SIEF Working group Feminist Approaches

“Woman” on the edge

Call for Papers for the SIEF WG in Feminist Approaches Interim Meeting
August 23th-25th 2024, Hólmavík, Iceland

Our meeting takes place in the remote north of Iceland, itself located at Europe’s furthest periphery. Iceland is constantly in a state of geological, geographical and meteorological precarity on the edge -- engendering an instability that contributes to unstable descriptions and impressions. Hólmavik, at its northern periphery is doubly “on the edge.” We are hosted by the Univ. of Iceland’s Research Center in Hólmavik, and by the Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft, which resonates with yet another kind of precarity -- of those outside of society, shunned, avoided, and perhaps in contact with the supernatural. Our fields themselves are precarious in academia. And the status of “woman” has been historically (and in academia and the production of knowledge) peripheral, subordinate, and precarious, despite the paradoxical centrality of “woman” to the integrity of the family, the foundation of said society.

All of this informs our meeting’s theme: “Woman” on the Edge and the multiple meanings that inhere in such a notion.

This meeting follows our working group’s first ever panel session in Brno last June, at SIEF 2023. Our panel title “The uncertain “woman” in ethnology and folklore” sought to (re)insert the names and work of those women absented from the history of the fields and asked how reinsertion affects practice. What we learned in Brno is that:

1. We need a discussion forum in which to (re)learn and revisit that work which precedes us.

2. We need to use these lessons to inform our own work going forward -- i.e., fully incorporate feminist theory and methodology into our work.

In our interim meeting we propose to address both.

Call for Papers:
We seek two types of papers: 2 different types of presentations in different formats.

  1. Concept Pieces: Presentations which frame and explicate a specific issue, conversation, or application of a theoretical premise as it relates to and intersects with Feminist theory. That is, in your abstract proposal you would identify a theoretical cluster, for example, “gender and power” or “Feminist theory and theories of power”, frame these in their historical and discursive contexts, and then exemplify these discussions by posting and elaborating on 2 or 3 KEY pieces, articles, texts that would be circulated in advance, and that, in an open session, would be generally discussed by the entire group. We envision each presentation to break down into approximately 20 minutes of introduction/frame, 20 minutes on the specific readings, followed by 20 minutes of open discussion. In your abstracts please list the readings (no more than 3, keeping the maximum length of each one to 15 pages), and address how this issue directly relates both to the emphasis of the working group and to the overall theme of the interim conference.
  2. Working papers: Presentations of working papers, fully researched and nearly ready for publication, related to the theme of the meeting. These will be circulated to all the attendees in advance, so that the majority of the time will be a deep discussion of the article. In your abstract, identify your working papers topic and how it fits with the theme of the meeting, and how it might advance a discussion of Feminist approaches in our work. The presentation time should be roughly 40 minutes, with more time for discussion.

We are working on funding to cover breakfast, lunch and transportation from Reykjavík to Hólmavík, for presenters.

Registration fee will be: maximum 80 Euros for attendees/presenters.

Please send a 300 word abstract for either format, and a brief bio. by Nov. 15 2023 to Niina (niina.hamalainen(at) and JoAnn (jac5353(at), chairs of the Feminist Approaches Working Group.

Due dates
Abstracts: Nov. 15
Decisions on the proposals and open Registration will be in early February
Readings for Concept Pieces: March 25
Working papers to be distributed: May 25th