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Wera Grahn

Since January 1st, 2012 I have returned to the Unit for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the larger Tema Department, Linköping University where I am Associate Professor in Gender Studies, Senior Lecturer and Head of Unit. Furthermore I am also Director of Postgraduate Research Training and Director of the Master's Programme, Gender Studies - Intersectionality and Change, apart from researching, teaching and supervising commitments. Previously I have worked as a Senior Reserach fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) in Oslo, Norway (2007-2011) and been affiliated to Upplandsmuseet for research (2006-2007). Before that I was a PhD student at Tema Genus in Linköping (1999-2006). 

My academic background is based in Gender studies, Ethnology, and Theory and history of science, and she also has a B.A. in Journalism. I have a broad empirical interest in the field of cultural heritage, ranging from museums to monuments, historical sites, places and landscapes. My main research questions has focused on how we use history today, how it is created, what it does to people and societies, what interests are working as driving forces in these processes, whose history is promoted and regarded and whose is not, and how can we find new more inclusive and diverse ways to use various parts of cultural heritage to tell alternative histories. Particular focus is given to gender perspectives, especially Intersectionality.

Research interests

My present research interests are primarily turned towards the basic premises governing the field of cultural heritage. These assumptions are usually taken for granted, but are seldom questioned and rarely explicitly articulated. However, previous research scrutinizing these basic premises shows that they are often modelled in a way that they tend to privilege the cultural heritage of already privileged social strata in a society and neglect the heritage from other social groups, especially the more unprivileged once. A general subordination is so to speak reproduced in the sector of cultural heritage, which adds to the mechanisms of social exclusion and feeling of alienation in society for specific groups. This makes it necessary to broaden the scope of what cultural heritage can be and to problematize the ground on which the cultural heritage management is based today and to find ways in which cultural heritage of tomorrow can become an empowering and democratic part in society for more groups. In today’s globalized societies a rearticulation of cultural heritage is needed, that better reflects the diversity of today’s society and opens up to include the heritage of more people independent of for instance class, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.


In 2006 I took my doctoral degree in Gender Studies at Linköping University, defending my dissertation on contemporary constructions of museums, “Know Thyself”: Gender, Historical constructions and representations in a Museum of Cultural History.Avalible as Full text PDF:  My publications also include amongst others: Identifying heritage values in local communities (2011a), Intersectional constructions and cultural heritage management (2011b), Fragmentated or representative? Construction of cultural heritage values along Akerselva in Oslo (2010), Cultural heritage in the making (2009), Gender constructions and museums. A Handbook (2007). Short cv/Long cv.


Present research project

I am currently participating, together with The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage research (NIKU), in a three years research project. The project is funded   by The Research Council of Norway (4,6 milj NOK): Cultural history, cultural heritage management and mediation in a South Sámi and Norse borderland.

Wera Grahn

Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 013-28 66 57
Fax: 013-13 36 30

E-mail: wera.grahn@liu.se


Department of Thematic Studies -
Gender Studies
Linköping university
SE-581 83 Linköping


About Tema

The objective for Tema - The Department of Thematic Studies is to pursue excellent research and education at undergraduate and advanced levels relevant to society.

Child Studies
Gender Studies
Technology and social change
Environmental Change

Page manager: wera.grahn@liu.se
Last updated: Wed Apr 01 18:06:32 CEST 2015