At the height of a record hot summer, 15 PhD and MA students from Ghent, Groningen, Göttingen and Uppsala gathered at the centre for Gender Research in Uppsala for the second summer school in Gender Studies organized within the U4 network.
For this edition the course was organized around the ever-timely theme of Methods, Methodologies and Ethics: Complexities and Responsibilities in Doing Gender Research.
Crucially inspired by feminist perspectives, the course consisted of lectures and discussions aimed at moving beyond a merely procedural ethics mandated by institutional review board committees towards thinking about how to establish a relational research ethics that embraces values of mutual respect in non-exploitative ways and that allows for recognition and scrutiny of the asymmetrical power relationships and humane interpersonal bonds between researcher and researched, including the communities in which they immerse themselves, live and work.
Each of the four days was organized around a distinct theme and keynote lecture by an invited expert and participating students also presented posters of their ongoing research, discussed papers centering on methodological dilemmas in small groups, and practiced giving and receiving peer feedback.
The invited lecturers, Jacqui Gabb (Open University UK), Gabriele Griffin (Uppsala University), Sally Chambers (Ghent University) and Sabine Grenz (University of Vienna), participated through out the course and faculty members from all U4 partners also joined in discussions, making for productive conversations between researchers at different stages.
Course evaluations indicated that students, who came from a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, found the course rich and intense, but above all, very productive and illuminating. They particularly praised the design of the course and highlighted the value of networking and exchanging experiences and knowledge with PhD students from different fields.
During the week, participating faculty also began planning for the next joint course in Gender Studies which will be organized in Groningen in 2020.