Who We Are

Bynja E. Halldórsdóttir is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education and Diversity at the University of Iceland. She is the project leader. Her research areas include critical education theory, intersectionality of lived experiences, immigrant positionality, immigrant experiences in higher education and how Icelandic society and educational institutions are responding to increased diversity. She has recently published articles and book chapters on internationalization, immigrant student experiences in higher education, and using Critical Race Theory as a methodological tool. She is currently serving as the chair of the University of Iceland’s Equality committee.

Dr. Jón Ingvar Kjaran is Professor of queer pedagogy and sociology of education at the University of Iceland, School of Education / Faculty of Diversity and Education. Their research focus is on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, queer issues, migration, and violence. They is currently leading two research projects on gender violence funded by the Icelandic Research Fund. Their latest book is on queer activism in Indonesia and Malaysia, published in 2022 by Palgrave. 

Randi W. Stebbins moved to Iceland in 2014, where she traded in her law practice in US immigration law to become an immigrant herself. The IWEV project allows her to use her personal and legal experience to better understand the lives of immigrant women in Iceland. Randi was also the first director of the University of Iceland Center for Writing, a founding member of the literary nonprofit Ós Pressan, and a writer. 

Sue Gollifer is co-author of the initial project proposal and will focus on the narrative component of immigrant women’s experiences of employment-based violence. Sue is a lecturer at the School of Education working in the department of international studies in education. Her doctoral study was on human rights education at the upper secondary school level in Iceland. She has previously worked in the field of international development and education with a focus on girls’ and women’s education. She has published training materials, including a gender-mainstreaming manual for higher education. Other publications address internationalisation in higher education, and a book chapter on women’s success in overcoming political exclusion in Cambodia.

Flora Tietgen is a PhD student of the project and focuses on the experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV). She holds a master’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Wuerzburg. Her research interests include gender-based violence, immigrants experiences of violence, critical theory and the Gender, Peace and Security Agenda. Before joining the project, she worked at a gender research and training institution. She moved to Iceland in 2017 and is a founding member of UMBRAL Samtök fyrir ungmenni í fjölmenningu. 

Telma Velez is a researcher in the project. Initially she focused on the experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) from which she wrote her Master thesis in International Affairs at the University of Iceland, from where she also holds a BA degree in International Studies in Education. Her research includes gender-based violence and international treaties, Critical Multiculturalism and Compliance theory. Since moving to Iceland in 2008, Telma has worked with immigrant communities such as asylum seekers, children and mother tongue learning, and as an interpreter for Portuguese, Spanish and English speaking communities. Abroad she has worked with vulnerable women and children in Kenya, Mozambique and Brazil. In the University environment she was also the International Representative of students affairs of the Department of Political Science.

Sigrún Ólafsdóttir is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Iceland. She brings her expertise in survey methodology to the project and will contribute to the quantitative part of it. Her research is at the intersection of medical, political and cultural sociology and her primary interest is to understand how larger societal arrangements, such as the welfare system or health care system, impact individual lives. Her work has appeared in leading sociological journals and been funding by agencies including the Icelandic Centre of Research and the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. She currently serves as the editor of Acta Sociologica and leads Iceland´s participation in three major international surveys, including the European Social Survey and the International Social Survey Programme. 

Marie Carlson is Professor of Sociology (emeritus), Department of Sociology & Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. In the IWEV project, she serves as an expert within her field of research, advises on data analysis (e.g., discourse analysis, narratives) and co-author articles. Marie Carlson’s research interest includes the sociology of education with a special focus on ethnicity/migration, multilingualism, gender, class and power relations. After her PhD dissertation (2002) on Turkish immigrant women’s encounters with the Swedish welfare state in terms of language courses, she has worked in several transnational and multidisciplinary projects. She was one of the editors of the anthology (2007), Education in ’Multicultural’ Societies. Turkish and Swedish Perspectives (translated to Turkish, 2011). With Tuba Kanci she published (2017) in the journal Gender & Education: ”The Nationalized and Gendered Citizen in a Global World”. At present she is a convenor of network 33, Gender and Education within EERA (European Educational Research Association).