Meet your colleague interview #1 – Klara Fischer
Meet your colleague #1 – interview with Klara Fischer (Associate Professor at the Rural Development Division)
How do you relate to gender and feminist concepts in your research?
I work a lot with concepts of power in my research, but I haven’t focused on gender specifically. A lot of feminist and gender research has very good theories and concepts for analysing power. So I read quite a lot of that literature. Earlier, when Tim Richardson (Professor Emeritus in Landscape Architecture) was here, he and I held a seminar series on power. I miss those discussions and I think I can have similar discussions in the Gender group. SOL has a good amount of gender researchers now to make it a vital theme.
How is power an essential research component?
I think power an essential focus in all development studies and research. My research for example concerns how discourses on sustainability, climate change and agricultural development are constructed and their material/local effects for people affected by e.g. intensified forestry, tree plantations to mitigate climate change or promotions of GM crops. Here power and inequality are essential issues to look at as I see it. So I constantly read on power and knowledge. I think by being part of the gender group is important for me for keeping that discussion going.
What kind of activities would you like to see the SOL Gender group doing?
I think apart from official seminars and researcher visits and so forth, it would already be great to just ensure a platform for an ongoing academic conversation about our own research. We could read each other’s manuscripts, or full-fletched papers, and discuss them. That would already be really helpful to have those smaller, informal activities and discussions going and continue, I think. Having this everyday talk about research at work is important, and not only save those moments for big conferences for example. It forces yourself to have time to read and have theoretical discussions instead of focusing on daily routines and to-do lists.