Societies in Transition – Challenges to Women’s and Gender Studies

Information and registration:

Ilse Kamke, M.A.
Tel. ++49 441 7982455; Fax ++49 441 7985180;
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
D-26111 Oldenburg
Concept and Organization:
Prof. Dr. Heike Fleßner, Dr. Lydia Potts, Ilse Kamke, M.A.

International Conference

"Societies in Transition – Challenges to Women’s and Gender Studies"

(28 June – 1 July 2001)
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
(Oldenburg i.O./ Lower Saxony, Germany )

Women’s and gender studies programs are existing in many countries at this time. It is a crucial task for the future of this still emerging discipline to enhance international communication and cooperation between study programs, students, scholars, activists and professionals. If we consider ideals and concepts of emancipation and participation as core principles of women’s and gender studies, global networking requires systematically including non-western perspectives on all levels of research, teaching and curriculum development.

Consequently, the invited speakers at this conference will be from a variety of countries, including Poland, Hungary, India, Nepal, Jordan, Turkey, the Republic of South Africa, Great Britain and the US.

They will present inside perspectives of their women’s and gender studies programs: contents and curricula, teaching methods and aims. Furthermore, they will analyze and discuss how societal transition influences the emergence and further development of such programs. Papers will be given by scholars representing women’s and gender studies programs, but also by professionals and activists whose work focus is on women and gender.

The conference aims at investigating and developing possibilities for transnational cooperative initiatives and projects, primarily those involving women’s and gender studies programs.

In 1993 the University of Oldenburg already hosted an international conference on "Women’s Studies im internationalen Vergleich" ("International Perspectives of Women’s Studies"). It was the very first conference dealing with this topic in Germany. At that time we focussed on a) knowing about and learning from women’studies programs at some of our partner universities (e.g. in the US and in the Netherlands) and b) on bringing together and discussing different attempts to institutionalize women’s studies curricula/ concentrations/ programs at different levels of German higher education (see conference documentation: Heike Fleßner, Marianne Kriszio, Rita Kurth, Lydia Potts (Hg.): Women’s Studies im internationalen Vergleich. Pfaffenweiler 1994).

The conference of 2001 goes even further. In the meantime, not only has Oldenburg University institutionalized Women’s and Gender Studies Programs but even some more German institutions of higher education have done so. Others are planning to do so in the near future. The International Women’s University in Hannover, as part of the World Exhibition 2000 in Hannover/ Germany, was a great success. This conference hopes to continue the momentum established by these previous events.

Conference language: English

Conference venue: Main campus, Uhlhornsweg.
All plenary sessions will held be at BIS-Saal, Library.

Please register by 15 May 2001 by mail, fax or e-mail.
Your registration will be confirmed by an invoice and instructions for payment together with further information starting on 15 April 2001.

Conference Program (tentative)

Wednesday, 27 June

Arrival of international guests and participants


Thursday, 28 June

10.00 am Opening
President of the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Federal Minister of Higher Education and Research (invited)
Center of Interdisciplinary Research on Women and Gender Studies at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
11.30 am Women’s and Gender Studies worldwide: Status, Developments and Prospects
Gabriele Griffin (Kingston University, Great Britain)
Globalization and Gender
Shalini Randeria (Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin /Freie Universität, Berlin)
1.30 pm Lunch
Guided walk of campus: Students and professors act as guides
3.00 pm  Focus: India and Nepal
Gender Studies at Haryana Agricultural University, Hirna/ Haryana, India
(Savita Singal, Haryana Agricultural University)
Studies at Tribhuvan Women’s University, Kathmandu/ Nepal
(Puspa Ghimire-Niraula, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu)
5.00 pm  Coffee break
5.30  pm Strategies of Women’s Empowerment:
Women’s Micro Enterprises in Nepal
(Ira Acharya, Micro Enterprise Development Program, Kathmandu/ Nepal)
7.00 pm  Dinner

Friday, 29 June

9.00 am  Focus: Europe (I):
Women’s and Gender Studies in German Higher Education
(Silke Wenk, Oldenburg, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, invited)
Women’s and Gender Studies in Germany – Strategies
of Internationalization
(Sigrid Metz-Göckel, Dortmund)
11.00 am  Coffee break
11.30 am  Focus: Europa (II):
Poland: Gender Studies/ Postgraduate Program at University of Warsaw
(Bozena Choluj, University of Warsaw and European University Viadrina,
Frankfurt/ Oder)
Hungary: Gender Studies "Gender and Culture"/ Postgraduate
Program at Central European University Budapest
(Susan Zimmermann, Central European University, Budapest)
1.00 pm Lunch
Guided walk of campus: Students and professors act as guides
2.30 pm Social and economic policies – Gendered politics –
Feminist strategies in Europe and the Europian Union
(Susanne Schunter-Kleemann, Hochschule Bremen)
Women in the Process of Economic and Social Transition
in Eastern Europe
(Kinga Lohmann, KARAT, NGO Eastern Europe, Warzaw)
4.00 pm Coffee break
4.30 pm Focus: Republic of South Africa:
Gender Studies at University of the Witswatersrand
Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa
(Sheila Meintjes, University of the Witswatersrand, Graduate School of the Humanities and Social Sciences)
Women and work in South Africa
(N.N. )
6.00 pm Dinner
8.00 pm Which equalities matter?
(Anne Phillips, Gender Institute, London School of Economics – invited)
9.30 pm Garden reception

Saturday, 30 June

9.30 pm

Focus: Middle East (I):


Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Amman/ Jordan

(Yasmin Haddad)

Women in Jordan – social situation and political status

(Josi Salem-Pickartz, University of Amman)


11.00 pm

Coffee break


11.30 pm

Focus: Middle East (II):


Women’s and Gender Studies at Middle Eastern Technical University/

Ankara, Turkey

(Feride Acar, Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara)

Women’s Library/ Istanbul and the Turkish Feminist Women’s Movement

(N.N., invited)


1.00 pm



2.30 pm

Final session:

Networking and Cooperating Transnationally – Initiatives and Prospects (Plenary discussion)


4.30 pm



6.00 pm

Excursion and dinner with international guests and participants

Sunday, 1 July: Departure


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