Introduction

It is our pleasure to present to you the proceedings of the VIII Nordic Women’s and Gender History conference (Nordiska kvinnohistorikermötet), which was organized in Turku, 11-14 August 2005. The record number of participants attending the conference reflected the triennial conference’s established role as an expanding forum for researchers working in the field of women’s and gender history in the Nordic countries. The first meeting was held in 1983 and has since then been arranged in different Nordic countries.

In recent years, pluralistic viewpoints regarding the notions of "women", "gender" and "history" have been emphasized more and more. This was also reflected in the themes of the meeting in year 2005, titled "Gender and Knowledge – Gendered Knowledge". Special attention was devoted to the relationship between feminism, theory and the conceptualizing of history on one hand, and the connections between the history of gender and colonialism on the other. Thereby theoretical, methodological, empirical and ethical aspects of history and historicizing were discussed.

As postcolonial theorizing has become an ever more influential approach in the field of women’s studies and history, it has also brought up questions concerning the ethics of historical writing and research. With regard to the on-going debate on postcolonial theorizing, questions concerning the interrelation(s) of race, power and imperialism were discussed with a special focus on its implications for women’s studies and Nordic history.

In addition to the conference program a separate panel discussion concerning the writing of women’s history and the meaning of the year 1905 in the Nordic countries was arranged. We were also delighted to offer many theme sessions, roundtables and free papers discussing topics such as embodiment, war memories, work, masculinity and prostitution. A special seminar focusing on the history of gender and sport was also arranged.

The proceedings that are now available in Ennen ja nyt constitute only a part of all articles and edited papers that have been published by conference participants. Besides articles and edited conference papers, this issue includes book reviews of publications the themes of which are linked to the themes of the conference. Ville Kivimäki’s article discusses the concept of experience when studying men and masculinities, Tiina Lintunen writes about war memories from 1918 Finland. Vita Zelce’s article concerns women and state ideologies in Latvia during the Sovjet period of Stalinism. We also present you an article by Marja Engman on Alma Söderhjelm, a historian and who also became the first woman professor in Finland. Only to mention a few of the proceedings in this theme issue of Ennen ja nyt.

We hope that you will find these proceedings interesting and we would also like to inform you that the next meeting will be held on Iceland in 2008.

Conference home page: http://qhist2005.utu.fi
Conference 2008 in Reykjavik: http://agricola.utu.fi/nyt/pyynnot/index.php?jarj=jatettyb&ilmoitus=112

Financial Supporters of the conference and the publication:
Academy of Finland – Gesellius fond – Jenny ja Antti Wihurin rahasto – Kulturfonden Finland-Norge – Kulturfonden Finland-Sverige – Kulturfonden Sverige-Finland -Letterstedtska föreningen – NIKK Nord. inst. för kvinno- och könsforskning – Nordisk kulturfond – Nuorisotutkimusseura (The Finnish Youth Research Society) – Åbo Akademis arbetsforum

Cooperators:
Ashgate Publishing Ltd. – Congress Office, University of Turku – Kalevala Koru – Nora, Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies – Finnish Literature Society – Turku Historical Society

Conference logo:
Tiina Männistö

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