Bio

I am a professor of history (women's and gender history) at the University of Iceland.

I hold a PhD in history from the University of Iceland. My doctoral thesis, Women of Modernity (in Icelandic) was published in 2011 (see English Summary).

For more than two decades my work and research has centered on women’s and gender history. I have participated in national, Nordic and European research projects and networks in the field of history and gender studies, both as a historian and in relation with my work as the director of The Women’s History Archives in Iceland 1996–2001 and as a specialist at The Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Iceland 2001–2005. In the years 2006–2016 I was a part time teacher at the Faculty of History and Philosophy, concentrating on women’s and gender history. For the past few years I've been working on following projects:

1) In the Wake of Suffrage. Icelandic Women as cultural and political agents, 1915-2015. This is a co-project with Ragnheiður Kristjánsdóttir, professor, University of Iceland, funded by Rannis, The Icelandic Research Fund. The late Þorgerður H. Þorvaldsdóttir, PhD in Gender Studies and independent scholar at the Reykjavík Academy (1968-2020) was a member of the project.

2) Konur sem kjósa. Aldarsaga [A Century of Women Voters]. A book co-authored with Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, Ragnheiður Kristjánsdóttir and Þorgerður H. Þorvaldsdóttir. The book discusses the life and political environment of Icelandic female voters c. 1915–2015. The book was published by Sögufélag (The History Society) in October 2020.

3) A book on the life and letters of Sigríður Pálsdóttir. Sigríður Pálsdóttir (1809–1871) left a record of her life in the form of 250 letters she wrote to her brother for more than half a century. These letters cover a lifetime and give invaluable insight into the daily life and experiences of a woman living in a poor agricultural society, with a population of 59.000 people in 1850, and still not affected by industrialization or urbanization.

The book is based on a research funded by Rannis (The Icelandic Research Fund) 2013–2015. The study was concerned with how Sigríður lived her life and, more importantly, how she expressed and presented it through this life-long correspondence with her brother. Thus, the project had two main objectives: 1) To explore the complex dimensions and importance of correspondence between relatives in the first half of the 19th century, focusing on women, 2) To write a scholarly biography of Sigríður Pálsdóttir, grounded in the theories and methods of biographical research and history.

The project iss thus grounded in three different but related fields of study: 1) The field of life writing, especially concerning correspondences and letter writing, 2) The growing field of historical biographies and biographical research, 3) The field of women’s and gender history.

The main findings of this study (apart from the biographry itself) have been published in Icelandic and English.

My work is mainly in Icelandic but several chapters and articles can be found in English: see short CV in English.