Nina Lykke, Honorary Doctor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Nina Lykke has a background in comparative literature, but her main focus has always been gender. She held a position as researcher in gender studies at the University of Southern Denmark from 1981 to 1999, and headed the university’s centre for women and gender studies during this period. She was appointed to the position of docent [associate professor] at the same university in 1992, with a dissertation on feminism and psychoanalysis. In 1999 she became professor of Gender and Culture at the Unit for Gender Studies at Linköping University.
Since 2004, Nina Lykke has headed different international research schools in interdisciplinary gender studies. She has also served on the editorial boards of various feminist journals, and as was associate editor of the European Journal of Women’s Studies from 1997 to 2012. Nina Lykke has further been the chief executive officer of AOIFE, the Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and Research in Europe, and from 2007 to 2013 she headed the GEXcel Centre of Gender Excellence, then financed by the Swedish Research Council. She has also served as co-director of GEXcel, when the centre of excellence became the GEXcel Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies – a collaboration between the universities in Karlstad, Linköping and Örebro.
In general, Nina Lykke’s research areas may be designated feminist theory and cultural studies. She has published in different languages, particularly English, Swedish, German and Danish. From her first publication in 1974 to her current work a common theme runs through her research, namely a great interest in feminist onto-epistemology, which means understanding gender, bodies, technology, nature and culture from a feminist perspective. Both her theoretical and methodological research is used in many courses in gender studies.
“Besides my research, I have also promoted the institutionalisation of gender research and the development of courses and programmes in gender studies – on bachelor’s, master’s and PhD level. I have accordingly published several textbooks and theoretical reflections in Swedish, English and Danish on gender research as a postdisciplinary field. It’s extremely important for me as professor to stay in touch with our courses and enter into dialogue with students at all levels in my field. This is why I have also initiated and planned programmes in gender studies, both in Denmark and Sweden.”
Nina Lykke’s future research will focus on cancer, death and mourning. Regretfully she has a personal connection to these themes.
“My partner, who also researched feminism, passed away in 2014. I have written an essay, ‘Queer Widowhood’, in which I tackle many of the norms surrounding death. I think it’s important to have the opportunity to express one’s grief, despite the current tendency to measure the happiness of each individual. I hope to publish a book taking theoretical and culture-analytical approaches to my current research with an international publisher. At the same time, I want to publish a literary text with poetical reflections on these themes.”