In 1954, at the age of seven, I already knew I would become an archaeologist. I took my undergraduate studies in history at Umeå University, history of art at Stockholm University and archaeology at the University of Gothenburg, passing my BA in 1969 with archaeology as my major subject. In the late sixties and early seventies I spent about ten summer seasons excavating and surveying in the northern part of Sweden and in the Stockholm and Gothenburg areas. I also had the chance to get some experience of excavations in the Netherlands. Since the mid seventies I worked as a teacher in combination with PhD-studies at the archaeological department of the University of Gothenburg. After finishing my PhD in 1998 I was appointed as senior lecturer and in 2008 as assistant professor. Over the years my teaching experience has included field work, tutoring, lecturing and supervising on various levels including PhD theses.
My early concern about the role of archaeology in contemporary society led to my focus on gender studies and I try to include gender-critical aspects in my research. So, for example, in my doctoral thesis ‘Genuskonstruktioner från nordisk vikingatid. Förr och nu (Construcions of gender in Nordic Viking Age. Past and Present’) I discussed gender theories, historiography and material culture of the Viking Age in relation to constructions of female gender in late Scandinavian prehistory.
My interest in the historiography of archaeology as a means to understand the situation of today has lead to the current project ‘The politics of emancipation: A scientific biography of the archaeologist Hanna Rydh’. The result has so far been published in a handful of articles concerning gendered archaeological practices of the early 20th Century. I have also raised some theoretical questions about the writing of autobiographies and scientific biographies.
Since I am interested in material objects´ polysemic qualities and the potential to mediate meaning over time, I am now approaching questions about prehistoric memory and memorial practices. So far I have written a few articles on Viking Age memory work from such different aspects as rune stones and miniature amulets where a gender discussion is at hand and I hope to be able do develop this theme further.
Among my pedagogical writing can be mentioned an easily comprehensible introduction to gender studies in archaeology, ordered by the National Agency of Higher Education in cooperation with the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research.
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