Collective residences

RAISA JURVA

From Monday, 30 October 2017 to Sunday, 19 November 2017

RAISA JURVA
Researcher in Gender Studies
Tampere (Finland)

Bio

Raisa Jurva works as a researcher in Gender Studies at the University of Tampere in Finland. Her research interests include the entanglements of power and emotions in intimate relationships, feminist theories and methodologies, life course perspectives on gender and discussions on affect. She is interested in the ways in which gendered conventions frame the lived experiences of couple relationships and how those conventions are challenged both institutionally and individually in the everyday life. She has published on discourses on heterosexuality in sexual education materials, on men’s experiences of prostate cancer treatments and on female complaint as an expression of gender inequality. Moreover, she has taught undergraduate courses on gender and sexuality in Gender Studies in different universities in Finland.

Project

During the residency, she will be working on her PhD thesis, for which I have interviewed mid- to later-life women who have experience of a relationship with a substantially younger man. She is interested whether heterosexuality might be patterned somewhat differently in such relationships. Furthermore, the unconventional age difference brings forth gendered conventions about reproduction and family lineage. In her research, she focus on the affective dimension of the gendered conventions and hierarchies. The study is part of a research project Just the Two of Us? Affective inequalities in intimate relationships (project 287983) funded by the Academy of Finland.

Contemplating on affect, power and relationships at Faber

During the residency, I was working on my doctoral research on mid- to later-life women’s experiences of relationships with younger men. My interest lies in understanding the entanglements of power, emotions and gendered conventions in the context of heterosexual relationships. I have to admit that when I started to find out about Faber, the idea of having a break from the November darkness in Tampere (Finland) by spending three weeks in Catalonia was very appealing to me. However, it was not only the sunshine that gave my work a boost during the residency. Even though the residents worked with different themes, we all shared an interest in feminist perspectives and there were plenty of opportunities for informal discussions, which usually took place before or during dinner. Moreover, the Open Day at Faber served as a platform for presenting our ongoing work, which I really enjoyed.

Faber is located in the small town of Olot, which provides good opportunities for enjoying the nature. Forests and parks nearby are ideal for taking a break from writing and it is easy to go jogging along the river that crosses the town. Furthermore, I cannot underestimate the significance of being relieved from domestic chores such as cooking and cleaning for a while, which enables full concentration towards the work at hand. I worked quite independently at Faber and did not need much of assistance from the staff, but they were always available, which created a supportive environment.   

I left Faber in a state of inspiration and the discussions with other residents will provide food for thought for a long time.

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