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Irina Schmitt

Assistant professor

I am assistant professor and work as researcher and teacher at the Department of Gender Studies.

Convinced that I would become a theatre directress, I started to study at Bremen University in northern Germany, and got hooked on thinking and learning. Trying to make sense of migration studies and the perspectives of queer intellectual work and activism, I wrote both a Magistra Artia thesis on social changes and policy developments regarding Canadian multiculturalism and queer politics, and a PhD study on young people’s negotiations of national belonging. Together with friends/colleagues, I was initiated into queer studies and also taught my first seminars on gender studies. I came to Lund in 2008 as a postdoctoral researcher, thoroughly enticed by the span of research (from drag kings to postcolonial analyses of work) that was and is possible here.

Both in research and teaching, I find inspiration in queer-feminist, transfeminist, anti-racist and post-colonial thinking and work, and also work at the intersection of academic and ‘everyday’ knowledge. I am interested in how people negotiate especially gendered, sexed and sexual belonging and nationally specific notions of ‘who we are’, and in the incongruences of legal statements and everyday experiences, the visible and the hidden workings of power.

Current research:
Queer-feminist thinking has been an intellectual home for me for many years. More recently, I am learning from and in the field of trans and intersex studies, while staying with my empirical interest in schools and universities as spaces of socio-political (knowledge-)production and – possibly, hopefully – change.

The focus of my work is the analysis of power relations and experiences in the intersections of gender, sex and sexuality with understandings of national ascriptions and belongings. I locate this work in organizations of knowledge production and national inscription such as schools and universities. One of my recent studies is on teachers’ and activists’ strategies in education policy and practice that address sexual and gender diversity in Vancouver and Toronto in Canada.  Currently I am working on a project on young and young adult trans and intersex  peoples’ experience of school, a project that I have been wanting to do in a long time. Click here to read more about my ongoing research projects.

Together with Jens Rydström, I coordinate the Queer studies seminar at the Department of Gender studies, a transdisciplinary seminar on queer theories, queer cultures and queer activism open to all interested.

Teaching Interests:
Being a teacher in gender studies, and a gender studies teacher in other areas, is one of the greatest privilege and pleasure in academia I can think of. I teach and have taught on the Department of gender studies’ bachelor and master courses, in courses of the international master program at the faculty of Social Sciences and in teacher training. I teach mainly on feminist methodology and theory and on norm-critical education. While no class is like the other, I generally enjoy the moments of collaboratively finding the theoretical in the empirical, and finding practical usages for theories that at first hand might seem abstract and distant from what we might call “the real world”.

Academic Associations and networks:
LGBTQ-network for employees at Lund University

Swedish network of gender researchers (Sveriges Genusforskarförbund) (2010-2015, member of the board)

Antiracist academy/ Antirassistiska Akademin

Gender and Education Association

Publications (selected):

(2016) Alm, Erika, Signe Bremer, Iwo Nord & Irina Schmitt: Queer- och transforskning. In Werner, Ann, & Anna Lundberg (eds), En introduktion till genusvetenskapliga begrepp. Nationella sekretariatet för genusforskning: Göteborg.

(2014) Om begreppens klibbighet och problem: en intersektionell analys av jämställdhets-, likabehandlings- och mångfaldspolicy på Lunds universitet. In Kerstin Sandell (Ed.), Att bryta innanförskapet. Kritiska perspektiv på jämställdhet och mångfald i akademin (pp. 60-97). Göteborg: Makadam.

(2014). Normkritiska pedagogiker, lagstiftad antidiskriminering och maktanalys. In Anders Persson & Roger Johansson (Eds.), Vetenskapliga perspektiv på lärande, undervisning och utbildning i olika institutionella sammanhang - utbildningsvetenskaplig forskning vid Lunds universitet. Lund: Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap, Lunds universitet.

(2013). with Anna Malmquist and Malena Gustavson, Queering School, queers in school: An introduction. Confero, 1(2), 5-15. (

(2012). Sexuality, secularism and the nation - reading Swedish school policies. In Erica R. Meiners & Therese Quinn (Eds.), Sexualities in Education: A Reader (pp. 270-280). New York: Peter Lang. (This book has received the AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award 2013.)

(2011). with Malena Gustavson, Culturally queer, silenced in school? Children with LGBTQ parents, and the everyday politics of/in community and school. Lambda Nordica. Tidskrift för homo/lesbisk/bi/transforskning, 16(2-3), 159-187.

(2010). Do you have a boyfriend? Feeling queer in youth and education research. Lambda Nordica. Tidskrift för homo/lesbisk/bi/transforskning, 15(3-4), 15-39.


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Irina 2017
E-mail: irina [dot] schmitt [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Gender Studies

+46 46 222 83 95




Educational Sciences


Department of Gender Studies
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, House M, Lund
Postal address: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46 46-222 00 00 (operator)
Fax: 046-222 40 04

Faculty of Social Sciences