section of the thesis, the thesis illuminates how the perceived, conceived and lived modalities of space intertwine, and how this entwinement produces the social space of Grønland torg. The thesis also shows that the bodies that inhabit Grønland torg importantly contribute to the social production of space. Also the researcher’s own body, in its veiled and unveiled condition, is an important participant in this space and Tonje shows how her body is vividly subject to various policing mechanisms. Centrally, the thesis demonstrates how a feminist appropriation of the analytical category of lived space (Tonje’s spatio-corporeal feminist perspective) presents an original lens through which to analyse female veiled bodies in public space.
The thesis as a whole is theoretically and methodologically sophisticated. Theoretically, Tonje bravely experiments with theorizing spatiality as a central feminist corporeal concern – developing a spatio-corporeal feminist perspective. Methodologically, she experiments with autoethnography, using her own spatial-corporeality as the central reflective ground for analysis. Paying attention to her whole sensory apparatus, Tonje challenges the norms of academic writing and importantly contributes to showcase a situated feminist study.