Article published: Changing Magazine Journalism

Nordicom Review has published a special issue on New Nordic Journalism Research. I am happy to have one of my articles published there, probably the very last I will write based on my doctoral research project. The article is called “Changing Magazine Journalism: Key Trends in Norwegian Women’s Magazines” and aims to identify and discuss important changes in magazine journalism in the last decade.

Article published: Women’s suffrage in the media

Finally, my article from the women’s suffrage project is out. It is published in the Norwegian interdisciplinary gender studies journal Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning.

The article (in Norwegian) gives an analysis of how newspapers and women’s journals covered parliamentary debates on women’s suffrage in Norway from 1890 to 1913. Political journalism changed considerably in this period, and the question of women’s suffrage went from being highly controversial to practically uncontested in the space of a few years. Yet, there was remarkable consistency in the discourses put forward by the media, as newspapers continued to evaluate the question of women’s political participation in terms of women’s roles as wives and mothers.

Visiting Fellow at the LSE

Right now in October I am a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I have been in London for a while at the beginning of the month, and am soon returning to London to continue my visit.

I visited LSE as a Visiting Research Student when I did my PhD, and had a wonderful experience both academically and personally. It is great to be there again.

Highlights from the Ida Blom Conference

The Ida Blom Conference is now over. We had two days with an intense conference schedule, packed with keynotes, panels, discussions and social gatherings. More than a hundred scholars from all over the world participated in interdisciplinary discussions on the conference theme “Gendered Citizenship”.

Highlights for me were the opening keynote, by professor Ida Blom herself, who talked about changing gender identities in the period when women won the right to vote, and the closing keynote by professor Liesbet van Zoonen, who talked about the influence of the media on female politicians.

It was also good to meet other researchers with an interest in magazines – both people whose interesting scholarship I knew from before, and new acquaintances.

Most of all, however, it was a great to be part of the organizing team. We have worked for one and a half years planning this conference. It has been a lot of hard work and also a lot of fun. I for one am very happy with the result. Even the Bergen weather was extraordinary!

Gender, democracy and politics: Women’s suffrage in the media

In 1913 Norwegian women were granted universal suffrage. After years of struggle and gradual suffrage expansions, women were finally given equal voting rights as men. This year, the centennial anniversary is celebrated.

In-between my PhD and postdoc I conducted a media history project associated with the suffrage jubilee. I analysed how Norwegian newspapers and women’s journals covered the parliamentary debates about votes for women in 1890, 1907 and 1913. Interestingly, the final victory in 1913 was hardly mentioned in the newspapers. That is quite a contrast to the considerable attention the jubilee is getting a century later.

A journal article based on this project will be published in the fall, but I have already communicated results from the project to the academic and general public in several ways:

  • Conference papers at the Tenth Nordic Gender History Conference in Bergen, August 2012 and at the Norwegian Association of Media Researchers’ bi-annual conference in Kristiansand, October 2012
  • Article in Vox Publica (in Norwegian), title “‘Kvindeligheden’ i fare: Mediene og kampen for kvinnestemmerett”
  • Interviews in Stavanger Aftenblad (only published in print), Bergens Tidende, På Høyden and KILDEN(all in Norwegian).
  • Talks at different seminars and lecture series. More coming up in June, including an open seminar at Bergen Public Library where 13 university scholars will give very short talks on a range of topics associated with women’s suffrage.

My impression is that the jubilee celebration has inspired a lot of interest in gender and democracy. For me, the highlight so far was a talk I gave on the international women’s day in Meland outside Bergen. Local organizers had put together an impressive jubilee celebration that attracted several hundred people. The show started with a choir of 100 women of all ages marching in, singing an anthem from the suffrage campaign in 1907! It was very cool. The academic highlight of the jubilee is yet to come, however, and that will be the Ida Blom Conference that will take place in Bergen in October. We are currently working on the programme and I think it is going to be an excellent cross-disciplinary academic event.

Editorial in Norsk medietidsskrift

My most recent (and very small) publication was an editorial in Norsk medietidsskrift, the Norwegian journal for media research where I am on the editorial board. In the editorial I reflect upon what it really means to read texts on paper, and this topic is of course related to the process of change that the journal is going through right now. We are going to cancel our print edition and become an e-journal only. Currently I am part of a working group trying to figure out if it is possible (i.e. economically feasible) to become an Open Access-journal as well. Right now the journal is not Open Access, and so you need access to idunn.no to read it.

Upcoming conferences

In June I will attend the International Communication Association annual conference in London, where I will present a paper in the Popular Communication division. The paper is called “Speaking of the unspeakable. Reflections on unacknowledged dimensions of media experiences”, and it is a rewritten version of the trial lecture I gave before the public defense of my PhD thesis.

I am also going to present a paper at the ICA preconference Audiences, Elsewhere? hosted by the University of Leicester. This preconference is highly relevant to my postdoctoral project, as it will provide a forum for discussing the applicability of audience and reception research to other fields – such as, in my case, welfare research. My paper will be a presentation of my postdoctoral project on social media and the welfare state.

Edit: Now I have also been accepted to NordMedia2013 in Oslo in August, where I will (hopefully) present some very early results from my postdoctoral research.