tisdag, maj 24, 2011

Spring Formal 2011

Amidst the assignments, appartment hunting, presentations, and all my other "must-do's", me and a friend attended Uppsala's Spring Formal, or as we say in Swedish, Vårbalen, this Saturday.

It was lovely. First of, my friend M is as charming as can be, and I am so happy he was my date. Since it was my first time there, he helped me out with some of the details, like the order in which you toast, and how to dance the waltz (believe me, I have no experience in wearing gowns, so the dancing in long skirts was quite tricky).
The food was rich and delicious, a five-course meal that I don't know how I managed to make room for. The drinks were abundant and the entertainment entertaining. I especially enjoyed the choirs own rendition of Rhianna.

All in all it was quite the experience, and after about 12 hours of partying, and 14 hours in a corset that's left my back bruised, I fell into bed completely exhausted, while a lot of the other participants continued with the festivities.

I think I got quite the taste for it. Now, it isn't really something one would do often, but I see the appeal. Once a year you get to dress up in a long gown, and donne jewelry and make-up you usually don't wear, feel fabulous, eat great food and have a lovely time. Why say no to that?
Of course, it's a bit on the expensive side, but worth it. And you can always be clever and choose a dress that will come in handy later on. I'm already planning on wearing mine at a friends wedding next year. Fancy and practical, just the way I like it =)

torsdag, maj 19, 2011

Go see: Fem.Phen.Med.

This weeks recommendation!

May 18th-21st, Uppsala University is holding a four day conference on Feminist Phenomenology and Medicin.

As a part of my present course at Uni, we are required to attend atleast four out of the 16 discussions on the articles presented.
Though I find the topic interesting, because of my very booked schedual, I probably won't attend to more than four or five. Today, I saw three of the speakers: Linda Fisher, Abby Wilkerson and Lanei Rodemeyer. It was pretty fascinating, though Wilkersons article, or perhaps topic, is a more correct word here) was the one that I felt most intrigued by.
Afterwards I also got to talk to two other of the guests, Marja-Liisa Honkasalo, who actually complimented me on my questions and recommended me some good reads, and Nikki Sullivan, who flew in all the way from Australia, who told me about the (for me) un-usual subject of her studies, queer dis(orientation) and the alienation of one from ones own body, and how this otherness manifests in the will to rid oneself of ones own physical appandeges, like arms and legs (what I consider self-mutilation), and the taboo around such a state.
As mentioned - fascinating!

Though the thing that gets me the most, is that someone has been sabotaging this conference. Sure, I get that the topic is controversial, but the response has been ridiculous.
About two weeks ago, the Center for Gender Studies at Uppsala University, put up big posters around Campus, to spread the word about the conference. Within a day, every single poster was gone. it was strange, but unfortunate. Yet, the next day, new posters were hung. And within a day, all were gone.
In the end, posters and flyers were hung up during 7-10 days. The University cleaning staff was informed about not taking down anything. The other departments put up flyers in support. And yet, except for posters put up behind locked glass cases, every single one was taken down within a day from being put up. For almost two weeks.

I just can't see who would be so angry, and have so much time on their hands, to spend two weeks of their lifes just to keep this up. What is wrong with them? What is it that is so provocative about gender studies (in Sweden!!), or about phenomenology? Or is it that they dislike the use of medicin in research on queer body images, or illness experience, or intersex and biomedicin?
It is sad, because even though it might not be in everyones field of interest, I'm sure there are people out there who would have liked seeing some of this, as there always is.

fredag, maj 06, 2011


Post-Madrid and post-Valborg. It feels like I've been dancing, eating, laughing and drinking for weeks. Maybe I have, time flows strange in spring.

I've taken up looking at new housing, after all, my lease is up in three months and it won't do to move in with family and friends unless I really have to.
Also, life is getting back to normal, or atleast I'm trying to figure out what to do to steer it back where it should be. There's a lot of studies up ahead, and with the appartment-hunt and moving, and friends going away, I don't think I'll be leaving Uppsala much more. I have a weekend in Stockholm booked for next week, and after that I'm planting my bum on Uppsala turf until I've found a new place to stay.

So, since my new classes start on monday, this is the last weekend I'll have that is a bit more relaxed. So E. is visiting me, and we're gonna watch some movies, talk and have picknick with friends if the weather allows it. After that, it's back to the grindstone.