A.Conducting trans history: ethical, methodological and theoretical challenges

B. Feminist New Materialisms – Matter(ing) and Methodologies

C.Feminist sisterhood projects in Europe and Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union: New transit points and efforts of decolonization

D. Five years after “anti-gay” law: the contemporary everyday life of the queer community in Russia

E. Gender Studies in Transit

H. Kirjallisuus, kirjallisuudentutkimus ja sukupuoli

J. Miehiä ja maskuliinisuuksia

K. Miten sukupuolesta puhutaan?

L. Queerness and Television in the 21st Century

M. Tasa-arvopolitiikan ja feminismin muuttuvat ehdot ja mahdollisuudet

N. Telaboratoria

O. Trans* and Queer in Postsocialist Contexts

P. Trans*bodies, Controls and Border Crossings: Claims of Sexual Citizens, Gender Attributions by State Authorities and Global Justice

Q. Transformations in Social Movements 1960-

R. Transformative perspectives on interspecies relations and food practices: feminism, intersectionality and critical animal studies

S. Trans & Queer Reproduction: Legal, Cultural and Socioeconomic Challenges

U. Äitiyden normien rajoilla ja yli

V. Colonial Legacies: Tracing Finland as Colonial/Modern Context


A. Conducting trans history: ethical, methodological and theoretical challenges

Language: English

Workshop coordinators:
Erika Alm PhD,, University of Gothenburg
Julian Honkasalo PhD,, University of Helsinki, Finland

The academic fields of transgender studies and trans theory, have developed with a strong focus on contemporary issues and the legal context of the United States. Despite a rising number of theoretical, empirical and autoethnographic studies in various national contexts, including the Nordic region, historical studies on trans people’s living conditions and experiences are still largely missing, interpreted exclusively from a medical-juridical point of view, or through the framework of gay and lesbian history. This panel discusses theoretical frameworks, methods, concepts and ethics for historical research that aim to understand and produce new knowledge on the social, political and normative conditions of gender transgressions, particularly in the Nordic context. The main question of the panel is how and for whom do academic scholars conduct research and theorize trans? How is knowledge-production reflected back to trans communities, if at all? A central aim of the panel is 1) to intervene, problematize and disrupt cis normativity and able-mind/bodiedness as the main prisms through which gender and sex are interpreted in historical research, and 2) to produce more nuanced understandings of the history of trans- and gender nonconformity. By cis normativity we mean a paradigm through which all experience and articulations of gender transgression fall into a binary logic of male vs. female. We understand able-mind/bodiedness as an apparatus of power that renders only those lives who are regarded as fit, healthy and normal, as intelligible and worthy of recognition and archiving.



Erika Alm (University of Gothenburg): “I can’t believe we are still protesting this shit”: Trans and intersex activism as relating to the Swedish gender recognition act (1972:119)

This paper takes its departure in the Swedish gender recognition act (1972:119) and the implications it has had for the activist mobilizing for trans and intersex rights. Sweden has come under serious critique for violating the human rights of its citizens on the matter of bodily integrity and right to private life. The question of bodily integrity for trans people has focused on how the legislation conditions access to trans-specific care, and the question of bodily integrity for intersex people is bound up with the fact that the legislation does not protect intersex children from medical interventions performed without consent. While the implications of the legislation on trans people have been the subject of several governmental reports, the implications for intersex people have not been as debated or scrutinized. Since some of the most important issues for trans people are regulated by the gender recognition act trans activists and allies have been able to mobilize around the fight to revise the legislation. Even when lobbying to affect medical practice, especially psychiatric practice pertaining to evaluation and diagnosing, the legislative text has been useful as a measure of the rule of law. Some of the most important issues for intersex people – protection from surgeries performed without consent and the right to information about one’s medical history – are not regulated by the legislation, and this could be one of the reasons as to why it has been far harder for intersex activism to gain momentum in Sweden. The paper will, tentatively, argue that the mobilizing for intersex rights has been hampered by the gender recognition act, and ask how we going forward can find ways of working with an extended scope of activist strategies in coalition.


france rose hartline (Norwegian University of Science and Technology): Legal recognition and messy trans experiences

In 2016, Norway legalised gender self-determination, allowing for one to change legal gender (male/female) without the previously required sterilisation. The question at the crux of my presentation is what impact does legal recognition of one’s gender identity have on one’s sense of self? Understanding identity in its complexity – as a process of becoming rather than being, as the self which emerges in the space between one and the other via ‘intra-action’ (Barad, 2007), and as the productive entwinement of subjectivities in sociocultural matter – I explore the affective experiences of the state’s recognition of one’s chosen gender identity. In particular, my presentation will focus on trans individuals in the Norwegian context, given the welfare state’s reputation of gender egalitarianism, and the implicit promise for trans equality such this carries. I draw on the interviews I conducted with individuals who changed legal gender following the law’s implementation, and the diversity of responses they shared to how it had impacted upon their lives, to investigate why legal recognition of one’s chosen gender can prove both liberating and debilitating. In doing so, I seek to address the limitations of state recognition in trans materialisation, by considering how socio-legal interpretations of affect contradict the messy, tangled queerness of trans experiences.


Julian Honkasalo (University of Helsinki): The venture of failure: or how to be a “bad historian”

In a 1981 Time magazine article on Foucault, academic historians characterized Foucault as a non-historian who races “through three centuries at full speed, like a barbarian horseman”. Foucault’s response was that his works as a “twisted person” sought to bring up questions in history that were both deeply personal and political.

In a similar manner to the critics of Foucault, the historian Sir Isaiah Berlin accused Hannah Arendt for not producing any “arguments, no evidence of serious philosophical or historical thought. It’s all a stream of metaphysical associations”.

Taking the historians’ critiques of Foucault and Arendt as the starting point, this paper examines the meaning of being a “bad historian”, and calls for a defense of “bad history”. I begin from an examination of what Jack Halberstam has called the “queer art of failure”, and the need for an anti-capitalist critique of progress narratives (Halberstam 2011). However, I’d like to push Halberstam’s argument further and claim that conducting historical research in the context of transgender studies involves not just the “art” of failure, but more importantly, taking a risk of failure. As linear and progressive history has been written by what Halberstam calls “winners”, oppressed and stigmatized groups of people need to conduct historical research from the margins. Since the methodology of transgender studies is inherently embedded in the production of (de)subjugated knowledges (Stryker 2006), the trans historian is always facing a risk of encountering pasts that have been lost, ignored, destroyed or reduced to mere case files (Clare 2017). On the other hand, the trans historian, through the art of failure to conduct respectable history, is also likely to be able to bring to the surface ruptures, cracks and openings for new horizons of futurity (cf. Muñoz, 2009). Hence, if genealogical inquiry is bad history, then transgender studies needs more bad historians.


Marie-Louise Holm (University of Copenhagen): Rethinking postmodern and queer reading strategies when working with trans autobiographies embedded in a medico-legal context

When in 2011, I set out to make a historical study of trans people’s living conditions and experiences in Denmark during the first three quarters of the 20th century, it soon became apparent to me that it was extremely hard to find any source material articulated by trans people themselves in their historical context. Only a few published autobiographies exist, and there are no accounts in the LGBT archives, since the T was only added to LGB politics in 2009. Consequently, the medico-legal archives of the Danish Ministry of Justice and Danish Medico-Legal Council is so far the only place to find such accounts. Whether these were written on a person’s own initiative or written on request, medical experts have used them as a basis for evaluating if an applicant should be permitted access to a change of legal gender status, permission for wearing specific clothes, and/or permission for surgical removal of the gonads.

With these circumstances as a premise, and with the intention of developing an analytical approach that will acknowledge trans people’s experiences both now and then, I will discuss the following questions: What are the possibilities and perils in rearticulating trans experiences and life stories of the past? How can postmodern and queer theoretical approaches and reading strategies to trans people’s experiential accounts be reconfigured in a way which avoids positioning trans people as either subversive or normative, as they have been in much previous research? And how may a micro-genealogical analysis of the negotiations between trans persons and medical experts as well as among medico-legal experts provide insights into past decisions which may become the basis for understanding notions and practices in today’s trans health care and legal processes?


Tuula Juvonen (University of Turku): Materialisation of affective attachments in studying trans history

There is a joint history for trans people and lesbians starting with the 18th century female husbands and soldiers through to the 19th century conceptualisations of sexual inverts and third sex, all the way up to the 20th century butch/fem cultures. Thus far it has mostly been addressed by lesbian history, yet for quite some time there has been critical efforts to revise such history writing and highlight the specificities of trans instead (Suhonen 2007).

Especially when a more recent history is considered, such efforts have been compromised by conflicting interests and affective attachments of different stakeholders with their particular understandings of gender and sexuality. Sometimes the people under study have themselves concealed their “true selves” from others, and consequently erased or destroyed personal materials about their lives, or their families have censored them inaccessible for research. Also, their partners may have vested interests to a particular his- or herstory, one that suits their own identities. But quite as likely community activists, in search of legitimation through predecessors, are invested in writing and rewriting histories to fit their own agendas.

Examples of such boundary work include e.g. the lives of Brandon Teena (Halberstam 2005) and Dante “Tex” Gill, but one could also revisit Finnish historical figures, such as Mirkka Rekola, or the gender blenders interviewed for Image (1/1993). Should their lives be best approached through a lesbian or trans lense? With such boundary work in action, with accusations thrown back and forth about misrecognition, how could one approach trans history writing? Who gets to decide about history, and on what grounds?

I would argue for a thorough historicising of the cultural contexts of the particular individuals under study. Only when we better understand the (mainstream, subcultural, medical, legal) discourses and technologies available for them, can we start to understand the (economic) realities and (emotional) dependencies people were living by while at the same time trying to find ways to survive and shape their lives according to their own desires. By doing so, we can also start to question the very boundaries we are so affectively attached to.


Aslı Koruyucu (Sabancı University): The Making of “Trans Man” Identity: Negotiating Trans Masculinities and Subjectivities in Turkey

Focusing on experiences of self-identified trans men, as well as a group of lawyers and psychiatrists, this presentation explores the potential contingencies of trans men’s “transitions” in terms of their self-identifications, visibilities and embodiments within the social and institutional spaces in Turkey. I investigate the spaces of struggle and resistance whereby trans men have challenged the “thinkable” identities through a discussion of the state interventions. In this regard, this paper aims to provide a particular questioning of the complexities of trans masculinities within medical and legal spaces, and explores the potentiality of trans men’s experiences in terms of their resistance to and negotiations with the existing medico-legal regulations in Turkey. Throughout my research on construction of trans masculinities in Turkey, I investigate not only solidarity mechanisms of trans men but also resistance strategies of lawyers and psychiatrists who work with trans men. What potentials do trans men’s embodiment and visibility provide for further transitions within various spaces including medicine and law, beyond the realm of social life, shaped by a heteronormative understanding of gender and body? What are the ways in which trans men negotiate their masculinities within these spaces? What sorts of challenges do trans men bring to light in relation to these institutional spaces and practices? Which solidarity networks can be formed by lawyers and psychiatrists against the compulsory regulations on trans masculinities within their institutions? Based on these questions, this presentation aims to explore the ways in which trans men, psychiatrists, and lawyers, in “thinkability” and multiplicity of trans masculinities, affect each other as allies.


Riikka Taavetti (University of Helsinki): Glimpses of Finnish Trans Pasts: A Localised Focus on Exclusions and Discoveries in Historical Research

Queer history has developed into a considerable field of historical research in a number of Western countries. Within this field, some forms of understanding queer have dominated over others. Most commonly, the histories of male homosexualities have been studied considerably more than the histories of, for example, lesbianism, bisexuality or trans in the pasts. In Finland, the field of queer historical research is still rather small. This presentation contributes to the understanding of trans histories by focusing on the exclusions and possible discoveries of trans and other gender nonconforming pasts within this slowly emerging Finnish field.

The presentation claims that focusing on the particularities in Finnish queer history-writing may offer new perspectives on the exclusions of trans and other gender non-conforming pasts. Firstly, in Finland the historical disciplines have been especially slow to include queer topics and queer historical research has been carried out within other disciplines. Secondly, in the research of Finnish pasts, focus has been placed relatively often on the histories of female same-sex desires which may have caused different erasures of gender nonconforming past than the internationally more common focus on male homosexuality. And thirdly, Finnish traditions in oral history research and the vast collections of written folklore and reminiscence writings offer interesting opportunities to discover marginalised glimpses of the past.

The presentation is based on a critical rethinking of my doctoral dissertation defended in October 2018 at the University of Helsinki. The dissertation as a whole discusses the construction of queer sexualities in Finnish and Estonian memories. While focusing on undisciplined sexualities, the study reveals sporadic glimpses of gender nonconforming pasts. My assumption is that thinking further these glimpses and the processes that contribute to their disappearance may help to develop further the methodologies in historical research of gender transgressions.


Eliza Steinbock (Leiden University Center for the Arts in Society): Activating the Archive: European and American Transgender Heritage in Transition

This presentation researches public history exhibitions by contemporary artists and archives taking an activist stance towards transgender heritage. How do they activate European and American collections to elevate the discussion of diverse transgender lives? Two points of contestation emerge in this particular strand of the broader ‘archival turn’ since the 1990s by marginalized subjects: first, the scope of who to include as transgender when the term itself is only a few decades old and second, the necessity to engage critically with the dominance of white Euro-American materials in the collections that speaks to the uneven record-keeping of transgender lives. I situate this study of the breadth and valuation of transgender heritage at a time of intense social and technological transition. Catalyzed by a wider process of liberalization of gender and sexuality more people than ever use the terminology of trans discourses and they are accessing knowledge about gender transition and variability through digital technologies. Yet, scholars of transgender studies note the cultural amnesia of this moment, which seems to forget a much longer global history of gender diversity. The ever-growing archives of digitized transgender heritage objects is thus a key resource for activating informed lines of inquiry for scholars, artists, and interested publics. During this cultural transition, experts engaging with archival materials are cautious about potential privacy violations and to prevent exclusionary mechanisms present in the material sources and sites from becoming integrated into their digital presence.

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B. Feminist New Materialisms – Matter(ing) And Methodologies

Language: English

Workshop coordinators:
Marjo Kolehmainen,, University of Tampere
Katve-Kaisa Kontturi,, University of Turku / University of Melbourne
Annukka Lahti,, University of Jyväskylä
Taru Leppänen,, University of Turku
Tara Mehrabi,, University of Turku / Karlstad University
Milla Tiainen,, University of Helsinki

The workshop aims to bring together scholars across various disciplines, who share an interest in searching for and applying alternative and creative modes and methods of observing, relating, participating, interviewing, knowing, and analyzing that are inspired by feminist new materialisms. It asks: How could new materialist thinking be increasingly mobilized and its potential as well as limits tested in contact with site-specific research topics and projects – with situated relational becomings and materializations? What kinds of new approaches might these theorizations enable in relation to particular research practices and contemporary political and ethical concerns?

Specifically, we are curious about mapping ways to reassess understandings of genders and sexualities. Feminist new materialist lines of thinking open up new possibilities for – but also pose novel challenges to – conceptualizations of gender and sexuality, as these frameworks emphasize that they cannot be seen as predefined or distinct categories. Rather, ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ emerge and are produced within multiple assemblages that include interplay between elements from many registers (discursive, material, social, historical, etc.). Some of these elements are other- or more-than-human and thus do not privilege the human subject. New materialist thinking invites us to see gender and sexuality as categories that are constantly on the move, (re)assembling in new ways and assuming renewed forms. New materialist feminist thinking can also extend theories of intersectionality by stressing how genders and sexualities co-emerge with, for example, issues of ethnicity and ‘race’, technoscience, environmental changes, artistic and activist practices, and much more as relational processes of constant mattering. In this way, feminist new materialisms also encourage fresh approaches to the affective, complex, and messy gendered and sexualized power dynamics.



Yuanyuan Fang: Matter, Death, and the Maiden: Moving Beyond New Materialism in Guillermo Del Toro’s Dark Fantasies.

This paper focuses on matter, materiality, and sexuality in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and the Shape of Water (2017), two of Guillermo del Toro’s dark fantasy films. By analyzing the motifs of matter, death, and the maiden, this paper will show how del Toro’s dark fantasies move beyond new-materialism and how they complicate the dynamics of body and matter, of humanity and materiality. The first section of this paper focuses on how the enigmatic creatures in Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water are personifications of natural materials like water and stone, and on how human characters’ demonstrated fear towards these creatures is the fear of non-human agency. The second section of this paper focuses on how natural materials in these two films can be seen as vibrant assemblages without a single agency, and on how the projected fear is not only the fear of non-human agency, but also the fear that there is no such thing as agency. The third section of this paper focuses on how the maiden figures in these two films, through their Being-towards-death in the Heideggerian sense, become parts of the vibrant assemblages and embrace the possibility of a new kind of being—a being tat transcends the distinction between body and matter.


Stella Andrada Kasdovasili: Homo Android: the parody of humanness

On April 19th, 2015, a humanoid manufactured by Hanson Robotics named Sophia was activated. Sophia is modeled after actress Audrey Hepburn and Amanda Hanson, her creator’s wife. She uses AI techniques, facial recognition and visual data processing. One of the most advertised characteristics of Sophia is the fact that she can display 62 different facial expressions, which is what differentiates Sophia from previous robot models, launching a new era in AI humanoids.

This paper seeks to explore they ways in which the category of human formulates the research in the field of Artificial Intelligence by examining the boundaries introduced by the distinction between human and non-human. My research is focused on the case study of Sophia, a humanoid manufactured by Hanson Robotics that obtained citizenship from Saudi Arabia, in October 2017. Considering the ways through which the humanoid becomes sexualized and racialized, I will argue that Sophia, despite being caught in biopolitical relation of power, enfolds the potentiality of subversion, that is of interest for feminist epistemology. Drawing on Michel Foucault and Brian Massumi’s scholarship that bridges biopower and capitalism to the affect and the body’s materiality, I will relate the trope of emotionality, which is systematically employed in the humanoid’s promotion, to the modulation of affect in late capitalism, so as to illustrate how Sophia is imbedded in a much more nuanced web of relations of power, one that redefines the boundaries between who is included in the category of the human species and who is not. Finally, by employing Judith Butler’s approach on drag I will reflect on the constructiveness of the boundaries between the human and the non-human, to argue that Sophia is not just a product of her time but also a potential point of disruption that might unravel what Deleuze and Guattari call, the inhuman in the human.


Tiina Suopajärvi: Analysing career interviews through ‘transcorporeal engagement’

Abstract- In our research project called Beyond the Gender Paradox – Women’s Careers in Technology-Driven Research and Innovation In and Outside of Academe, we study gendered practices and experiences in the everyday working life with women who work in the fields of bio- and health technology. Further, our aim is to start promoting a change from discriminative practices to practices that support gender equality through feminist collaborative research. Currently we are making career interviews with women by using the method of career line drawing and thematic interviews following the drawing.

In my presentation, I will discuss how quite traditional research material, an interview can be ‘something else’ than a story (Jackson & Mazzei 2012). What kinds of diffractions could be helpful in the newmaterialist reading, re-living and becoming with the material in order to make the analysis to be something else, too? Alaimo (2008) argues that the analysis of feminist new materialism is an event of ‘transcorporeal engagement’ in which the researcher concentrates on different sensory experiences and tensions that emerge in this engagement. In this paper I am considering my ‘becoming with the data’ by using as an example an interview with a young academic whose encounter I experienced particularly affective. I will try to open up what happens in the analysis; and further discuss how and what kind of knowledge becomes in this engagement on academic work, careers, gender and age. Finally going back to the idea of a traditional interview method, I will consider how ‘traditional’ was this interview, and how should the making of interviews be different, or should it?


Maria Kirpichenko: Ideology of Simulation. Material-semiotic body of the surrogate on the websites of Russian reproductive clinics and agencies

I have been trying to adopt new materialist perspectives in thinking about the interfaces of transnational surrogacy travels to Russia. My main data source is websites of reproductive clinics and surrogacy agencies, offering services to foreign clients. Even though websites of the clinics are marketing devices, I have been trying to break free from the flat monitor that locks any analysis of them into an analysis of representations.

Drawing on Haraway’s methodology of diffraction, I treat websites as articulations – specific worldings taking shape through the investments of multiple actors (such as the national law, biotechnologies, agency rhetoric, systems of photo distribution). This approach has challenged the simplistic online/offline divide and accounted for tempo-spatial dimensions of becoming of the material-semiotic body of the surrogate as it is surfaced in these digital articulations. It has allowed me to explore the mattering of various processes relating to the surrogacy tourism to Russia for/on the body of the surrogate.

Inspired by a Baudrillard’s concept of simulacra, I argue that the body of the surrogate is simulated on these websites:

Surrogacy agencies boast their collection of surrogates whose biovalue is a specific configuration a female body conceptualised via several axes: legal, biotechnological, rhetoric. The agencies strive to induce and hyperbolize reproductive capacities, detach the biovalue from the lived materialities of the surrogate mother and to expose her “naked” biomaterialities. The female body is parametrized and databased. The databases appear to be transparent and clean in their simplicity. However, to agree with Haraway, this seemingly frictionless becoming-data of the surrogate’s bodies is an ideological move. The analysis reveals the material- semiotic eugenics that renders the surrogate’s body a simulacrum – the model that precedes the truth. This simulated (digitally-transparent) body, I argue, loses its ‘human’ status.


Mena Tajrishi: Political as Potent: The Materialization of Gender Variance Through Public Affairs

This paper takes seriously Jane Bennett’s inquiries on the “potency” of material, and the inability of political theory to account for that which contributes to vital materialism.1 That is, this paper considers policy as “what counts toward vital materialism” and applies it to the materialization of the trans/gender nonconforming body.

New materialism considers the ways environments, and what is included in the environment, impact the body, particularly how material moves beings into their form. However, in an increasingly interconnected and interactive world, variant or subversive bodies often rely on gaining legitimization through biological or pathological regimes of knowledge—the same systems engaged in the taxonomic process which first marginalizes and makes use of the distance as difference between bodies. As a result, it remains critical to find new ways of discussing its arrival that does not sustain taxonomic practices.

This paper turns away from these regimes and argues that political “events” can qualify as “potent” material. Defined by Badiou, “events,” or the “something[s] that disrupts the current situation,”2 is a part of how and why transgender/gender non-conforming bodies arrive in a contemporary Western era. That is, one way the Western body is oriented towards gender variance may include the individual impact of policies on how one interprets the body, a sense of self, and the fungibility of the flesh.

This paper will examine three political “events:” 9/11, the Citizen’s United Decision, and the Financial Crisis in 2008 and argue that these qualify as “potent” material for the gender subversive body. That is, these events, or assemblages of material—human and non-human interactions—were potent enough to abstract concepts of death—or unhinged death as being truth to death as being a tool for productivity which is intimately related to the narrative of the transgender/gender non-conforming body.


Johanna Jaring: PLUGGING IN TO QUEER IN GOTHENBURG. An Emotion and Power-Sensitive In-depth Group Study on Being Queer in Gothenburg

Plugging in to Queer in Gothenburg is a master’s thesis project within the field of Gender Studies, which aims to extend the existing knowledge of how different queer persons experience being queer in Gothenburg and in extension, attend to emotions and power relations in the process of knowledge production. The project is based on an in-depth group consisting and of four queer persons, including myself, living in Gothenburg, and the individual journals that were written by the participants after each of the four meetings. The in depth-group discussions revolve around experiences of being queer in Gothenburg and the journals, in turn, focus on group dynamics and emotions that arose during these discussions. The material from these two sources were analysed by applying the process of plugging in, which is based on diffraction as a methodology and draws upon Karen Barad’s theorisation on material-discursive intra-activity. With its basis in diffraction, plugging in is a process of arranging, organising, and fitting together literary machines, that is, data, theory, my memories of the in-depth group meetings, my shifty self as a researcher, my personal experience of being a queer person, where these machines constitute one another while also producing something new. The study applies Donna Haraway’s situated knowledge, Sara Ahmed’s queer phenomenology and cultural politics of emotions, and Barad’s theory of intra-action and diffraction. By applying these theories in the process of plugging in, the study does not only form new understandings of how different queer persons experience being queer in Gothenburg, but also of the importance of attending to emotions and power relations in the process of knowledge production to enable an understanding of why a certain knowledge is produced in place of another. Further, the study exemplifies how such attentiveness can be put to practice in the process of knowledge production.


Wibke Straube: Trans-corporeality and the Transgender Bodies in Environmental Art

Following Malin Ah-King and Eva Hayward’s problematisation of the Western “politics of purity” (Ah-King/Hayward 2014) this paper explores the aesthetics of spoiled purity, contaminated matter, and dirty objects in artworks, as well as the unfolding linkages between toxicity and trans bodies. Historically, in the Western context trans bodies are rendered as “impure”. This has ultimately manifested itself in the 20th century pathologisation and compulsory sterilisation of trans bodies. The talk will approach the workshops’ focus on feminist new materialism through the field of Transgender Studies and apply the framework of “trans-corporeality” (Stacy Alaimo 2008, Material Feminisms) to the discussion of the experimental documentary film Pojktanten (dir. Ester Martin Bergsmark, SE 2012).

Furthermore, to take the cue from Oliver Bendorf’s definition of the intersections of trans bodies and ecology, “[n]ature matters for transgender studies because of how we map (and are mapped) along boundaries of inside and out, natural and unnatural” (Bendorf 2014, Transgender Studies Quarterly). Explorational of the human body and its relationality to nature and ecology, transfeminist environmental art and filmmaking troubles these boundaries in particular ways. By tracing the intersections of ecology and trans embodiment I will discuss how the trans body is reimagined in contemporary art in relation to environmental pollution and toxicity. The aim is to investigate how transecological visual media and artworks imagine the trans body beyond the dualism of purity and contamination and envision survivability for trans bodies beyond a paradigm of social stigmatisation.


Anastasia Khodyreva: Re-thinking affective autoethnography for the study of filmic gendered corporealities with (feminist) new materialisms.

Exploring gendered filmic corporealities, evolving in the art of the neoconservative Russia of the 2000-2010s, and habitually taking the material along the post-structuralist lane, I nearly tactilely felt the reductionist borders of my attempt to discuss gender with films only via language-based de-constructions. The review of the first rough writings led me to the conclusion or, to be more precise, made me feel that I am about to silence certain important registers of the phenomenon in question, that is gender. In other words, the preliminary work made me re-think the research ethics, the ethics towards the agentic nature of the material I was about to reduce. That is how the films “enchanted” me with the idea, that they may offer “non-dualistic studies of the world within, beside and among us, the world that precedes, includes and exceeds us” (van der Tuin 2018:277). Attempting to approach the material differently and to embrace the whole guessed interplay of genders’ particles via cinema I am now working with affects (affective autoethnography) and the materiality (the theory of haptic visuality, re-visited with new materialisms), of my own self, of the Deleuzian filmic (gender) registers and of gender as a continuously re-emerging matter.

Concerning the relative, though disputable novelty of enmeshment of the linguistic with the affective and the new materialist one should not only guess its productive potentialities, but also must consider limitations. What are they and how to balance all the registers, which are often times considered to be in domains of different scholar approaches, defined by dangerous linear logics of “turns”? And in what sense will the final piece of knowledge be important? At last and most importantly, what/how does this research process make one learn about the nature of gender? How may this research process contribute to the re-definition of gender and what loops for genders’ response-ability may it offer? In order to discuss these questions via applied examples, I plan to pick a short piece of cinema and share how I am trying to make sense of it, catching all the registers of the screened content into a meta-methodological hoop-net of interpretive framings.


Marietta Radomska: Deterritorialising Death: On Feminist Biophilosophy as a Queer(ing) Methodology

This papers stems from a larger project, set against the backdrop of contemporary discursive and material unfoldings of the environmental crises as well as their accompanying cultural and scientific imaginaries. In the project, I ask what happens when contemporary art (especially body, eco- and bioart) – in a dialogue with feminist materialist philosophies – is mobilised in order to challenge the conventional (i.e. anchored in the Western tradition of the autonomous (exclusively) human subject) understandings of death, and assess multiple vulnerabilities and power differentials that form part of the materialisations of ecologies of death in the context of the Anthropocene.

In other words, the project examines how contemporary art read through the lens of feminist materialist philosophies (e.g. Colebrook, MacCormack, Grosz) may – and do – queer, that is, unsettle, subvert and exceed binaries, given norms, normativities, and conventions that frame and govern the bodies and processes constitutive of death, extinction and annihilation, especially in the given environmental context.

In order to do so, we need an adequate set of tools. In the present paper, I argue for a tripartite methodology that queers the traditional human-exceptionalist concept of death: (1) feminist biophilosophy as an examination that does not search for an ‘essence’ of life, but instead focuses on the processes that take life beyond itself; (2) ‘the non/living’ (Radomska 2016) as a way to conceptualise death/life entanglement; and (3) queer vitalism as a ground for aesthetics (Colebrook 2014). By discussing each of these components and employing them in the analysis of select artworks (e.g. by Australian artist Svenja Kratz), I hope to open up a space for discussion on this queer(ing) methodology’s potential for mobilising a novel feminist-materialist understanding of both ontology and ethics of death.


Nik Forrest: (Title to be confirmed)

Working with live remixed VLF sound

Link: (password is nforrest)

How can experimental sound, as a mechanical, sensory and perceptual event, make actionable, and thus transformable, social and mental ecologies from queer and trans perspectives? In experimental sound, natural phenomena and technology become enmeshed, even indistinguishable. The emerging fields of queer and trans ecology questions dominant ways of linking sexuality and nature within a heterosexist frame-work as well as how we use nature to frame ideas about time and space. Specifically, it asks us to think of ourselves as part of (rather than central to or outside of) an enmeshed system of life forms, materials and forces, and reimagines relations within this system. A central insight of queer ecology—indistinctions of inside/outside, natural/unnatural (Barad, Braidotti, Morton)—is made apparent through the act of “deep listening” (Oliveros), both an internal and external experience. Our attention shifts between associations and interpretation to tone, timbre, frequency, resonance and vibration. (Schaffer, Westerkamp).

“Wild Intimacy” uses the transitional nature of experimental sound ecologies to develop the world-making potential of non-binary experimental approaches to sound through an installation/ performance project that produces a heightened ecological awareness and enmeshed trans-sensory experience for audiences. Electromagnetic radio waves resulting from lightening and aurora borealis produce Very Low frequency sounds (VLF). Below the threshold of normal hearing, they can nonetheless be detected and transformed into audible sound. These phenomena are examples of what Barad terms “nature’s queer performativity”. There is always more going on than we are aware of: experimental sound practices can re-tune sensory awareness, changing the dynamics of our material relations with the environment,producing enmeshed, dynamic and non-normative sensory experiences.


Liu Xin: Nose hair: Love it or leave it? The lovecidal of bodies that filter

How might an examination of the bodily practices of filtering air enable different theorizations of purity? And how might a critical investigation of the emerging imaginaries of the people of smog in the epoch of Airpocolypse call into question the self-evidence of the phenomenon of air pollution? This presentation provides a close reading of the ad campaign ’Hairy Nose’. More specifically, it zooms in on the imaginaries of the changing body features such as longer and thicker nose hair. It asks how the individual, social and national bodily boundaries are made and undone in these imaginaries, and in so doing challenges the oppositional logic of the narratives of “war on smog” and “ecological civilization” in China. This presentation suggests that the air filtering bodies speak of the corporeography of lovecidal as eco-writing.


Alanna Thain: Techniques of Togetherness : The Sexo-Somatic Reproductions of Dayna McLeod’s Uterine Concert Hall

A long, bizarre history of medicine has seen the womb as an organ prone to wandering, blamed for all kinds of female troubles, and causing hysteria, from the Greek word for uterus, as the condition of women prone to outbursts of excessive emotion. Today, the uterus is newly mobilized. From the “Fuck You” GIF where fallopian tubes give the finger to reproductive surveillance and control, to the neo-liberal imperative to amplify uteruses crafting tomorrow’s workers through Baby Pods, pink speakers inserted in the vagina to sonically curate the “fetal experience” and cultivate baby geniuses, the uterus is taking up new space in the public imagination. Dayna McLeod’s Uterine Concert Hall (2016-) is a wholly novel take on these phenomena, crisscrossing social, personal and media ecologies to explore the public, speculative intimacies of this contested organ. It aims to think and feel the physical space of the uterus as “a viable space for creative production and not reproduction” (McLeod). This work exemplifies what I call “sexo-somatic reproduction,” forms of the creative (re)generation of social and intimate relations that mobilize desire (in Deleuze and Guattari’s terms as the propensity to connect) to experiment with reproducing forces, not forms, as a queer and feminist means of “cruising utopia”.What does a feminist, new materialist approach to reproduction look like?

McLeod launched Uterine Concert Hall in 2016 as a website, offering for rent an “intimate concert venue,” closed a few days each month for “renovations,” bookable online but not available for “frat parties, corporate events, or weddings.” This became a public performance, where DJs played music for McLeod’s uterus, filtered through a Baby Pod nestled in McLeod’s vaginal canal and audible to the audience only through intimate listening via a stethoscope. Currently, Intimate Karaoke, Live at Uterine Concert Hall, invites audience members to perform karaoke for McLeod’s uterus. While McLeod’s work builds on the feminist legacy of performances like Annie Sprinkle’s sexy conflation of pedagogical and gynaecological fun with Public Cervix Announcement (1990), McLeod’s work foregrounds and complicates questions of access and autonomy well beyond invitation, display and the visual. Her work demands better forms of sociability, where individual autonomy is inseparable from touch, contact, consent and creation. This presentation explores McLeod’s work and asks: what is a feminist participatory mode that goes beyond questions of exchange, to animate conditions of care? What are the challenges and ethico-aesthetic responsibilities for practices of critique and audiencing in such a piece?


Marjo Kolehmainen: Affective assemblages: atmospheres and feminist knowledge production in/through the researcher-body

This presentation engages with the issue of affective atmospheres in therapeutic cultures by drawing upon a detailed study of relationship and sex counselling in Finland. Its data consists of ethnographic investigations of 40 events, ranging from relationship enhancement seminars to a tantric workshop and from events catering to the recently separated to variously themed lectures. In particular, it experiments methodologically with the use of the researcher-body to explore atmospheres, focusing on the researcher’s own embodied sensations and affective states. Diverse experiences of soaking up atmospheres, moving in/out of affective atmospheres, feeling the limits of collective belonging, and failing to ‘get’ the atmosphere when conducting fieldwork are analysed in order to produce knowledge of the ways in which affective atmospheres come to matter. These experiences are discussed from the perspective of new materialist ontology, which shifts the focus of analysis from the feelings of individualised subjects to impersonal flows of affect through assemblages. It argues that affective atmospheres speak to the importance of understanding the therapeutic realm through collective experiences, in contrast with the preoccupation with the notion of the self.


Annukka Lahti: Becoming of the circle of friends of the (ex-)partners – relationship break-up as a transition

This presentation draws on the research project ‘When the rainbow ends’, which focuses on separation experiences of LGBTIQ people in Finland. In the project, I analyse both survey and interview data of LGBTIQ persons who have experienced a recent relationship-break up. The main aim of the project is to explore how the changing social positions of LGBTIQ persons and their relationships, entangle with the affective processes of break-ups.

In this presentation, I explore the relationship break-ups as transitions, which also affect the becoming of the (ex-)partners’ social or friend circles. I approach the becoming of a social or friend circle after a relationship break-up through Deleuzo-Guattarian framework as assemblages, where multiple and complex elements come together. In the becoming of relationship break-ups, relationship and break-up related norms, sexuality and gender related dichotomies entangle with events, scenes and affective intensities, for example friends and social circles support (Lahti, 2018). My analysis highlight the ongoing and unpredictable process of the becoming of social and friend circles during and after the break-ups. Yet, it also detects some segmenting and violating forces within these becomings.

In some occasions it was difficult for LGBTIQ people to sustain their friendships though the affective break-up transitions. For example if the partners where part of a tight queer friendship circle, the partner who started to date someone else from the circle or a partner of different gender than their previous partner, they did not always fit into the circle of friends as easily as before, which sometimes meant losing a friend or a circle of friends. However, in other cases, the circle of friends was sustained and could help the LGBTIQ people feel continuity in their close relationships and LGBTIQ identities after a relationship break-up.


Suvi Pihkala & Tuija Huuki: How a hashtag matters: Reconfiguring research-activist encounters to address sexual harassment in pre-teen peer cultures

Inspired by feminist new materialist ethico-onto-epistemology, this paper explores how sexual harassment in pre-teen peer cultures reconfigures for ethical and political engagement through the entanglement of the arts, research-activism, children, Valentine’s Day cards and a hashtag. The study draws on an arts-based research-activist participatory intervention called #MeToo Postscriptum to address sexual harassment in pre-teen peer cultures – an unexpected spin-off project in the context of broader research on child peer cultures by the second author and the booming debate around sexual harassment in the public landscape. The intervention was based on arts-based workshops with 10-12-year-old children in schools in a northern Finnish city. The idea, built around Valentine’s Day, was to co-create cards with children for each member of the Finnish Parliament to remind them of the need for systematic and consistent work to address sexual harassment that affects not only adult but also children. Applying feminist new materialist ethico-politics of response-ability, as discussed by Barad (2007, 2014) and Haraway (2008), we slow down to trace the ‘#metoo’ hashtag as it intra-acts with the researchers’ negotiations of engagement, children’s Valentine’s Day card crafting and the landscapes of the wider public. A special focus is put on the capacities of such intra-actions to generate possibilities for participants–researchers and children–and others to ‘know otherwise’ and resists sexual harassment in pre-teen peer relations as a form of response-ability. Grounded in our ongoing research, the paper contributes to ‘phematerialist’ discussions about what research can do, be or become (Renold 2018)–and, in particular, how it becomes–by paying attention to how humans and more-than-human ‘others’ come together to reconfigure possibilities for ethical and political engagement within and through arts-based research assemblages.

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C. Feminist sisterhood projects in Europe and Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union: New transit points and efforts of decolonization

Language: English

Workshop coordinators:
Pauliina Lukinmaa,, University of Eastern Finland
Asya Osnovina,, Central European University

The 1990s was a very important period in Europe that still requires discussions and versatile approaches. It started with the sharp and unexpected change – the collapse of the 80-years Soviet project, developing from the egalitarian dream into an old empire. As a result, the idea of what Europe is, broadened. This put many Western scholars into an uncomfortable position that required including the emerging women’s movements that were falling off the general consensus of what feminism should be.

With this transformation, the former peripheries of Europe became transit points, places for the most intensive feminist work and exchange between what formerly had been known as the West and the Soviet. The Beijing Conference of 1995 had a major impact on institutionalizing women’s movements, and therefore divided feminism into NGOs, activists and academia, controversially dividing the movements within the liberalizing former socialist Europe.

Today, the Russian political regime puts much efforts for publics across borders to believe that it is currently as antagonized from the West as it was during the Cold War. Nevertheless, Post-Socialist world has existed for almost 30 years despite of neo-isolationist tendencies. These years have witnessed many transnational processes, as well as feminist ideas. They have undergone transgression with both positive and negative aspects. What exactly happened during these years? How has the Beijing Conference affected women’s movements and feminist sisterhood projects? How was this transition process depicted and acknowledged in the transit points by scholars? Can we afford to speak today of being colonial or /and colonized? Could the legitimized role of North-European feminism be challenged?



Asya Osnovina (Central European University): Continuity in the women’s movement in Russia from 1990-es

This paper is aimed at following and analyzing the history of the latest Russian feminism – or the women’s movement of the present time, with the focus on strategies, challenges, and progress from emerging in the beginning of 1990-es to the current uneven presence on the Russian political scene.

From the perspective of an activist operating in 2010-es, the Russian feminist work was visible owing to roughly two components. One was the rightful heir of the first wave of the post-Soviet human rights movement, represented by NGOs and gender studies, maneuvering its way through the ‘sovereign democracy’ of early Putin’s era. The other – the grass-root response to the undisguised attack on gender equality and civil rights, alone and abandoned in late postmodernism as if there had never been any feminist work done before.

After the series of repressive regulations from 2011 (from the ‘Foreign agents’ law and ban on ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ to the decriminalization of domestic violence in the beginning of 2017), the balance was ruined revealing the helplessness of institutions that had been previously seen as a guarantee of peace treaty between authorities and the civil society, colonial attitude of international donors thriving along tightening regime, and at the same time – the variety of human rights, feminist, LGBTQ and other, initiatives and individuals that developed in seemingly structural and resource isolation.

While previous women’s rights elites are currently put in positions of service providers, loyal mediators and even advocates, or agents of channeling resources without being critical towards the very mechanisms they were initially created to oppose, I am particularly interested in the process that the feminist movement in Russia had to undergo since its emerging – the way its agenda was developing, changing, and relating to the process of other social and political movements. Although I don’t believe this process to be unique, such researches or even discussions are rare in Russia due to the complicate political situation and lack of de-colonial view.


Kathryn Burns (Central European University): Motherhood and Pro-Natalism in Contemporary Western Siberia: Movement within Negotiation and Resistance

While reproduction and sexuality have been prominent areas of focus in post-socialist Russian discourses since the 1990s, recent political events have led to a spike in academic scholarship. Particularly since the 2007 implementation of the “maternity capital” program, motherhood and reproduction in Russia have been the subjects of ongoing media, political, and scholarly attention.

Yet by and large, academic literature on pronatalism is approached from a top-down perspective, from biopolitics to nationalism, which reinforces a sense of totalitarian state hegemony rather than examining the effects these policies have in the lives of Russian women. Indeed, given the relative invisibility of protest or public complaint, it may be easy to draw the conclusion, as many scholars seem to, that Russian women (especially those living outside Moscow and Saint Petersburg) are either largely in support of the official state discourse, largely indifferent, or somewhat helpless.

After examining several key works on pro-natalism and reproduction in contemporary Russia from the perspective of social movement theory, this paper draws on narratives and ethnographic impressions I gathered during 21 oral history interviews on motherhood with women in Western Siberia. I consider how knowledge about reproduction, motherhood, and childrearing is acquired and circulated outside “official” public discourse within the narratives of those I interviewed, and what this might demonstrate about individual and social dynamics of women outside the metropolitan centers, left out in mainstream rhetoric.

By exploring informal affinities and communities, I question whether lack of recognizable movement or public coalition equates with apathy or absence of agency, or could, instead, suggest an alternative relationship between the individual and the collective. By looking at how women’s everyday choices to conform to, negotiate, or resist patriarchal political rhetoric and social norms, I aim to make room for further dialogue regarding how currents of change and sameness function in contemporary Russian society and, indeed, how social “movement” theory might ultimately be understood differently in the post-socialist context.


Dr. Joanna Chojnicka (University of Bremen): Feminist and trans activist sisterhood: a good practice example from Poznań, Poland

The relationship between feminist and trans activism is more complicated than one might expect. Modern feminist theory considers gender to be a socially constructed and discursively maintained rather than biological category, which seems to be in agreement with the conviction that gender is about how one feels and identifies rather than what one’s body is like. Both women and trans individuals experience gender-based discrimination and oppression. However, some feminists have claimed that trans activism is detrimental to their cause, which has earned them the label TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminists).

As early as in 1979, Janice Raymond condemned trans women for reinforcing traditional gender roles and contributing to the essentialization of gender identity. More recently, Sheila Jeffreys has argued for seeing transsexuality as harmful both to feminism and the lesbian and gay community (2014). Both feminist and trans activists have provided brilliant arguments against such views, with Julia Serano’s (2007) book among my personal favorites.

Academic debates are one thing, but activist practice is another. In this talk, I would like to present an example of sisterhood solidarity between feminism and female trans activism in the context of post-socialist Poland. A small but vibrant community of trans women in the city of Poznań is currently engaging in many projects that reach beyond trans activism, e.g. aiming at combating violence against women or empowering women for political participation. While actively engaging with and supporting the feminist movement, which is struggling under the current anti-feminist backlash common to Central and Eastern Europe, they are silently contributing to the visibility and social acceptability of transsexuality in their environment.


Pauliina Lukinmaa (University of Eastern Finland): Reflections and diffractions on transnational feminist concepts within the gender activism in St Petersburg, Russia: Case of queer/kvir

The wave metaphor in feminism is widely used both for feminist self-understanding and for historicizing its venerable past. However, the metaphor alongside with the unification of feminism under the terms “we”, representing for example European, Nordic or Russian feminists, is increasingly questioned today.

Feminists in Europe have raised their voices, arguing that Anglo-American concepts have colonized their knowledge formations1. In former socialist countries, critical voices phrase feminism to have become a new kind of imperialism2. Yet, the feminist knowledge production absorbedly localizes, thanks to the increasing number of feminists around the world.

Linda Nicholson turns the situation around and argues that gender activism for instance is unified around a set of ideas, and that set of ideas can be called feminism. Focus on localized usage of the terms, enables to analyze the use of the transnational concepts of feminism(s) as assembled through dialogue, liminality and domestication. Being educated to the dominant Anglo-American feminism by “Nordic” feminist researchers, I was particularly curious in taking a closer look at the translation and modification of the increasingly used and debated concept of queer and kvir (квир), among the trans-local St Petersburg gender activists.

Basing on my ethnographic PhD research, I analyze in this paper the transnational impacts in St Petersburg LGBTQI activist movement by observing and analyzing their chequered use of queer and kvir. I’m interested in who speaks and defines the queer/kvir within the local movement, are there any tensions connected to it? In which contexts the queer and kvir are used? As an example, Queerfest has been organized by a trans-local LGBT_ organization since 2008; Queer is recognized as a critical gender theory and a practice of resistance that divides the gender activist movement in St Petersburg; Kvir-feminism has been even proposed to form an autonomous discourse from the queer-feminism.


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D. Five years after “anti-gay” law: the contemporary everyday life of the queer community in Russia

Language: English

Workshop coordinators:
Alisa Zhabenko,, Helsinki University
Bella Rapoport,, European University at Saint Petersburg

During our workshop, we would like to present the papers on the influence of “anti-gay” legislation that passed on the Federal level in 2013 in Russia on the everyday life of gays and lesbians. We propose to look at the changes in the life of the ordinary people and LGBT activists after the “anti-gay” law passed five years ago and “traditional values” ideology came to force. We claim that lesbians and gay men were influenced by the change in the legislation and were forced to change their lives according to new legal and gender regimes. Two researchers are going to represent this workshop: Alisa Zhabenko is going to talk about the influence of “anti-gay” legislation on the lives of lesbian mothers in Russia, and Bella Rapoport will lighten the life of young Russian lesbians. The workshop aims to gather researchers to discuss the changes in the life of LGBT community in Russia after “anti-gay” law passed five years ago. We believe that these changes will influence the life of the queer community in Russia in future.



Marianna Muravyeva (University of Helsinki): ‘Don’t talk to children about it’: Case law on the prohibition of the propaganda of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’

The paper focuses on the case law that emerged under the amendments to the Administrative code that prohibited the propaganda of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ . The analysis focuses on how legal categories are constructed in these narratives and what legal and wider social implications these constructions have for Russian and international law.


Alisa Zhabenko (University of Helsinki): Russian lesbian mothers: Between traditional values and human rights

Abstract: In this paper, I seek to show more than the obvious harm caused by the ‘anti-gay law’ in terms of the effects on lesbian-headed families. As such, I analyse the strategies applied by Russian lesbian mothers to tackle the rapidly changing state ideologies and legislative landscapes. I argue that, to adhere to ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ family life, lesbian mothers in Russia use several survival strategies. The set of these three strategies that I describe here aim to help lesbian mothers under the contemporary “traditional values” ideology and legislative change to continue their everyday lives in Russia.


Bella Rapoport (European Humanities University, Vilnius; European University at Saint Petersburg): Lost in translations: the nomination problem in the lesbian relationships negotiations

It’s more than 5 years since the «Antipropaganda law» came out. Some LGBT people have started to think more about politics and their place in the society as the political subjects because of it, some LGBT people never mention this law as if it has never existed and affected their lives. The research focuses on Everyday life of same-sex (lesbian and bisexual) women’s couples — which ways they find to build it, which strategies they use in a way to normalise it, and, which the most important for this research — what language they use to describe different aspects of it.

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E. Gender Studies in Transit

Language: English

Workshop coordinators:
Marianne Liljeström,, University of Turku
SallaPeltonen,, Åbo Akademi University

In this thematic workshop the question of transformation, transition, change and continuities, similarities and differences in relation to different timelines of academic feminism is addressed. The workshop dives into the thematic of emancipatory knowledge formation, academic feminism and critique by interrogating the ways in which knowledge is in transit, transforms, takes new forms and is transformative in the field of gender studies.
By looking at the multiplicity of ways in which the object of gender studies can be understood, experienced, and expressed, the questions of what it means to cross transnational, racialized, and disciplinary boundaries is discussed. We investigate the question of knowledge production through the lens of discussions already central to the field, its ”loving antagonisms” and its political imaginaries. By raising questions regarding what the multiplication of categories, identities, and concepts around gender, sexuality, race, and class means in feminist research, the question of historicity and its relation to knowledge is addressed.



Tuija Pulkkinen: Gender Studies and the Epistemic Habit of Intervention

In the past nearly fifty years academic feminism has, step by step, established itself globally with a specific disciplinary identity in the universities. Gender studies has evolved into an academic practice with its own right to judge quality, and its own hierarchy of reference. Gender Studies institutions give degrees, they require students to read particular literature, and they provide teaching on the history of feminist thought and the movement. For almost as long as gender studies has existed there has also been critical self-reflective discussion within the field, concerning the disciplinary identity itself.

In this talk I will revisit some of these self-reflective debates with a focus on the use of the phrase ‘production of knowledge.’ In my view, the term “production of knowledge,” which belongs to the vocabulary of contemporary managerial research policies, is all too easily assumed as a neutral one in feminist discussions on the research in the field. In contrast to the majority discussants, who refer to gender studies as “knowledge production,” I wish to draw attention to another aspect of feminist research, namely that this research works as “intervention”.

In accordance with my recent publications (Pulkkinen, Differences 27:2, 2017; Pulkkinen Theory, Culture and Society 32 (5-6), 2015) I argue, that gender studies does not primarily aim at “knowledge production.” With its roots deeply in the feminist movement, gender studies displays instead an aspiration of “intervening”: gender studies contests and politicizes rather than establishes truths and knowledges, by its very tradition. In this talk I will further explore “intervention” as an epistemic habit, while relating my view to other views present in recent literature on gender studies as an academic discipline.


Tuula Juvonen: Queer Interventions in Finnish Gender Studies

Since the early 1990s, lesbian and queer studies sought to find a place in the Finnish academic world. Often times they sought not only for shelter in women’s studies programmes, but also to transform it to be more inclusive to the kind of critique it had to offer.

This paper traces and analyses some of the key steps lesbian and queer studies took towards its inclusion in to the Finnish universities. Among them are the autonomously held reading groups that evolved to an actual academic curriculum with lecture series (University of Helsinki), book exams and seminars (University of Tampere and elsewhere), and interdisciplinary lesbian, gay and queer studies conferences (University of Turku).

Such endeavours were fuelled by national networking. They were enabled by lesbian and gay studies newsletters, study weekends held at Villa Salin and workshop sessions held at women’s studies conferences. But the young scholars also sought actively international impulses, as they were visiting and studying at universities abroad, and organized conferences with international guests.

The result of such activities were numerous publications in journals and edited collections, as well as thesis supervised and written with the help of gender studies staff members in various universities (and disciplines). Moreover, the founding of the Society of Queer Studies in Finland (SQS) with its open access journal helped to establish lesbian, gay and queer studies as a legitimate research field. How would one evaluate today, after some 30 years of academic struggle and coexistence, the presence of queer studies in the Finnish academia, and its relation to gender studies?


Minna Seikkula: Academic feminism as a venue for critical work on racism

The paper looks at emancipatory knowledge formation and academic feminism in relation to critical theorization of race and racialization. Before, academic analyses on race and racialization have been scarce if non-existent in Finland, but during the last decade critical work drawing from the paradigm of Critical race and whiteness studies has become a rapidly developing field. Discussions on race, racialization and racism have been conducted, among other things, in close relation with academic feminist work on intersectionality and postcoloniality. In which ways discussions on intersectionality and postcoloniality within academic feminism on their own part have paved the way for critical discussions for addressing racialization in Finland? Which kind of pathways for critical work on race and racialization Nordic postcolonial and intersectional feminist work opens up, and are there some limitations to this? I will discuss this in relation to one research project in particular.


Elizabeth Whitney: Documenting Process: Ephemerality in Queer Feminist Autoethnographic Research Methods

For the past three years I have been traveling to Finland for research on the subject of freedom of expression, with a focus on queer and feminist artist and activist communities. This project takes up the question of knowledge formation using autoethnography as a feminist methodology. What does a queer feminist autoethnographic research process look like, and how can I creatively document it for publication?

As ethnographic researchers, we are taught that we must inhabit and experience our surroundings for minimum periods of time in order to develop enough expertise to write about them. Autoethnography, in particular, treads carefully on the ground of the other in order to avoid solipsism, asking: who am I to enter and speak? Even though our initial observations give way to what we perceive as more layered and complex understandings of our cultural context, there is something also valuable about first impressions. The longer I stay in a place, the more I see that place differently. In other words, those first feelings and images risk sensory disappearance, even if they are recorded in notes. While the fleeting moments of initial engagement are sometimes devalued in a traditional academic context, they can be revelatory when seen through a queer feminist lens.

In this paper, I explore the following:

What is the authenticity/authority of the autoethnographic gaze in feminist research?
How does my positioning as an insider/outsider in the communities I write about effect my work?

How do both the being-in-a-place and the documenting-being-in-a-place shape and shift my research?

What is my relationship as a queer feminist to the historically colonizing practice of ethnographic research?

What creative methodologies can I employ when preparing this work for publication (curated field notes, digital storytelling, photographic essay)?


Marianne Liljeström

The discipline formation of Gender Studies supports and encourages feminist and gender research also within other research fields and disciplines. In other countries than Finland, debates about the autonomy of feminist research as opposed to its integration into other disciplines have been ongoing already for quite a while. Often these debates have lacked in definitions of the term discipline: most commonly, disciplinarity means the coherence of quite non-comparable elements, such as research objects, methods of analysis, researchers, positions, students, journals, grants and so on. Disciplinarity is, thus, the way by which the entirety of various factors is lumped together to certain scholarly relations. Because of this, it is of utmost importance to understand disciplines as historical, changing and contextual fields. Simultaneously they – as specific fields of knowledge – produce identities, which intellectually, institutionally, pedagogically and professionally are meaningful for those who create and act on these fields of intellectual communities.

In connection to this overall problematic, I want to ponder, firstly, on the institutionalization process of the discipline of Gender Studies claiming that the disciplinary formation and institutionalization are simultaneous and connected events. Secondly, I discuss the potential paradox that Gender Studies as a scholarly field is characterized both as interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. Thirdly, I will shortly ponder over the future scenarios of Gender Studies as “self-damaging”, as outdated and inadequate, i.e. the vision of Gender Studies and feminist research having reached its political goal. In the vision, where the research field is making itself inadequate through its own flourishing, the discipline and research field are positive successes. A pessimistic and negative vision of feminism links it, on the other hand, to a uniform and outdated identity politics. In this connection feminism seems to be replaced or substituted by a “gender neutral” queer research, where an anti-identity “universalism” as an opposition to a feminist identity focused “particularism” is emphasized.

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H. Kirjallisuus, kirjallisuudentutkimus ja sukupuoli

Language: Finnish
Workshop coordinator: Kaisa Ilmonen,, University of Turku

Työryhmä kokoaa yhteen kirjallisuudesta ja sukupuolesta kiinnostuneita tutkijoita mahdollisimman laajalti. Ryhmässä pohdimme, miten sukupuolia ja seksuaalisuuksia esitetään ja tutkitaan kirjallisuudentutkimuksessa tänään. Miten perinteistä feminististä kirjallisuudentutkimusta haastetaan ja miten sukupuolentutkimus hyödyntää kaunokirjallisuutta? Kirjallisuudentutkimus on jo pitkään tarkastellut erilaisten identiteettien moninaisuutta, rakentuneisuutta, dekolonisaatiota, ylirajaisuutta ja intersektionaalisuutta. Silti nämä teemat ovat yhä edelleen ajankohtaisia. Toisaalta myös sukupuolen käsitteen moninaistuminen ja epäbinaarisuus näkyvät kirjallisuudentutkimuksessa.



Joonas Säntti: Queer-kokeellisuus ja mahdottomat sukupuolisuudet

Esityksessäni käsittelen epäluonnollisten fiktiohahmojen ja antimimeettisten kerrontaratkaisujen poliittista merkitystä nykyisessä queer-kirjallisuudessa. Käsittelen melko tuoreita esimerkkiteoksia, joissa esintyy arkijärjen kannalta mahdottomia henkilöhahmoja, esimerkiksi sukupuoltaan tahdon mukaan vaihtavia henkilöitä (Andrea Lawlorin Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, 2017) tai yksilöllisyyden ja inhimillisyyden rajat ylittäviä avantgardistisia kieliolentoja (Isabel Weidnerin Gaudy Bauble, 2017). Lähestyn näiden teosten sanaleikkejä, metakerronnallisuutta, lineaarisuuden rikkomista ja ontologisesti mahdottomia fiktiohenkilöitä queer-narratologisesta näkökulmasta, jossa kerronnan keinoja ja muotoratkaisuja nähdään myös (sukupuoli)poliittisina valintoina. Teoksissa käsitellään myös tarinan tasolla sukupuoli- ja seksuaali-identiteettien nimeämistä ja luokittelua, usein humoristiseen tapaan.

Queer-tutkija José Esteban Muñoz argumentoi kirjassaan Cruising Utopia (2009) toisin kuvittelemisen tärkeyden puolesta. Hänen mielestään queer ei määritelmällisesti voi olla jotain valmista tai toteutunutta, vaan se voi elää vain toisin kuvittelemisessa, horisontissa siintävänä ideaalina. Utopioissa nykytodellisuuden kannalta mahdottomat maailmassa olemisen tavat voidaan kuvitella konkreettisina mahdollisuuksina. Muñoz löytää kriittisen utopian potentiaalia taiteesta, joka ensisilmäyksellä näyttäytyy naiivina todellisuudesta pakenemisena tai pinnallisena ja lapsellisena ihmettelynä. Tällainen ”utopianismi” on samalla eräänlainen vastareaktio sellaiselle queer-teorialle, jossa queerin kriittinen potentiaali on yhdistetty pikemmin negaatioon, tulevaisuutta kohti suuntautumisen ja yhteisöllisyyden kritiikkiin (esim. Lee Edelman). Mielestäni Munozin queer-utopiaa on kiinnostava tarkastella suhteessa kokeellisuuteen. Samantapaista avantgarden ja sukupuoleltaan vaikeasti paikannettavien henkilöhahmojen risteämistä voi löytää myös suomalaisesta nykykirjallisuudesta, vaikka en niitä tässä yhteydessä käsittele.

Esimerkiksi Waidnerin teoksessa kirjava joukko trans- ja lesbohahmoja seikkailee kaupunkitilassa etsimässä käsikirjoitusta uudelle taideprojektille, juonen muuttaessa suuntaa aina uusien kohtaamisten myötä. Uusien identiteettien sekä uudenlaisten yhteisöjen keksimisen tarve ovat olennainen osa teoksen viehätystä. Tarinan henkilöiden tapa kuvitella ja muokata ympäristöään sekä omaa olemustaan aina uudenlaiseksi saa vastineensa teoksen diversiteettiä ja monikielisyyttä korostavassa kerronnassa.


Päivi Koponen: Affektiivisuus, kehollisuus ja enemmän-kuin-inhimillinen toimijuus Marie Darrieussecqin romaanituotannossa

Esitelmäni siirtää painopisteen kirjallisuuden sisäisistä merkityksistä kirjallisuuden kykyyn vaikuttaa affektiivisesti; affektiolla tarkoitan ei-verbaalista, kehollista ja vastavuoroista vaikutussuhdetta. Kysyn, millaisia merkityksiä ’ei-inhimillinen’ (engl. ”non-human”) saa ranskalaisen nykykirjailija Marie Darrieussecqin (s. 1969) romaanituotannossa ja miten nämä merkitykset kytkeytyvät yhteen ’affektiivisuutta’ (engl. ”affectivity”) ja ’toimijuutta’ (engl. ”agency”) koskevien käsitysten kanssa. Tavoitteenani on osallistua laajempaan ihmisen ja materiaalisen maailman välisen yhteyden uudelleen ajatteluun.

Tutkimukseni avaa uudella tavalla Darrieussecqin merkitystä ekologisten kysymysten, ihmisyyden ja nykytodellisuuden kuvaajana. Darrieussecq kuvaa globaalia maailmaa koskevia ekologisia uhkakuvia, kuten eläinlajien monimuotoisuuden vähenemistä, ihmisälyn syrjäyttävää robotiikkaa ja ydinvoiman haitallisia vaikutuksia. Darrieussecq on ekologisista teemoistaan huolimatta ensisijaisesti feministinen kirjailija, jonka tuotannossa toistuvat kuvaukset traumaattisen menetyksen läpikäyneistä naisista, jotka etsivät identiteettiään ja paikkaansa vieraantuneessa ympäristössä. Esimerkiksi esikoisteos Truismes (Sikatotta, 1996) kertoo emakoksi muuttuvasta naisesta, joka kirjoittaa elämästään jatkuvan kuoleman uhan alla ekologisesti tuhoutuneessa, sovinistisessa ja patriarkaalisessa yhteiskunnassa. Viimeisin teos Notre vie dans les fôrets (2017) on taas naiskyborgin lukijalle omistama kirjoitus, jossa hän kertoo aiemmasta elämästään psykoterapeuttina, kokemuksistaan dystooppisessa valvontayhteiskunnassa ja pakenemisestaan metsään. Darrieussecqin tuotantoa taustoittavat ihmiskeskeisyyden, kaupunkitilojen ja transhumanististen tulevaisuusvisioiden harjoittamat ulossulkemisen mekanismit, paikkaan kuulumattomuuden kokemukset – ja nostalginen kaipuu palata ”kotiin”; toistavana teemana on inhimillinen tarve löytää paikkaan kuulumisen kokemus muuttuvassa maailmassa.

Epätavallisista tarinoista huolimatta Darrieussecqin teokset eivät ole juonilähtöisiä; kertomukset muodostuvat tajunnanvirrasta, jota johdattelevat minäkertojan hajanaiset, keholliset ja tiedostamattomat kokemukset muutoksenalaisesta ympäristöstä. Asetan tutkimuksessani pääpainon näihin affektiivisiin kokemuksiin, joiden on osoitettu yleisesti ohjaavan ihmisen toimintaa ja tuottavan kokemuksellisen, vaikuttavan yhteyden ympäröivään maailmaan. Kyseenalaistan sen, että rationaalisen tiedon lisääminen on yksiselitteisesti ymmärretty ympäristötoimijuutta synnyttäväksi voimaksi; koko ajan lisääntyvästä tiedosta huolimatta ihmisen toiminta ei ole muuttunut riittävissä määrin ympäristön kannalta hyödylliseksi. Ihmisjärjen korostamisen sijaan lähestyn toimijuutta kykynä vaikuttaa ja tulla vaikutetuksi.


Aura Sevón: Subjektin ja sukupuolen transformaatioita unien ja tiedostamattoman rajamailla

Subjekti, sukupuoli, kirjallisuusgenre ja laji (ihminen, eläin vai ihmiseläin?) ovat alituisessa muodonmuutoksen tilassa algerialais-ranskalaisen kirjailijan ja feministisen ajattelijan Hélène Cixous’n (s. 1937) proosateoksessa Souffles vuodelta 1975. Subjektiuden ja sukupuolen ilmentymiä teoksessa voisi kuvailla sanoin rajaton, vasta muotoutuva, määrittelemätön, kahleeton, karkaava, liukuva, vieras, kumma. Perinteisten ”henkilöhahmojen” tai ”subjektien” rajat ovat liudentuneet kokonaan pois, ja myös sukupuoli on muuntuva: teoksen ”keskushahmolla”, joka on pikemminkin ääni kuin hahmo, voi esimerkiksi olla useanlaisia sukuelimiä.

Pohdin, kuinka lukea kirjallisuutta, joka kiehtoo vieraudessaan ja transformatiivisuudessaan, mutta jonka sisälle on vaikea päästä. Soufflesissa performoidaan vierautta erilaisin kielellis-kirjallisin keinoin; se viehättää ja tekee vaikutuksen mutta myös häiritsee ylenpalttisella kummuudellaan. Souffles on yksi erikoisimpia lukemiani kaunokirjallisia teoksia ja edustaa muutenkin vaativan tekijän tuotannon kokeilevinta puolta.

Soufflesia on luettu muun muassa poeettisena mietelmänä kirjoittamista ruokkivista ruumiillisista passioista (Regard 2013). Teos ilmestyi samana vuonna kuin Cixous’n esseet ”Medusan nauru” (Le Rire de la Méduse) ja ”Purkauksia” (Sorties), joissa hän käsittelee niin kutsuttua feminiinistä kirjoittamista (écriture féminine) ja toteuttaa sitä teksteissään itse. Tämän vuoksi myös Soufflesia on mielekästä lukea osana Cixous’n projektia artikuloida kieleen ja kirjoitukseen feminiinisyyttä – (nais)subjektin tulemisena ääneen sekä moninaisista transformaatiosta tämän matkan varrella. Teos alkaa äänen esiin manaamisena, ja siinä toistuvat käsitykset hiljaisuudesta negatiivisena ja tukahduttavana voimana. Alusta loppuun teoksessa liu’uskellaan unten ja tiedostamattoman eriytymättömässä magmassa.

Cixous on tunnettu sukupuolieron ajattelija, ja hänen ajattelussaan on nähty essentialistisiakin puolia. Soufflesissa subjektiin ja sukupuoleen ei kuitenkaan voi liittää minkäänlaista olemuksellisuutta. Souffles kiehtoo täten myös ristiriitaisuudessaan.

Kirjassa yhdistellään ylevää ja matalaa, kanonista ja pornografista, sitaatteja Raamatun Psalmeista sekä homoseksuaalin kirjailijan Jean Genet’n (1910–1986) teoksista ammennettuja pornografisia vaikutteita. Genet’n teokseen Pompes Funèbres (1948) viitataan monta kertaa.

Lähestyn Soufflesia Cixous’n luonnehtimalla ”feminiinisellä lukutyylillä” (Sellers 1988), jossa lukumetodina toimii rakkaus: teosta lähestytään tällöin kuin uutta, vierasta maata tutustuen askel askeleelta, tuntuma tuntumalta sen kiehtoviin joskin myös käsittämättömiin puoliin.

Teos herättää paljon kysymyksiä: Voiko ihmeelliseen vierauteen tutustuminen lisätä lukijan eettistä tietoisuutta, vai onko ylenpalttisessa kokeilevuudessa riskinä, että teksti jättää lukijan ulkopuolelleen? Onko lukijan käytävä läpi oma eettis-esteettinen transformaationsa kyetäkseen ymmärtämään tekstiä? Voiko ilmeisen avantgardistinen, feministinen teos olla myös poliittinen, feministinen teos? Voiko tekstin kyllästäminen kielellis-kirjallisella vieraudella toimia vahvana poliittistekstuaalisena tekona? Tarjoaako tiedostamattoman kummasta taikinasta kohoava teksti lukijalle muhkean viipaleen uutta, vaihtoehtoista tietoa ihmisyydestä?


Lotta Luhtala: Vegaaniteemaisen kaunokirjallisuuden vegaaniseksuaalinen ulottuvuus

Kehittämääni monitieteellistä vegaanilukijuuden metodia (Luhtala 2017) käyttäen tarkastelen esityksessäni sitä, kuinka kertomusten usein karnistisissa (Joy 2001), hegemonisen lihansyöntikulttuurin arvoja ainakin osittain myötäilevissä tarinamaailmoissa ilmiö, jota kutsutaan vegaaniseksuaalisuudeksi, nousee esille.

Vegaaniseksuaalisuuden käsitteen kehitti Annie Potts (2008) ja se tarkoitta lyhyesti sitä, että eettisesti suuntautuneina henkilöinä vegaaneiden on näytetty toisinaan tuntevan seksuaalista vetovoimaa pääasiassa toisia vegaaneita kohtaan sekä halua parinmuodostukseen vain vegaaneiden kesken. Äärimmillään vegaanit saattavat kokea intiimin läheisyyden sekaruokavaliota noudattavien kanssa vastenmieliseksi. Mielenkiintoinen yksityiskohta ilmiössä oli Pottsin ja Parryn (2010) mukaan se, kuinka heteroseksuaaliset lihansyöjämiehet reagoivat vegaaniseksuaalisuusdiskurssiin voimakkaan negatiivisesti, vahvistaen samalla hegemonisen lihansyöntikulttuurin, karnismin ja lihan seksuaalipolitiikan (Adams 1990) myyttejä sekä luutuneita yhteiskunnallis-kulttuurisia binaarisia funktioita.

Havainnoin kirjallisuus- sekä yhteiskunnallisten diskurssiesimerkkien avulla millä tavoin vegaaniseksuaalisuus itsessään sekä sen affektiivinen voima esiintyvät väitöskirjatutkimukseni romaaniaineistossa. Esimerkkiteoksina käytän Margaret Atwoodin Maddaddam-trilogiaa (2003, 2009, 2013), Anja Snellmanin Safari Clubia (2001), Mika Wikströmin Vastakarvaan-romaania (2002) sekä Tapani Baggen Sudenhetki-teosta (1999). Romaanit edustavat pohjoisten maiden – Suomen ja Kanadan – vegaaniarvojen yhteiskunnalliseen murroskohtaan sijoittuvaa ja asenneilmapiirin muutokseen ankkuroituvaa kaunokirjallisuutta, joita värittää intersektionaalisten ongelmien vyyhte, kuten eläimiin ja ihmisiin ja erityisesti naisiin kohdistuva väkivalta, raiskaukset sekä sangen patriarkaattinen yhteiskunta.

Vegaaniseksuaalisuuden käsite rikkoo perinteistä ymmärrystä seksuaalisuudesta ja binaarisista funktioista, tehden siitä mielenkiintoisen tarkastelukohteen sukupuolentutkimuksen, ekofeminismin ja vegaanitutkimuksen kontekstissa.

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J. Miehiä ja maskuliinisuuksia

Language: Finnish
Workshop coordinators:
Timo Aho,, University of Jyväskylä
Petteri Eerola,, University of Tampere
Hanna Ojala,, University of Tampere

Tässä työryhmässä kysymme, mitä miesten ja maskuliinisuuksien tutkimukselle kuuluu vuonna 2018. Millaista vuoropuhelua käyvät tutkimuksissa sukupuolentutkimuksen ja kriittisen miestutkimuksen teoriat? Joko hegemonisen maskuliinisuuden teoria on kohdannut voittajansa? Millaisin tavoin tutkija voi perustella tutkivansa ”vain miehiä” tai ”maskuliinisuuden muotoutumisia”? Entä mitä miestutkimuksen piirissä ajatellaan cis/trans-jaosta? Pohdimme myös, millaisin tavoin intersektionaalisuus on läsnä keskusteluissa miehistä ja maskuliinisuuksista. Entä millaisia miestutkimuksen katvealueita on paikannettavissa? Minne suomalainen kriittinen miestutkimus on ylipäätänsä menossa?


Olli Lehtonen: “Maskuliinisuuden audiovisuaalinen representaatio elokuvassa Lainsuojaton Josey Wales

Clint Eastwoodin ohjaamaa western -elokuvaa Lainsuojaton (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Clint Eastwood 1976) pidetään uudenaikaisena, ns. revisionistisena westerninä, jossa miehisyyttä, sankaruutta ja etnisyyttä esitetään uudella tavalla perinteisiin westerneihin nähden. Lisäksi elokuvan musiikki hyödyntää kansanmusiikin omaista harmoniarakennetta, ja luo maskuliinisia merkityksiä muun muassa stereotyyppisesti maskuliinisuuteen assosioitavilla sotilaallisilla aiheilla. Musiikki hyödyntää myös sitaatteja perinteisistä kansanlauluista, jotka yhdistetään Etelävaltioihin. Nämä laulut luovat myös vaikutelmaa Sisällissodan aikakaudesta, Etelän identiteetistä ja miljööstä.

Elokuvassa kuitenkin on myös viitteitä perinteisestä westernistä, kuten väkivaltaisen maskuliinisuuden ja harvapuheinen antisankari, joka tunteiden ilmaisun sijaan ampuu asiat halki. Tämä osoittaa aseisiin ja aseiden tuhovoimaan assosioitavaa fallista aggressiota. Tämä representaatio ilmentää myös hegemonista maskuliinisuutta, mikä on tietyssä kulttuurissa hyväksytty tapa osoittaa miehisyyttä. Miessankareiden tulee usein osoittaa maskuliinisuuttaan erilaisissa miehuuskokeissa, kuten kaksintaisteluissa ja erilaisissa uroteoissa. Elokuva Lainsuojaton esittää myös naiset sekä perinteisesti heikompana sukupuolena että vahvatahtoisina toimijoina. Samoin alkuperäisasukkaat kuvataan inhimillisinä, eikä raakalaismaisina “villeinä”, kuten perinteisissä lännenelokuvissa.

Tarkastelen sitä, miten elokuva eroaa perinteisen western-elokuvan representaatiosta: Millaisia perinteiselle westerneille tyypillisiä maskuliinisuuden piirteitä elokuvassa rakennetaan? Millaisia merkityksiä alkuperäismusiikki luo maskuliinisuudesta ja paikallisesta identiteetistä? Tarkoitus olisi myös tarkastella yleisesti western-elokuvien maskuliinisuuden representaation muutosta aikojen saatossa. Käytän tapausesimerkkinä elokuvan alkutekstijaksoa, jossa Amerikan sisällissodan aikaisen tyylisellä musiikilla kuvataan niin sodan kauheuksia kuin toiminnallisuutta. Yhdistän tarkastelussa audiovisuaalista analyysiä, topos-tutkimusta ja maskuliinisuuden tutkimusta


Tuija Koivunen: Ei taivu eikä tanssi. Miesten liikuntakulttuuri ja ryhmäliikunta

Puheenvuoron keskiössä on miesten liikuntakulttuuri ja kysymys, miksi ryhmäliikunta ei ongelmitta ja itsestään selvästi sovi miesten liikuntakulttuuriin. Yksityisen liikuntapalvelualan ryhmäliikuntatuntien asiakkaana on hyvin harvoin miehiä, eivätkä liikunnanohjaajiksi kouluttautuneet miehet useinkaan ohjaa erilaisia ryhmäliikuntatunteja, lukuun ottamatta joitakin erityistunteja ja liikuntamuotoja. Keskityn siihen, millaisia kulttuurisia ja sukupuolistuneita merkityksiä miesten ryhmäliikunnalle analysoimassani aineistossa annetaan. Etsin vastausta kysymykseen miesten liikuntakulttuurista empiirisestä aineistosta, joka keskittyy yksityisen liikuntapalvelualan työntekijöiden ja yrittäjien haastatteluihin.

Aiemmassa miehiin kohdistuvassa sukupuolisensitiivisessä tutkimuksessa ja etenkin miestutkimuksessa on usein otettu teoreettiseksi lähtökohdaksi erilaisten maskuliinisuuksien analysoiminen ja niiden suhteuttaminen hegemoniseen maskuliinisuuteen. Kuitenkin on mielekästä kysyä, millaista tietoa maskuliinisuuden käsitteen avulla on mahdollista saada, ja mitä teoreettista, metodologista sekä poliittista etua käsitteen käytöstä on. Ilana Aalto (2016) on aivan aiheellisesti kysynyt, miksei sukupuolen käsite ole keskeinen miestutkimuksen analyysiväline. Ei ole teoreettisesti perusteltua, että miestutkimus hyödyntää maskuliinisuuden käsitteistöä, kun taas muu sukupuolentutkimuksen kenttä käyttää ja kehittää muita teoreettisia välineitä, kuten sukupuolen käsitteellistyksiä. Maskuliinisuuden käsitteeseen kiinnittyneestä tutkimuksesta poiketen tämän tutkimuksen keskeinen käsite on sukupuoli. Sukupuolen käsitteen avulla olen pyrkinyt löytämään näkökulman, jonka avulla voi tavoittaa sekä sukupuolen harjoittamiseen liittyviä käytäntöjä, että kulttuurisen kontekstin dynamiikkaa.


Henri Hyvönen: Koettu ikä ja kokemus sukupolveen kuulumisesta miesten työhyvinvointia ja työhön liittyvää itsestä huolehtimista koskevassa puheessa

Viimeaikaisessa kriittisessä miestutkimuksessa on tarkasteltu sitä, kuinka uudentyyppisten miehenä olemisen tapojen myötä miehille on asteittain mahdollistunut omasta terveydestään huolehtiminen. Tämän kehityksen lieveilmiönä miesten ruumiit ja elintavat eivät enää pysy näkymättöminä ja yksityisinä. Esimerkiksi työpaikkojen ja rekrytoinnin käytännöt luovat ja uusintavat erilaisten miesruumiiden välistä hierarkiaa. Työelämän ja henkilökohtaisen elämän rajapinnalla tapahtuva omaehtoinen itsestä ja omasta hyvinvoinnista huolehtiminen on miehiä koskevassa tutkimuksessa kuitenkin osin sivuutettu. Esityksessäni tarkastelen miesten työelämään liittyvää itsestä huolehtimista käsittelevää puhetta. Miten kokemus omasta iästä ja kuulumisesta sukupolveen vaikuttavat siihen, millaista omasta terveydestään huolehtimista miehet itselleen sallivat? Millainen miehiä ja hyvinvointia koskeva normisto on vallalla tänään?

Aineistonani ovat 18 miehen teemahaastattelut. Haastateltavat työskentelevät media-alalla (N=7), sosiaali- ja terveysalalla (N=7) ja logistiikassa (N=4). Aineiston keruussa pyrittiin edustavuuteen sosioekonomisten ja muiden erojen suhteen. Haastatteluissa käsiteltyjä teemoja ovat käsitykset siitä, miksi ja miten itsestä pitäisi huolehtia, sekä omasta hyvinvoinnista huolehtimisen yhteys sukupuoleen ja miehiä koskeviin odotuksiin. Analyysissäni tarkastelen aineistoani näkökulmista, jotka liudentavat kriittisen miestutkimuksen teorian ja muun feministisen teorian sekä nuoriso- ja nuoruustutkimuksen välisiä rajoja.

Itsestä huolehtiminen määrittyi haastateltavien puheessa sekä työelämän että vapaa-ajan laatua parantavan kokonaishyvinvoinnin tavoitteluksi. Tavoiteltavaksi koettuun elämäntilanteeseen sisältyivät työn ja muun elämän tasapaino, hyvät suhteet perheeseen ja ystäviin sekä mielekkäät harrastukset, jotka eivät liity ansiotyöhön tai edistä siihen liittyviä tavoitteita. Puheessaan haastateltavat viittasivat nuoreen miessukupolveen, johon he joko kokivat kuuluvansa tai jolle ominaisia arvoja he pitivät hyvinä. Haastateltavat kokivat, että lähimenneisyyden suomalaiselle yhteiskunnalle ominainen miehenä olemisen tapa on hitaasti väistymässä. Siinä missä ennen miehillä oli velvollisuus ylläpitää ruumiillista suorituskykyään, nykyisen hyväksytyn maskuliinisuuden katsottiin sisältävän erilaisia mahdollisuuksia kuunnella itseään ja ruumistaan sekä vastata omiin henkilökohtaisiin tarpeisiin.


Hanna Ojala & Ilkka Pietilä: Kun vanhuudesta on etua. Eturauhassyöpäpotilaiden maskuliinisuuden uudelleentulkinnat

Ikä on yksi yhteiskunnallista marginalisaatiota ja syrjintää tuottavista kategorioista. Erityisesti tämä koskee vanhuutta. Siksi harva haluaa olla vanha tai tulla määritellyksi vanhaksi. Mutta voiko vanhuus olla joissakin tilanteissa etu tai resurssi? Kyllä, ainakin siinä tilanteessa, jos on kuusikymppinen mies ja kärsii eturauhassyövän radikaalihoidoista seuranneista erektio-ongelmista tai impotenssista.

Tässä esityksessä tarkastelemme 40 eturauhassyövän radikaalihoidon läpikäyneen 50-70 -vuotiaan miehen haastatteluihin perustuen sitä, kuinka miehet uudelleen tulkitsevat mieheyttään ja maskuliinisuuttaan tilanteessa, jossa he ovat a) sairastaneet maskuliinisuutta horjuttavaksi ymmärretyn sairauden ja b) ovat syöpähoitojen seurauksena menettäneet joko kokonaan tai osittain erektiokykynsä. Tutkimuksemme tuo esiin, miten kulttuuriset käsitykset maskuliinisuudesta ja ymmärrys vanhuuden elämänvaiheesta risteävät miesten tulkinnoissa tavalla, joka asettaa vanhuuden, eli yhteiskunnallisesti marginalisoidun position, houkuttelevaksi ja haluttavaksi itseidentifikaation resurssiksi.


Susi Nousiainen: Kohti eettistä miesohjaajuutta teatterissa

Jyväskylän ylioppilasteatterin syksyn 2018 ensi-ilta on transluenta Laura Ruohosen näytelmästä Kuningatar K. Näytelmän ohjaajana kirjoitan produktion aikana oppikirjaa eettisestä ohjaamisesta suhteessa sukupuoleen. Kirjoitustyötä tukee Taiteen edistämiskeskus.

Oman käynnissä olevan transprosessini myötä olen erityisessä positiossa ohjaajana: tämä näytelmä on ensimmäinen kerta ohjaajantyössä miesroolista käsin. Harjoitukset ovat käynnissä ja produktion ensi-ilta on 4.11.2018. Näytelmän yhteyteen on suunniteltu myös avoimia harjoituksia ja paneelikeskustelua sukupuolesta.

Tässä projektiin liittyvässä esitelmässä esittelen havaintoja sosiaalisesta transitiostani teatteriohjaajana. Ohjaajan vallan käyttäminen miesroolista käsin muuttaa suhdetta näyttelijöihin: oletuksia katseen, puheen ja käytöksen tasolla. Asiat, joita saatoin tehdä naisohjaajana, eivät välttämättä enää ole mahdollista. Saattaa olla, että neuvottelu näyttelijän kanssa ohjausmetodeista ja erityisesti kehollisesta ohjaamisesta muuttuu. Tavoitteeni on löytää miesroolin kautta soljuvia vallankäytön tapoja, jotka eivät jää toksisen maskuliinisuuden piiriin. Esitystaiteen ja ohjaajan vallan viime vuosina herättämien keskustelujen seurauksena tunnen tarvetta analysoida nimenomaan sukupuoleen liittyviä ohjaajuuden normeja, avata kyseenalaistaen niitä ja pohtia käytännön työkaluja eettisempään ohjaamiseen.

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K. Miten sukupuolesta puhutaan?

Languages: English, Finnish, Swedish
Workshop coordinators:
Unni-Päivä Leino,, University of Tampere
Meri Lindeman,, University of Turku
Jarmo Harri Jantunen,, University of Jyväskylä
Alexis Rancken,, Åbo Akademi University

Sukupuolta tuotetaan ja käsitteellistetään kielen avulla. Työryhmässä tarkastellaan sukupuolta, sen moninaisuutta ja rajojen ylityksiä kielen- ja sukupuolentutkimusta yhdistävästä näkökulmasta. Tarkoituksena on etsiä vastauksia sellaisiin kysymyksiin kuin millaisia diskursseja sukupuolta koskevissa keskusteluissa on nyt ja miten ne ovat muuttuneet ajan myötä, miten sukupuolta on käsitteistetty ja kielennetty, ja millaisia arvoja, asenteita ja merkityksiä nämä kielennykset pitävät sisällään ja tuottavat. Teemoja on tarkasteltu jo aiemmin jonkin verran, mutta lähinnä yhteiskuntatieteiden kannalta; tässä työryhmässä pyrimme laajentamaan näkökulmaa kielitieteellisten kysymyksenasettelujen ja menetelmien suuntaan. Työryhmän tarkoituksena onkin tuoda yhteen sukupuolen moninaisuudesta ja kielestä kiinnostuneet tutkijat.

Sukupuoleen ja sen moninaisuuteen liittyy monenlaisia yhteisesti jaettuja diskursseja. Nämä diskurssit heijastavat sosiaalista todellisuutta, jossa elämme. Toisaalta niillä myös luodaan uutta sosiaalista todellisuutta, ja niiden kautta voi tarkastella meneillään olevaa muutosta siinä, miten sukupuoli hahmotetaan ja miten siitä puhutaan. Sukupuolen moninaisuuden käsitteistö ja sanasto ovat niinikään muuttuneet voimakkaasti ja kehittyvät edelleen varsin nopeasti.

Osittain muutokset ovat tietoisen kehittelyn tulosta, mutta osittain ne tapahtuvat tiedostamattomien prosessien kautta. Se, missä määrin niiden ohjailu on mahdollista, toivottavaa tai aina edes hyväksyttävää, ei ole itsestään selvää. Sen sijaan selvää on, että käsitteiden, termien ja diskurssien muutos heijastaa yhteiskunnan asenteiden kehitystä ja toisaalta myös ohjailee sitä.



Eero Kaasinen (University of Eastern Finland): Transvestismin diskurssiivinen representaatio venäläisissä mediateksteissä

Pro gradu –tutkielmaani pohjautuvassa esitelmässä kerron siitä, millaisen kuvan antavat venäläiset mediatekstit transvestismistä. Venäjällä sukupuoli- ja seksuaalivähemmistöjen asema on pysähtynyt tai heikentynyt sitten vuoden 2013, jolloin Venäjällä otettiin voimaan niin sanottu ”homopropagandalaki”, joka estää ”ei-perinteisten” perhearvojen mainostamisen julkisesti alaikäisille. Olen tutkinut vuosien 2013-2017 välillä julkaistuja venäläisiä sanomalehtiartikkeleita, joissa puhutaan transvestismistä ilmiönä tai transvestiiteistä yleisesti. Esitelmäni tulokset pohjautuvat 29 lähiluentaan päätyneen artikkelin analyysiin. Artikkelien tekstejä olen lähestynyt diskurssianalyysin avulla ja olen selvittänyt sen, että millaisia diskursseja liittyy miesten transvestismiin (ristiinpukeutumiseen) ja mitä ja miten kirjoittajat kirjoittavat ja puhuvat transvestismistä ja ristiinpukeutuvista henkilöistä venäläisessä mediassa. Esitelmäni taustaksi kerron hieman transvestismin historiasta ja nykytilasta Venäjällä.

Transvestismistä puhuttaessa venäläisissä lehtiartikkeleissa usein ilmenee lapsiin, uskontoon ja ristiinpukeutumisen historiaan liittyviä diskursseja. Ristiinpukeutuminen koetaan Venäjällä artikkeleissa usein outona, epätavallisena ja sokeeraavana asiana. Transvestismistä ja ristiinpukeutumisesta puhutaan Venäjällä lehdissä monenkirjavaan sävyyn, niin positiivisesti, neutraalisti kuin negatiivisestikin. Useasti ristiinpukeutuvista kertovat artikkelit käsittelevät julkisuuden henkilöitä. Erityistä huomioita 2010-luvun puolivälissä venäläisessä lehdistössä sai drag-artisti Conchita Wurst. Sanaa ”Conchita” käytetään jopa synonyyminä transvestiitille Venäjällä. Myös parran konnotatiivinen merkitys hieman muuttui hetkellisesti venäläisessä mediassa Conchita Wurstin myötä.

Kun Venäjällä lehdissä puhutaan julkisuudessa tuntemattomista ristiinpukeutujista, silloin heidät usein liitetään artikkeleissa rikolliseen toimintaan. Toisinaan venäläiset toimittajat sekoittavat sukupuolitermistöä, tai rinnastavat ja yleistävät ristiinpukeutujat seksuaalivähemmistöön kuuluviksi, vaikka seksuaalivähemmistöön kuuluminen ja transvestismi eivät aina ole yhteydessä toisiinsa. Transvestismistä on olemassa useita erilaisia synonyymejä venäjän kielessä, mikä kertoo siitä, että kyseiselle ilmiölle ei ole löytynyt vielä sopivinta termiä/sanaa Venäjällä.

Transvestismi toimii venäläisissä joukkotiedotusvälineissä keinona saada huomiota artikkeleille ja lehdelle. Venäjällä uskonnolla ja politiikalla on vaikutusta joukkotiedotusvälineissä myös silloin, kun aiheena on transvestismi. Ortodoksinen kirkko ja valtaapitävä politiikka selkeästi ovat transvestismiä vastaan. Lohdullista on se, että transvestismin puolestapuhujat saavat äänensä kuuluviin venäläisissä joukkotiedotusvälineissä.


Sofia Kari (University of Lapland): Kaksinapaisuudesta loitontuva sukupuoli kulttuurisessa tiedossa ja yksilöllisissä tarinoissa

Väitöstutkimuksessani syvennyn sukupuolen ei‐binäärisiin jäsennyksiin ja niiden ruumiillistumisiin. Olen kiinnostunut siitä, millaisia ruumiillisia paikantumisia kaksinapaisuudesta loitontuvat sukupuolen kokemukset saavat yksilöllisissä merkityksenannoissa ja kulttuurisissa jäsennyksissä. Samalla tarkastelen miten ei‐binääriset identiteetit paikantuvat suhteessa kaksijakoisiin sukupuolijärjestyksiin ja millaisia nimeämisen tapoja niihin sovelletaan. Lähestyn sukupuolta ja sukupuoli‐identiteettiä sekä kulttuurisena kategoriana että yksilöllisenä kuulumisen paikkana. Tutkimus ammentaa feministisestä ja sosiologisesta sukupuolen ja ruumiillisuuden tutkimusperinteestä, jossa ei‐binäärisiä sukupuolen kokemuksia on tarkasteltu tapoina haastaa normatiivisia sosiaalisia odotuksia. Samalla lähestyn sukupuolen moninaisuuden teoriaa tiedon tuottajina, jotka osaltaan rajaavat tapoja, joilla sukupuolta on mahdollista käsitteellistää. Näin ollen tutkimukseni paikantuu myös queer‐teoriaan, jota sovellan paitsi teoreettisena kehyksenä, myös normikriittisenä ja normeja purkavana näkökulmana.

Koska tutkimuskohteeni on monitahoinen, myös aineistoni muodostuu useammasta eri osasta. Ensisijainen aineisto muodostuu kirjoituskutsuista ja teemahaastatteluista, joiden avulla tarkastelen ei‐binäärisen sukupuolen yksilöllisiä merkityksenantoja ja niiden kohtaamista kulttuuristen kanssa. Kutsuilla tavoittelen ihmisiä, joille sukupuolen ei‐binääriset kokemukset ovat jotenkin omakohtaisia. Kulttuurisia, niin sanotusti valtavirtaisia jäsennyksiä jäljitän mediateksteistä, erityisesti valtakunnallisesti laajalevikkisistä sanomalehdistä (Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta‐Sanomat, Iltalehti) vuosilta 2015‐2018. Osan aineistoa muodostavat sateenkaarijärjestöjen ei‐binäärisyyttä koskevat julkaisut. Mediatekstien ja julkaisujen avulla tarkastelen, miten sukupuolen moninaisuudesta puhutaan ja millaisin tavoin sitä julkisuudessa kehystetään. Sovellan aiheistoihini aineistolähtöistä teema‐analyysia sekä kulttuuristen jäsennysten analyysia, jossa hyödynnän feministisen, sosiologisen ja queer‐teorian sukupuolen moninaisuutta ja sen ruumiillisuutta koskevia tutkimuksia ja teoretisointeja analyysimallin luomisessa.

Tutkimus osallistuu tiedollisiin ja yhteiskunnallisiin keskusteluihin. Tiedollisella tasolla tutkimus syventää ymmärrystä sukupuolen moninaisuudesta yhteiskuntatieteellisenä ilmiönä. Yhteiskunnallisella tasolla se osallistuu sukupuolen käsitteellistämisestä sekä identiteettien muodostumista koskevaan neuvotteluun. Tutkimus kääntää katseen siihen, millaisia identiteettikategorioita binäärisyydestä irtaantuminen mahdollistaa niin kulttuurisissa kuin yksilöllisissä merkityksenannoissa, missä määrin nuo identiteetit ovat sidoksissa ruumiillisuuteen ja millaisia nimeämistä koskevia neuvotteluja niistä käydään.


Satu Lehto (University of Turku): Sukupuolen diskurssit Soundi-lehdessä

Viime aikoina mediassa on tuotu esille naisten vähyys festivaalien esiintyjäkaartissa ja ylipäätään musiikkimaailmassa. Tutkimuksissa (mm. Leonard 2007; Lähteenmaa 1989) on tarkasteltu tätä länsimaisen maskuliinisuuden hallitsemalla alueella ilmenevää sukupuolten eriarvoisuutta ja osoitettu sen lähtökohdat kulttuurisesti opituiksi tavoiksi – on luonnollista, että tytöt harrastavat tyttöjen juttuja ja pojat poikien. Musiikkilehdet ovat perinteisesti olleet, ja ovat edelleen, yksi näitä tapoja tuottavia ja uusintavia kanavia. Esimerkiksi rocklehtien sisällöt tuottavat tietynlaista sukupuolittunutta kuvastoa. Samalla ne osaltaan rakentavat artistien imagoa ja idoliutta.

Esitelmässäni tarkastelen rocklehti Soundissa muodostuvia sukupuolen diskursseja. Olen kiinnostunut eri sukupuolista – en siis rajaa tarkasteluani esimerkiksi vain naisiin. Aineistoksi olen valinnut lehden kolmelta eri vuosikymmeneltä. Näin voin huomioida mahdolliset ajan saatossa ilmenneet diskurssien muutokset. Esitelmäni liittyy tekeillä olevaan tutkimusartikkeliini‚ jossa tarkastelen muusikoiden kiertuetta koskevia mediatekstejä. Kiertue on myöskin väitöskirjatutkimukseni kohteena.


Reetta Siukola (Centre for Gender Equality Information, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)): Tasa-arvosanastoa tuottamassa – Tasa-arvotiedon keskuksen (THL) tasa-arvosanasto ja sukupuolitietoisen viestinnän ohjeet

Kieli ja kuvat ohjaavat ajattelua ja jäsentävät maailmaa. Ne voivat puhutella, tehdä näkyväksi, lisätä yhteenkuuluvuutta ja keskinäistä arvostusta. Toisaalta ne voivat myös ylläpitää eriarvoisuutta, haitallisia normeja sekä sulkea ulos. Tasa-arvotiedon keskus on Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitoksella (THL) sijaitseva pysyvä valtakunnallinen tietopalvelu, joka välittää sukupuolten tasa-arvoon ja sukupuolentutkimukseen liittyvää tietoa. Tasa-arvotiedon keskus palvelee etenkin julkishallinnon organisaatioita, eri alojen asiantuntijoita, päättäjiä ja mediaa. Viimeisen parin vuoden aikana keskus on kehittänyt sukupuolten tasa-arvoon liittyvää kaksikielistä tasa-arvosanastoa sekä valmistelee parhaillaan myös ohjetta sukupuolitietoisen viestinnän ja kielenkäytön edistämiseksi.

Tasa-arvotiedon keskuksen vuonna 2017 julkaisema tasa-arvosanasto kokoaa yhteen sukupuoleen ja tasa-arvoon liittyviä termejä ja määritelmiä, joita käytetään muun muassa lainsäädännössä, tutkimuksessa, julkisessa keskustelussa ja tasa-arvotyössä. Sanasto pyrkii yleistajuistamaan ja yhdenmukaistamaan sukupuolten tasa-arvoon ja sukupuolen moninaisuuteen liittyvää terminologiaa sekä purkamaan kielenkäytön ulossulkevia normeja. Se on suunnattu esimerkiksi viranomaistoiminnan, tasa-arvosuunnittelun, opetuksen ja asiakastyön tueksi. Sanasto on laadittu ja sitä päivitetään yhdessä tasa-arvoasiantuntijoiden ja keskeisten sidosryhmien kanssa.

Keskuksen valmistelemat sukupuolitietoisen viestinnän ohjeet perustuvat suomen kielen lautakunnan kannanottoon (22.10.2007) sukupuolineutraalin kielenkäytön edistämiseksi. Sukupuolineutraalin sijasta ohjeiden lähtökohdaksi on valittu sukupuolitietoinen lähestymistapa. Sukupuolitietoinen viestintä on alustavasti määritelty siten, että se edistää yhdenvertaisuutta ja sukupuolten tasa-arvoa, torjuu syrjintää, lisää moninaisuuden huomioon ottamista sekä purkaa eri sukupuoliin liitettyjä haitallisia normeja ja oletuksia. Se myös tunnistaa sukupuolen merkityksen ja nostaa sen tietoisesti tarkastelun kohteeksi sekä viestinnän sisällöissä että sen käytännöissä. Ohjeissa kiinnitetään huomiota muun muassa suomen kielen erityispiirteisiin, esimerkiksi yleispätevään maskuliinisuuteen, sanojen piilosukupuoleen, naisten ja miesten epäsymmetriseen merkitsemiseen, sukupuolittuneisiin tehtävänimikkeisiin sekä mies-sanan pronominaaliseen käyttöön.

Esityksen tarkoituksena on käydä keskustelua yhtäältä siitä, millaisin tasa-arvokentän viestinnällisiin haasteisiin ja sukupuolen kielellisen uudelleenmäärittelyn tarpeisiin nämä Tasa-arvotiedon keskuksen toimenpiteet vastaavat, ja toisaalta, millaista käsitystä sukupuolesta ja sukupuolen moninaisuudesta ne itse rakentavat.


Jaana Virta (University of Tampere): Mistä teoriassa sukupuolen performatiivisuudesta puhutaan?

Judith Butlerin teoria sukupuolen performatiivisuudesta on teoria sukupuolen sosiaalisesta rakentumisesta. Teorian mukaan sukupuoli muodostuu sukupuoliperformatiivien jatkuvasta toistosta, eivätkä ko. teot itsessään ilmaise mitään. Mutta kuka rakentaa, mikä rakennetaan ja millä tavalla kyseisen teorian mukaan?

Sally Haslangerin mukaan ”jokin on sosiaalinen konstruktio […] jos se tuotetaan sosiaalisissa käytännöissä tarkoituksellisesti tai ei-tarkoituksellisesti”. Ron Mallon esittää, että sosiaaliset konstruktioväitteet olisi hyödyllisempää muotoilla ”X sosiaalisesti rakentaa Y:n” kuin perinteisesti ”Y on sosiaalisesti rakennettu”. Tällä tavalla korostuu, että 1) on jokin X, joka tekee ko. rakentamisen, 2) on jokin Y, joka rakennetaan, ja 3) sosiaalinen rakentuminen on jonkinlaista toimintaa, joka voi viitata esimerkiksi kausaaliseen sosiaaliseen konstruktioon tai konstitutiiviseen sosiaaliseen konstruktioon, joka on Haslangerin esittämä erottelu.

Esitän, että Butlerin teoria sukupuolen performatiivisuudesta voidaan sanoa keskittyvän kolmen eri asian sosiaaliseen rakentamiseen:

  1. sukupuoleen rakenteellisena ja yhteiskunnallisena ilmiönä,
  2. sukupuoleen yksilön ominaisuutena, joka kutsun performatiiviseksi sukupuoleksi,
  3. illuusioon yksilön sisäsyntyisestä sukupuolisesta olemuksesta.

Teorian mukaan nämä kaikki muodostuvat sukupuoliperformatiivien jatkuvan toiston kautta, mutta teorian mukaan sukupuolen rakenteellisena ilmiönä (1.) ja illuusion yksilön sisäsyntyisestä sukupuolisesti olemusta (3.) rakentamisen kannalta tärkeintä ovat ns. persoonattomat rakentajat, kuten media, käytännöt, diskurssit jne., kun taas ihmisyksilön performatiivisen sukupuolen (2.) rakentaa pääasiassa yksilö itse. Lisäksi teoria mukaan 1. ja 2. ovat konstitutiivisia konstruktioita, kun taas 3. on kausaalinen konstruktio.

Tärkeää on huomioida, ettei teoria sukupuolen performatiivisuudesta ole teoria kaikesta sukupuolta koskevasta. Teoria ei käsittele esimerkiksi yksilön sukupuoli-identiteettiä tai sukupuolten kehollisia piirteitä, vaan koskee ainoastaan mainitsemiani kolmea sukupuolen alaan kuuluvaa osa-aluetta.


Unni-Päivä Leino (University of Tampere): Sukupuolen käsitteistäminen osana transsukupuolisuuden hoitoketjua

Suomessa transsukupuolisuuden hoito perustuu lakiin transseksuaalin sukupuolen vahvistamisesta, joka astui voimaan vuoden 2003 alusta, ja sen nojalla annettuun sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön asetukseen. Näiden ohella keskeinen dokumentti on kansainvälinen tautiluokitus ICD-10 ja sen suomennos. Kaikki kolme on kirjoitettu aikana, jolloin sukupuoli hahmotettiin kaksijakoiseksi, ja niinpä transsukupuolisuuden diagnostisissa kriteereissä on ensimmäisenä mainittu “Halu elää ja tulla hyväksytyksi vastakkaisen sukupuolen edustajana.”

Käytännössä tätä tulkitaan niin, että muunsukupuolisia – siis henkilöitä, jotka eivät koe olevansa yksiselitteisesti sen paremmin naisia kuin miehiäkään – ei diagnosoida luokkaan F64.0 (transsukupuolisuus) vaan yleensä luokkaan F64.8 (muu sukupuoli-identiteetin häiriö). Tämä puolestaan johtaa siihen, että täsmälleen samanlaiseen sukupuoliristiriitaan on aika ajoin tarjottu hyvinkin erilaista valikoimaa hoitovaihtoehtoja sen mukaan, millaiseen sukupuoleen potilas katsoo kuuluvansa.

Tarkastelen esityksessäni, miten sukupuoleen ja sukupuoliristiriitaan liittyviä käsitteitä on viime aikoina käytetty suomalaisessa keskustelussa ja miten termien valinta ohjaa yhteiskunnallisia toimijoita ajattelemaan sukupuolivähemmistöihin kuuluvista ja heidän tarpeistaan. Aihe on sikäli ajankohtainen, että loppukesästä 2018 sekä Helsingin että Tampereen yliopistosairaaloiden sukupuoli-identiteettiin keskittyvät yksiköt yhdessä linjasivat, että muunsukupuolisten lääketieteellinen hoito vaatii lisäselvitystä ja että selvityksen aikana mitään lääketieteellistä hoitoa ei tarjota.


Anne Ollila (University of Helsinki): Laulajattaren performanssi

Laulajatar Irma Achté piti ensikonserttinsa Helsingissä helmikuussa 1904. Tunnetun taiteilijasuvun jäsen sai myönteisen vastaanoton Helsingin musiikkipiireissä, ja kriitikot ennustivat hänelle lupaavaa uraa. 16-vuotias laulajatar sai erityistä huomiota Päivälehdessä, sillä konsertin jälkeisenä päivänä lehdessä julkaistiin kaksi arvostelua hänen esiintymisestään. Toinen oli tavanomainen konserttiarvostelu, mutta toisen kirjoittaja keskittyi sen sijaan korostamaan miehisen ihailijan näkökulmaa, jossa nuoren laulajattaren ulkonäköä arvioitiin käyttämällä kukkaiskielen innoittamia metaforia: ”Lavalle astuu nuori notkea neitonen, solakka kuin rannan kaisla, kukoistava kuin kevään esikko – se on Irma Achté, Suomen hellän runottaren runsailla lahjoilla varustettu vuokko – – .”

Nimimerkki M. P:n haltioitunut kirjoitus on yksi esimerkki naisartisteihin kohdistuneesta fanikulttuurista, jossa innokkaat ihailijat arvioivat naistaiteilijoiden fyysistä ja henkistä olemusta. Olipa kyseessä aloitteleva laulajatar, uransa huipulla oleva primadonna tai näyttämötaiteen diiva, naisartistien katsottiin representoivan naiseutta sekä ristiriitaisia käsityksiä naisen roolista. Esityksiä ei niinkään tarkasteltu näyttämöllä tulkittavien roolihahmojen kautta vaan naisartisteja arvioitiin kulttuuristen konventioiden ehdollistamina. 1800-luvun loppua ja 1900-luvun alkua on pidetty suurten diivojen ja primadonnien kultakautena, jolloin näyttämötaiteeseen suhtauduttiin intohimoisesti ja naisartistit jättivät varjoonsa miespuoliset kollegansa. Naisartistien saamassa huomiossa kiteytyi historiallisia, yhteiskunnallisia ja kulttuurisia tulkintoja naisen roolista ja merkityksestä tuon ajan yhteiskunnassa.

Esitelmässäni analysoin Irma Achtén ensikonsertin vastaanottoa ja siihen liittyviä kulttuurisia konventioita: miten lehtikirjoituksissa rakennettiin ja uusinnettiin käsityksiä naisartistin roolista ja paikasta yhteiskunnassa. Lehtikirjoituksissa risteytyi erilaisia tulkintatraditioita, joissa määriteltiin artistin ulkoista olemusta ja temperamenttia sekä toisaalta sovellettiin romantiikan taidekäsitystä esiintyjän taidon arvioimisessa.


Leena-Maija Rossi (University of Lapland): Naisiksi määritellyt, oletetut vai naisoletetut – Miten sanoilla tehdään sukupuolta?

Suomenkielinen puhe sukupuolista ja seksuaalisuuksista on monipuolistunut ja nyansoitunut merkittävällä tavalla 2000-luvun kuluessa. Heteroseksuaalisuudesta oli alettu puhua aiempaa eksplisiittisemmin sekä tutkimuksessa että mediassa vuosituhannen vaihteessa, 1990-luvun puolimaista lähtien. Heteronormatiivisuuden käsite otettiin samoihin aikoihin myös kotimaisen tutkimuksen työkaluksi ja se on sittemmin levinnyt sangen yleiskieliseen käyttöön. Queer-tutkimus keskittyi alkuvuosikymmeninään erityisesti seksuaalisuuteen, ja suomeksi queer-käsitteelle tarjoiltiin lukuisia käännöksiä pervosta outoon, kummaan ja kieroon. Seksuaalisuuteen liittyvät erilaiset käytännöt, suuntautumiset ja olemisen tavat alkoivat näkyä esimerkiksi

Etenkin aktivistien, mutta myös tutkijoiden (joista osa toki mieltää itsensä aktivisteiksi) käsitteellinen ja diskursiivinen työ on avannut nimenomaan sukupuoleen liittyvää ymmärrystä kuitenkin vasta tällä vuosikymmenellä. Siinä missä ennen puhuttiin heteronaisista ja -miehistä, homoista ja lesboista, ja joskus jopa bi-naisista ja -miehistä, puhe kuitenkin oli pitkälti kaksinapaiseen sukupuolijärjestykseen sitoutunutta ja rajautunutta. Nouseva transaktivismi, -näkyvyys ja -tutkimus on kuitenkin jo rikkonut ja täsmentänyt sukupuolipuhetta tuomalla trans- etuliitteen rinnalle määreen cis. Muunsukupuolisuus, suomenkielinen käsiteinnovaatio, on tehnyt tilaa sukupuolen moninaisuuden ja ei-binaarisuuden ymmärtämiselle konkreettisena asiana. Mutta myös sanojen nainen ja mies käyttöön on yritetty tehdä kriittistä väliintuloa.

Itseäni kiinnostaa tässä käyntiin lähteneessä käsitteiden uudistumisessa oletettu-termin käyttö binääristen sukupuolten yhteydessä. Nais- ja miesoletetut seikkailevat mediassa ja ihmiset käyttävät näitä termejä arjessa itsestään. Mutta mitä tämä tarkoittaa sukupuolen joustavuuden, muuntumisen ja määrittelemättömyyden kannalta?

Miten aktivistilähtöisen “sukupuoliliitteen” käytön poliittiset tarkoitusperät ja sen toistamisen tuottamat efektit kohtaavat? Liimaavatko “miesoletettu” ja “naisoletettu” kenties oletukset entistä tiukemmin sukupuoliin vai purkavatko ne oletuksia? Toimivatko ne yksilöiden itsemäärittelyn kannalta subversiivisina vai olemassa olevaa sukupuolidikotomiaa lopulta vahvistaen? Millaista semanttista eroa voi hahmottaa substantiivin naisoletettu ja ilmaisujen “naiseksi määritelty” tai “naiseksi oletettu” välille? Miten sanoilla näissä tapauksissa tehdään sukupuolta? Liimaako “oletettu” oletusta vain tiukemmin sukupuoleen?


Tuija Saresma (University of Jyväskylä): Sukupuolipopulismin valtavirtaistuminen Helsingin Sanomien mielipidekirjoituksissa 2005–2015

Sukupuolesta ja sukupuolijärjestyksistä puhuminen on poliittista. Tarkastelen esitelmässäni sitä, miten sukupuolta tehdään (performoidaan) mediapuheessa, sekä sitä, miten, keihin ja miksi tietynlaisella sukupuolipuheella pyritään vaikuttamaan. Minua kiinnostaa sukupuolipopulismiksi kutsumani retoriikka, jossa sukupuolesta puhutaan yksinkertaistavasti ja sukupuolijärjestelmää tuotetaan kaksinapaisena, heteronormatiivisena ja ”luonnollisena”. Kysyn, mitä ideologioita populistiseen sukupuolipuheeseen liittyy. Esitän, että sukupuolipopulismi on vastaisku yhteiskunnassamme yleistyvälle ymmärrykselle sukupuolen ja seksuaalisuuden moninaisuudesta, ja että sen taustalla vaikuttaa pyrkimys palauttaa perinteiseksi ymmärretty sukupuolijärjestys, jossa ”miehet olivat miehiä” ja jossa naisilla ja miehillä on oma erityinen biologian sanelema asemansa.

Edellä kuvaamani kaltaista sukupuolipopulismia on harrastettu ns. miesasiablogeissa ja (uus)konservatiivisissa keskusteluissa (Saresma 2012; 2014; 2016; 2018). Tässä esitelmässä selvitän sitä, onko sukupuolipopulismi valtavirtaistumassa, saamassa jalansijaa mediakeskusteluissa ylimalkaan. Kysyn, (1) onko sukupuolipopulismi yleistynyt mediassa populistisen retoriikan yleistyessä (vrt. Kovala et al. 2018) ja (2) onko sukupuolipuheessa tapahtunut laadullisia muutoksia. Tutkimusmateriaalikseni olen valinnut Helsingin Sanomien pääkirjoitus- ja mielipideosaston sukupuoli-sanan sisältävät kirjoitukset vuosilta 2005, 2010 ja 2015. Näitä mediatekstejä tarkastelen kriittisen diskurssinanalyysin ja retoriikan tutkimuksen välinein. Teoreettis-metodologisesti hyödynnän intersektionaalisuutta: tarkastelen muitakin sukupuolipuheessa tuotettavia eroja ja sitä, miten sukupuoli risteää esimerkiksi rodullistamisen, yhteiskuntaluokan, uskonnon ja seksuaalisen suuntautumisen kanssa.

Esitelmässäni pyrin tunnistamaan sukupuolipuheen muuttuvia merkityksenantoja, sukupuolen retorisia neuvotteluja ja sukupuolipuheen populistista logiikkaa. Etsin myös sukupuolipuheen kohtia, joissa kaksinapaista sukupuolijärjestystä haastetaan.


Minna Uimonen: Teoria kielestä Lacanin psykoanalyyttisen sukupuolen teoretisoinnin perustana

Paperini käsittelee ranskalaisen psykoanalyytikko Jacques Lacanin teoretisointia sukupuolesta ja seksuaalisuudesta nimenomaan kielentutkimuksen näkökulmasta. Lacan kytki yhteen sukupuolitetun subjektin muodostumisen varhaislapsuudessa kielellisten rakenteiden kanssa. Hänen vaikutuslähteenään oli strukturalistinen, erityisesti saussureläinen, kielitiede, jota hän sovitteli freudilaiseen psykoanalyyttiseen teoriaan. Lacanin mukaan tiedostamaton rakentui kielen tavoin. Kielelliset rakenteet ja prosessit, kuten signifioijien metonyymiset ja metaforiset liikkeet, muodostivat symbolisen järjestelmän, jonka lakien piiriin pienet lapset väistämättä astuivat osana subjektiuden kehitystään. Lacan osallistui Freudin ja hänen seuraajiensa debattiin oidipaalisesta kehitysvaiheesta kastraatioahdistuksineen ja peniskauteuksineen esittämällä idean falloksesta primäärisenä merkitsijänä. Subjektius muodostui siihen positioitumisen myötä, molempien positioiden – ‘olla’/’omistaa’ – ollessa yhtä kuvitteellisia ja puutteen sävyttämiä.

Kielitieteessä on tapahtunut paljon sitten Saussuren ja myös sitten strukturalismin ylipäätään. Haluankin tarkastella Lacanin sukupuolen ja seksuaalisuuden käsitteitä strukturalismin jälkeisen, dialogisen ja funktionalistisen kielentutkimuksen näkökulmasta. Pureudun tarkemmin Lacanin kielitieteellisiin vaikutuslähteisiin. Hahmottelen myös sitä, millaisia uusia kysymyksiä Lacanin teoretisoinnille voidaan tästä näkökulmasta esittää. Lacania on käsitelty sukupuolentutkimuksessa suhteellisen paljon, mutta hänen binäärisiä, oudossa kontekstittomuudessa ja ajattomuudessa leijuvia subjektikategorioitaan ei liene purettu uuden kieliteoretisoinnin näkökulmasta.

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L. Queerness and Television in the 21st Century

Language: English
Workshop coordinator: Kylo-Patrick R. Hart,, Texas Christian University

Questions of relevance to the contents of this workshop include: (1) How has queerness been incorporated within television programs of the early 21st century? (2) What cultural status does queerness possess in such televisual offerings? (3) What sorts of representational patterns are evident in queer televisual artifacts of the new millennium, and whose interests do they ultimately serve (and how)? (4) In what noteworthy ways do queer television texts created in the 21st century represent an extension of, and/or a significant deviation from, queer televisual texts of the past? (5) What does the (near) future of queer TV look like, and what are the cultural, social, political, and/or entertainment-based implications of this likely state of affairs?

Of particular interest are insightful, theoretically informed presentations pertaining to especially unique, noteworthy, and/or culturally influential representations of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans individuals, and same-sex marriage in television programs of all kinds from the year 2000 to the present. Also of interest are presentations pertaining to other topics of relevance to queer theory (e.g., fetishism, gender bending, homoeroticism, homosociality, masochism, sadism, sex work, etc.) as they are explored in televisual offerings of all kinds (comedy, drama, documentary, news, talk show, etc.) and from any country around the globe.



Kylo-Patrick R. Hart (Texas Christian University ): Queerly Setting the Stage: On Media Representation and Sensitive Subjects

This presentation sets the stage for the workshop sessions pertaining to queerness and television in the 21st century. It does so, first, by analyzing various noteworthy influential representations of the sensitive subject of death in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries and using them as an entry point into a discussion of the importance and significance of representing sensitive subjects more generally. It then transitions, using the HBO drama series Six Feet Under as an introductory example, into the related discussion of the importance and significance of representing queerness in its various forms. The logic underlying all of the representational examples and approaches to be discussed is that such sorts of sensitive subjects become easier to deal with, and ultimately less foreign and threatening, the more media consumers are confronted with them over time. The existence of such images typically enables their creators to address their personal anxieties and work through their thoughts, concerns, and fears related to sensitive subjects until they eventually become more comfortable with them, as well as audience members to achieve similar ends through the process of being exposed to those same images. A key takeaway is that, like other kinds of subject matter that have at one time been culturally regarded as controversial, culturally threatening, or perhaps even taboo, regular exposure to boundary-pushing representations of queerness in its various forms can result in such historically sensitive subject matter becoming easier for audience members to encounter, accept, and no longer feel threatened by.


Umar Nizar (Government College, Kalpetta): An Instance of Queerness in Malayalam Proletarian Television

The poet Sappho, reputed for her lyric poetry including `Ode to Aphrodite’, lived in the Greek island of Lesbos circa BC 600. There is a famous poem by the Nobel-nominated Malayalam poet K. Satchidanandan that lists the trials and tribulations of female poets. Anna Akhmatova was crucified, Kamala Das had her wings clipped, Sylvia Plath was stifled, Sappho alone escaped unscathed since she was not in love with men. But the above poem has made the Greek lesbian poet Sappho a household name in Malayalam-speaking Kerala, a 100% literate state in India. The visibility has enabled a rather abstruse episode in the Malayalam TV series Akkare Kazhchakal (Views from the Other Bank) that aired on the Communist Party of India (Marxist) promoted Kairali TV in Kerala in India. The series, a sitcom predominantly shot in the USA and dealing with the life of nonresident Indian Malayalis there, had a total of 50 episodes and was aired on Kairali TV from 2008 to 2010. One of the characters in the sitcom is Mahesh, a libertarian Malayali who lusts after women. He meets an Indian Malayali girl, Niyata, who is part of the campaign South Asians For Obama (SAFO) during the Obama U.S. presidential campaign. While others in the Indian community are averse to such campaigning, Mahesh tries to court Niyata and aids her canvassing. The inside joke is that Niyata, like Sappho, is not interested in men. In the homophobic realm of Malayali civil society and public sphere, this joke is a wedge that, over time, will open the spaces for same-sex love opened up by mystics of yore in a region with traditions of mysticism and comedy.


Kata Kasala (University of Helsinki): RuPaul’s Drag Race and ‘Drag Herstory 101’: Manufacturing a Queer Canon for Mainstream Consumption?

RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) has made drag a household word all around the world. The concept of the popular reality tv show has been copied in several countries. The contest format has been adopted into Instagram and other social media platforms. Thanks to RPDR, drag has become widely known beyond its roots in racialized gender and sexual minorities’ cultures, and a wanted brand-refresher in many industries. In RPDR Season 6, one big theme is the history of drag. Contestants hail from several different traditions and generations of the art form. The subject of history and tradition is discussed at length by the contestants and the judges alike, with RuPaul acting as head teacher. The Grand Finale episode even features a video segment titled ‘Drag Herstory 101’, in which several ‘pioneers of drag’ are introduced. The ‘herstory lesson’ crossfades into the footage from RPDR Season 6 Finale with a live audience, giving the impression that the present RPDR-related-moment is the climax of drag history so far. In this presentation, I am looking at what kind of history of drag RuPaul’s Drag Race is constructing and portraying throughout Season 6. I will observe the traditions of drag represented in Season 6 by the portrayal of different characters. I will also analyze the normative history spoken out loud in discussions and written into the show via scripted elements. The questions I seek to answer are: Who is included in this version of drag history and on what basis? Who is this ‘Drag Herstory 101’ aimed at, and what does the show wish to accomplish by establishing one?


Hayley Louise Charlesworth (Mancheter Metropolitan University): ‘Our Beloved’s Potential Comes True’: Queer Erotic Triangles and Killer Influence in NBC’s Hannibal

The queer gothic has a long-standing history with the use of suggestion, subtext, and metaphor, with monstrous acts standing in for a homosexual union. Meanwhile, in the modern television landscape, sexuality in all its different forms is presented explicitly. These two opposing approaches to queer visibility meet in Hannibal (2013-2015), in which the gothic techniques of suggestion are used to express a wholly explicit romantic desire between the male leads: Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. While not expressed in sexual acts, Hannibal’s desire and love for Will is his motivational force, while Will’s gradual ache for Hannibal sees this desire reciprocated. In place of sex, Hannibal uses techniques key to the gothic tradition to illustrate its central romance, such as imagery and atmosphere, coded language, and homosociality. Male homosocial desire, as articulated in Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Between Men, is the key component of this paper. Using her theories, in which male desire for another male is expressed through the conduit of a woman, I detail how the women of Hannibal serve as tools to manipulate Will towards Hannibal’s influence. While the paper will briefly touch on the roles Abigail Hobbes, Bedelia Du Maurier, and Francis Dolarhyde play in the show’s various erotic triangles, this paper will focus on season two, the triangle involving Alana Bloom, and its explicitly sexual function. I comment on Alana’s placing as love interest to both men, her own identity as a queer woman, and the involvement of Margot Verger, Alana’s future wife. I explore how the visual presentation of their sexual encounters serves to obscure or exclude the women from the act, and how editing techniques allow us to visualise a sexual encounter between Hannibal and Will that has not taken place. I also note the violent destruction of this triangle in the final episode of season two, and the significance of each action taken by Hannibal, Will, Alana and Abigail in this showdown.


Leslie Frempong (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): Children in Film: Exploring Sexuality in the 2017 Adaptation of Stephen King’s IT

Stephen King’s 2017 IT inspects a variety of unnerving themes including childhood sexuality, gender politics, and numerous forms of discrimination. This presentation explores the portrayal of children’s sexuality and specifically details the amount of questionable content in this film. This paper uses close analysis, auto-ethnography, and digital fan forum discussions and comments to analyze the mainstream representation of childhood sexuality in the widely successful 2017 film remake of the television miniseries Stephen King’s IT. Following the popularity of U.S. mainstream movies of hypersexually driven plots, the lines become grey when children become involved. Even in the light of careful consideration and subtle representation, a viewer’s attitude can stir complex critical engagement if the adolescence in the film in openly over-sexualized. Primarily, IT is used in this paper for what it can represent in terms of the constant struggle of carefully examining children’s normative and non-normative heterosexualities in the realm of Hollywood and mainstream media culture. A proposition is investigated for the historical change in how childhood sexuality was depicted and measured (both acted and acted on) by the perspective of an older generational masculine viewpoint. Considering the heightened racial tension and discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community in America today, it would also be interesting to see how accurate this depiction of seven kids who have numerous health and social disabilities would be viewed by other children of this generation today. At the same time, it raises the question of whether or not children of today or 1988 would agree that the representation of childhood sexuality is a precise picture. From there we can begin to address issues concerning the disproportions in sex education between boys and girls and the lack of support, presentation, and awareness of girlhood along with transitioning girlhood to adulthood.

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M. Tasa-arvopolitiikan ja feminismin muuttuvat ehdot ja mahdollisuudet

Language: Finnish
Workshop coordinators:
Anna Elomäki,, University of Helsinki
Johanna Kantola,, University of Tampere
Paula Koskinen Sandberg,, University of Tampere
Hanna Ylöstalo,, University of Helsinki

Työryhmä tarkastelee tasa-arvopolitiikan ja feministisen toimijuuden muuttuvia ehtoja ja mahdollisuuksia 2010-luvun Suomessa. Valtiofeminismin perinne, jossa kansalaisyhteiskunnan toimijat ovat edistäneet tasa-arvoa yhteistyössä valtion kanssa, on kokenut kuluneen vuosikymmenen aikana useita kolauksia. Talouskriisiä seurannut sukupuolten tasa-arvoa heikentävä ja marginalisoituihin ryhmiin kohdistuva talouskuripolitiikka sekä nationalistisen ja antifeministisen populismin nousu ovat esimerkkejä tekijöistä, jotka ovat asettaneet feminismin ja valtion liiton vaakalaudalle. Lisäksi valtion uusliberalisoituminen on herättänyt kysymyksen, onko valtion kautta kanavoituneella feministisellä toiminnalla riittävää muutosvoimaa. Samanaikaisesti feministinen toiminta on saanut uusia muotoja ja kentälle on astunut uusia toimijoita.



Anna Elomäki (University of Tampere), Johanna Kantola (Tampereen yliopisto), Anu Koivunen (Tampereen yliopisto), Hanna Ylöstalo (Helsingin yliopisto): Feministisen toiminnan uudet ehdot

Tarkastelemme feministisen toiminnan ehtoja ja mahdollisuuksia 2010-luvun Suomessa. Valtiofeminismin perinne, jossa kansalaisyhteiskunnan toimijat ovat edistäneet tasa-arvoa yhteistyössä valtion kanssa, on kokenut kuluneen vuosikymmenen aikana useita kolauksia. Talouskriisiä seurannut sukupuolten tasa-arvoa heikentävä talouskuripolitiikka sekä nationalistisen ja antifeministisen populismin nousu ovat esimerkkejä tekijöistä, jotka ovat asettaneet feminismin ja valtion liiton vaakalaudalle. Lisäksi valtion muutosta mukaileva tasa-arvopolitiikan uusliberalisoituminen on herättänyt kysymyksen, onko valtion kautta kanavoituneella feministisellä toiminnalla riittävää muutosvoimaa. Samanaikaisesti feministinen toiminta on kuitenkin saanut uusia muotoja ja kentälle on astunut uusia toimijoita. Lähestymme feminististä toimintaa ja sen muuttuneita ehtoja neljän tapausesimerkin avulla: perinteisten valtiollisten tasa-arvotoimijoiden, tutkijoiden, kansalaisyhteiskunnan toimijoiden sekä niin kutsuttujen kulttuurintuottajien tai ”populaarifeministien”. Näiden erilaisten esimerkkien kautta analysoimme, miten feministinen toiminta on yhtäältä mukautunut ja toisaalta asettunut vastahankaan muuttuvan valtion kanssa. Pohdimme myös feministisen toiminnan mahdollisuuksia nostaa tasa-arvokysymyksiä politiikan agendalle ja vaikuttaa poliittiseen päätöksentekoon. Lähestymme valtion muutosta strategisen valtion käsitteen avulla, jolla viittaamme kuluneen vuosikymmenen aikana keskeiseksi muodostuneeseen uusliberalistisen hallinnan tapaan. Strategisen valtion tarjoama tila feministiselle toiminnalle on rajoitettu. Samalla sen kautta avautuu kuitenkin mahdollisuuksia uudenlaiselle feministiselle toiminnalle, jonka suhde valtioon on aiempaa kriittisempi.


Heidi Henriksson (Åbo Akademi University): Kansalaisjärjestöjen rooli koulujen yhdenvertaisuustyössä

Yhdenvertaisuuslaki ja perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet edellyttävät kouluilta entistä laajempaa ja järjestelmällisempää yhdenvertaisuustyötä. Tässä paperissa tarkastelen kansalaisjärjestöjen vaikuttamistyötä koulujen yhdenvertaisuustyön kehittämiseksi, varsinkin sukupuoli-identiteetin ja seksuaalisen suuntautumisen näkökulmasta. Tarkasteltavat järjestöt kuuluvat Globaalikasvatusverkostoon. Verkoston yhteisen vaikuttamistyön lisäksi keskityn etenkin Setan ja Rauhankasvatusinstituutin työhön. Aineisto koostuu kansalaisjärjestöjen opetussuunnitelmauudistusta koskevista lausunnoista, opettajille suunnatuista oppaista, havainnoivasta kenttätyöstä opettajien täydennyskoulutuksissa sekä haastatteluista järjestötyöntekijöiden ja opettajien kanssa. Teoreettisesti lähestyn aihetta episteemisen hallinnan ja toimijuuden viitekehyksessä. Etnografisella tutkimusotteella peilaan kansalaisjärjestöjen toimijuutta kentän muihin toimijoihin, kuten valtionhallintoon, kuntahallintoon ja opettajakuntaan . Analysoin, miten järjestöt koulutuspolitiikan areenalla pyrkivät yhdenvertaisuutta edistämään, sekä mitä onnistumisia ja haasteita ne pyrkimyksissään kohtaavat. Onnistumisten osalta aineistossa korostuu järjestöjen vahvemman mandaatin tunne uudistettujen opetussuunnitelmaperusteiden pohjalta, sekä osallisuuden tunne suunnitelman uudistamisprosessissa. Haasteisiin sisältyy muun muassa vaihtelevuus opettajien tietotasossa ja ammatti-identiteetissä, koulun sukupuolitetut tilat sekä täydennyskoulutukseen liittyvät ongelmat. Yhteenvetona pohdin, miten kansalaisjärjestöjen moninaisuutta vaalivaa ja sukupuolitietoista yhdenvertaisuustyötä yhtäältä tuetaan Opetushallituksen tasolla, ja toisaalta, miten moniportaiselta ja moniääniseltä koulujen yhdenvertaisuustyö näyttäytyy.


Anna Mikkola, Elina Ikävalko ja Kristiina Brunila (University of Helsinki): Affektiivinen asiantuntijuus tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuustyössä

Huolimatta siitä, että tasa-arvon ja yhdenvertaisuuden edistäminen on lakisääteinen velvoite, tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuustyön asiantuntijoiden on usein hankittava toiminnalleen oikeutus ja toimintaedellytykset myymällä asiantuntijuuttaan toisinaan vastahakoisillekin viranomaistahojen tai yritysten edustajille sekä hakemalla jatkuvasti uusia projektirahoituksia. Tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuusasiantuntijatyö on prekaarista tietotyötä, joka edellyttää muun muassa toistuvaa tasa-arvotyön tarpeen artikuloimista erilaisia strategioita hyödyntäen, vaihtelevissa ympäristöissä. Tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuustyön asiantuntijan tarvitsemia taitoja voivat, tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuustyökalujen lisäksi, olla esimerkiksi erilaisten instituutioiden päätöksenteon rakenteiden tunteminen sekä pedagoginen ja markkinointiosaaminen.

Tässä paperissa keskitymme kuitenkin tarkastelemaan tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuustyön affektiivisia vaatimuksia. Olemme kiinnostuneita siitä, mitä affektit tekevät tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuustyössä (vrt. Ahmed 2004) ja miten ne osallistuvat siinä tapahtuvaan arvon tuotantoon. Lukutapamme affekteihin on diskursiivinen (ks. Venäläinen 2017). Tämä näkökulma mahdollistaa asiantuntijatyöhön liittyvien intensiteettien ja siinä tapahtuvien subjektien toimintakykyä muokkaavien muutosten tarkastelun (Elomäki ym. 2016; Skeggs ja Wood 2012), sillä osana kulttuurisia tiedon järjestelmiä affektit osallistuvat legitiimin ja oikeana tai relevanttina pidetyn asiantuntijatiedon tuottamiseen ja merkityksellistämiseen.

Kysymme ensinnäkin, miten tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuusasiantuntijuutta tehdään legitiimiksi? Millainen on tayv-asiantuntijan affektiivinen tyyli? Toiseksi tarkastelemme prosessia, jossa tasa-arvoon ja yhdenvertaisuuteen keskittyvän asiantuntijakoulutuksen myötä ”opitaan olemaan oikein” ja opitaan tasa-arvotyössä tarvittava affektien kulttuurinen hierarkia. Aineistomme koostuu viiden tasa-arvo- ja yhdenvertaisuusasiantuntijakoulutuksen opiskelijan haastattelusta, jotka tehtiin syksyllä 2017 sekä opiskelijoiden kirjoittamista oppimispäiväkirjoista, joissa pohditaan oman asiantuntijuuden muodostumista. Näiden rinnalla luemme etnografisia havaintomuistiinpanojamme, joita olemme tehneet seitsemässä projektin lähitapaamisessa sekä projektin työryhmien kokouksissa keväästä 2017 alkusyksyyn 2018.

Tuomme esiin, että oikeanlainen affektiivinen tyyli syntyy muun muassa säröttömästä, jatkuvasta ja jouhevasta vuorovaikutuksesta, jossa ei näytetä epävarmuutta tai änkytetä. Asiantuntijan tulisi pysytellä ammattimaisen neutraalina ja välttää henkilökohtaisten poliittisten näkemysten esille tuomista. Tasa-arvotyöhön liittyvistä konflikteista huolimatta pyrkimyksenä on miellyttävän asiakaskokemuksen tarjoaminen. Pohdimme, missä määrin tayv-asiantuntijan sujuva ruumiillinen tyyli (vrt. Kinnunen ja Parviainen 2016) peittää erojen kulttuurisia hierarkioita ja millaisiin ruumiisiin sujuvan myönteisyyden ja ammatillisen viileyden ylläpitäminen affektiivisesti kiinnittyy?


Ville Kainulainen: Työn prekarisaatio ja ammatillisen edunvalvonnan muutospaineet matalapalkkaisilla ja naisvaltaisilla yksityisillä palvelualoilla

Työelämää koskevia kielteisiä muutoksia on kuvattu viime vuosina usein prekarisaation käsitteellä, jolla tarkoitetaan palkkatyön yhteiskunnassa työvoiman kohtaamaa epävarmuutta oikeuksista, toimeentulosta ja tulevaisuudesta (Korhonen, Peltokoski & Saukkonen 2006, 378). Työn epäsäännöllisyys ja työmarkkinoilla koettu epävarmuus ovat tuottaneet työntekijöiden keskuudessa sekä sosiaalista että taloudellista turvattomuutta. Tutkimuksissa on keskitytty erityisesti siihen, miten yksittäiset työntekijät pyrkivät käsittelemään tästä aiheutuvaa stressiä, mutta vähemmälle huomiolle on jäänyt se, miten työntekijöiden kokema turvattomuus vaikuttaa ammattiliittojen toimintaan ja millainen rooli ammattiliitoilla on työntekijöiden kokeman stressin kohtaamisessa (De Witte 2005).

Esityksessäni olen kiinnostunut työpaikkatasolla toimivien luottamusmiesten ammatillisessa edunvalvonnassa kohdatuista muutospaineista työn prekarisaation näkökulmasta. Lisäksi olen kiinnostunut työelämän sääntelyn ja sen purkamisen sukupuolittuneista vaikutuksista ammattiyhdistystoiminnassa. Käsittelen aluksi sitä, miten työn prekarisaatiota koskeva kehitys ilmenee matalapalkkaisilla ja naisvaltaisilla yksityisillä palvelualoilla. Tämän jälkeen pohdin sitä, millaisia työn prekarisaatioon kiinnittyviä muutospaineita työpaikoilla toimivat luottamusmiehet kohtaavat arjen edunvalvonnassaan. Aineistona käytän yhteensä kymmenen matalapalkkaisella ja naisvaltaisella yksityisellä palvelusektorilla luottamusmiehenä toimivan ay-aktiivinaisen (kaupanala, ravintola-ala, puhelinpalveluala ja siivousala) teemahaastatteluja.

Tuon esityksessäni esille, miten matalapalkkaisia ja naisvaltaisia yksityisiä palvelualoja voidaan pitää poikkeuksellisen haastavana ammattiyhdistystoiminnan alueena työntekijöiden nopean vaihtuvuuden, vastentahtoisen osa-aikatyön yleisyyden, sekä työn ja toimeentulon epävarmuuden vuoksi. Osoitan myös, miten naisvaltaisten matalapalkka-alojen edunvalvonnassa kollektiivisilla sopimuksiin kirjatuilla minimiehdoilla on keskeinen rooli työehtojen ja työntekijöiden yhdenvertaisen kohtelun turvaamisessa. Työmarkkinoiden sääntelyn purkamiseen kohdistuvat paineet haastavat epävarmassa työmarkkina-asemassa työskentelevien palvelutyöntekijöiden edunvalvontaa, koska positiivisen neuvottelutoiminnan ja vastavuoroisuuden sijaan työnantajan toiminta koetaan usein yksipuoliseksi saneluksi. Haastateltavat kokevat minimiehtoja parempien ehtojen sopimisen poikkeukselliseksi. Työehdoista neuvottelemista ja työehtosopimusten sekä lainsäädännön noudattamisen valvomista vaikeuttaa suuremmissa yrityksissä myös työntekijöiden hajautuminen pienempiin toimipisteisiin. Tämän seurauksena ammatillisen edunvalvonnan kannalta keskeinen työntekijöiden kollektiivinen mobilisoiminen on esimerkiksi suuriin teollisuusorganisaatioihin verrattuna hankalaa.


Paula Koskinen Sandberg (University of Tampere): Horjuvat institutionaaliset pilarit: naisvaltaisen työn matalapalkkaisuuden legitimiteetti ja #eileikkirahaa-kansanliike

Esitelmäni perustuu artikkeli-ideaan, jossa käsittelen vakiintuneita institutionaalisia käytäntöjä, tässä tapauksessa naisvaltaisen alan matalia palkkoja, ja niiden haastamista ulkopuolisen toimijan taholta, problematisoinnin kautta (Maguire ja Hardy, 2009). Instituution pysyvyys perustuu tiedollisuus pilareihin (regulatiivinen, normatiivinen, kognitiivinen), joista on yhteiskunnassa laajahko yhteisymmärrys ja joita ei tyypillisesti kyseenalaisteta. Jotta institutionaalinen käytäntö muuttuisi, on tiedollisten pilareiden legitimiteetti uskottavasti kyseenalaistettava. Kyseenalaistaminen vaatii toimijoita, jotka problematisoitavat vallitsevia käytäntöjä muun muassa tiedontuotannon kautta. Jotta institutionaalinen käytäntö voisi muuttua, täytyy sitä koskevan diskurssin muuttua. Instituutionaaliset käytännöt palvelevat aina joidenkin toimijoiden intressejä, jotka uhkan edessä toteuttavat defensiivistä eli puolustavaa institutionaalista työtä (Maguire ja Hardy, 2009).

Teoriapainotteisen artikkelin empiirisenä case-esimerkkinä toimii #eileikkirahaa-kansanliikkeen nousu ja toiminta. Naisenemmistöisen, julkisella sektorilla tehtävän työn matalampi palkkaus on pitkään ollut Suomessa tietynlainen itsestäänselvyys, jota ei kovin voimakkaasti ole kyseenalaistettu. Tyytymättömyyttä on toki ilmaistu ja palkkavaatimuksia on esiintynyt. Hallitsevin diskurssi teeman ympärillä on kuitenkin ollut ns. ekonomistipuhe, jonka keskeisiä piirteitä on ajatus inhimillisestä pääomasta, työn tuottavuudesta sekä markkinavoimista palkkatasojen määrääjänä. Tämän tyyppisen argumentin mukaan naiset valitsevat ”väärin”. Tämä näkökulma jättää sukupuolittuneen työmarkkinahistorian, siihen konkreettisesti kiinnittyvän nais- ja miesalojen erilaisen arvostuksen sekä institutionaalisten toimijoiden, kuten hallituksen ja työmarkkinajärjestöjen, roolin palkanmäärityksessä huomiotta. Tätä itsestäänselvyytenä pidettyä ymmärrystä on kuitenkin suomalaisessa julkisessa keskustelussa enenevissä määrin haastettu, kansanliikkeen lisäksi esimerkiksi tutkijoiden taholta.

Alkuvuodesta 2018 pääkaupunkiseudulla paljastui kolmen kunnan palkkakartelli, joka oli tietoisesti, yhdessä sopimalla, pitänyt lastentarhanopettajien palkkatasoa alhaalla. Paljastus aiheutti laajaa tuohtumusta ja toimi lähtölaukauksena #eileikkirahaa-kansanliikkeen nousulle. Kansanliike pyrkii aktiivisella vaikuttamistyöllä nostamaan lastentarhanopettajien palkkatason työn vaativuuden mukaiselle tasolle. Kansanliikkeestä tekee poikkeuksellisen se, että toimijat ovat paitsi varhaiskasvatuksessa työskenteleviä, myös suureksi osaksi vain tuohtuneita kansalaisia, jotka eivät hyväksy naisvaltaisten alojen matalampaa palkkatasoa. Mukana on myös muita toimijoita, kuten tutkijoita. #eileikkirahaa toimii myös perinteisten työmarkkinajärjestöjen ulkopuolella ja kohdistaa vaikuttamistyötä myös järjestöihin.

Artikkelissa tutkitaan tiedollisia pilareita, joihin institutionaalinen käytäntö ja sen legitimiteetti nojaa sekä sitä, millä tavalla ja millä argumenteilla ulkopuoliset toimijat ovat alkaneet näitä käytäntöjä haastamaan. Artikkelissa hahmotetaan keskeisiä toimijoita ja heidän edustamiaan intressejä, tiedontuotanto, tapahtumaketjuja ja niiden kytköksiä sekä mahdollisia lopputulemia. Artikkelissa käsitellään sitä, horjuvatko tai kaatuvatko institutionaaliset pilarit vai onnistuuko sittenkin defensiivinen institutionaalinen työ pitämään ne koossa.

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N. Telaboratoria

Language: English
Workshop coordinator: Dasha Che (they/them),

Telaboratoria is a creative dance and theater program for queer and transgender adults. Telaboratoria has been successfully running in St. Petersburg and other regions of Russia since September 2017 in a form of ongoing weekly classes, weekend long workshops, house gatherings, picnics and lectures and has affected more than 220 LGBTQ+ participants.

Telaboratoria strives to address the trauma of discrimination and stigma toward LGBTQ+ groups in the conservative socio-political environment of Russia by offering tools of self-care and empowerment through collective practice of dance and theater. The program prioritizes working with Russian transgender and gender-nonbinary communities, and supports individuals in finding the connection to their bodies, building community, practicing body positivity and expressing oneselves creatively.

Ultimately, the program addresses queer and transgender Russians’ deep-seated need for establishing, practicing and respecting their boundaries as well as providing a space where these boundaries can be safely broadened, shifted and crossed making a collective body. People of various gender expressions gather weekly to participate in a practice of making choices, giving consent, saying ‘no’ through moving together, working with nonsexual touch, intimacy and closeness.

During their workshop, Dasha Che will give a short talk on Telaboratoria and its practices framing it within the theme of the conference and will take questions. Then Che will offer a practical part of the workshop, a mini-version of a typical Telaboratoria class. No previous dance experience is necessary, yet loose comfortable clothes will be helpful. After the class the participants will be encouraged to have a discussion about their experience, body and boundaries.



Jonna Nummela (University of Helsinki): Failure as a Queer Feminist Act

In this presentation I talk about failure as a comedic and queer feminist act used in questioning norms of success in the context of creative resistance activism in relation to migration and anti-immigration movements in Finland. Following Jack Halberstam’s thoughts on creative failure in their books “Queer Art of Failure” and “Gaga Feminism” I use Finnish Loldiers of Odin clown activist group as an example of performative failures and explore the links between clown performance, queer feminism and counter-activism. In 2016 Loldiers of Odin activists emerged as an anarchistic activist group, masked as clowns, resisting right-wing anti-immigration street patrols calling themselves Soldiers of Odin. Whilst the Soldiers patrolled the street in order to “keep our women safe”, the clown activists followed the patrols mimicking their patrolling. In other words the activists were ridiculing the Soldiers act of militant toxic masculinity.

In my presentation I argue that Loldiers’ failure is especially empowering when viewed as a queer feminist, anticapitalist commentary. By using Johanna Oksala’s writings on neoliberal subject and success as well as Emma Goldman’s classic texts on anarchism to discuss the meaning of the vertical climb of success and the importance of failures such as clowns moving horizontally, refusing to be taken seriously and staying forever irrelevant and unproductive. This way, failure can become a space that creates the boldest of innovations, whereas serious success can produce harmful truths.

By analysing Loldiers of Odin’s actions documented on video, tv-interviews and observed first hand during Independence day demonstration in 2016, I propose that it is the creative use of performing failure and the claiming of public space that has made Loldiers of Odin an effective grassroot activist group.

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O. Trans* and Queer in Postosocialist Contexts

Language: English
Workshop coordinators:
Saltanat Shoshanova,, Free Univertisty Berlin
Vanya Solovey,, Humboldt University
Egor Burtsev,

Postsocialist queer and trans* subjects are usually left out of discussions on queerness and transness—that focus on “Western” experience—but also of discussions on transnational emancipatory action and postcolonialism—as postcolonial critique, too, only targets the “West”. In the meantime, the reanimated “cold war” discourses either objectify postsocialist queers and feminists as “Western agents” trying to destroy “traditional values” or exoticize them as one-dimensional militants or victims opposed to a conservative majority and the State (cases in point: Pussy Riot and Chechen gay men). What thus remains erased and silenced is the diversity of identities, experiences, and practices of resistance.

The time is ripe for transnational academic and activist communities to radically broaden their perspectives on the societies/cultures/gender systems they discuss to include postsocialist ones. With this workshop, we would like to create a space to talk about non-normative subjects, about transferring and transforming hegemonic categories, theories, and identities, about intersectional feminist perspectives on postsocialist societies. We are interested not only in queer, but also in kvir, квир, квip, etc.



Egor Burtsev: Thinking Queer in the Post-Soviet Context

For a long time relationships and interactions within society followed a strict pattern. In this paradigm, there was only (and exclusively) two genders. Accordingly, personal relationships were also thought of exclusively as happening among men and women; this formed the basis for politics, business, education, etc.

The relationship regulation served as a protection from unpredictable (and undesirable) consequences of free thinking. Moreover, formalizing relationships is the best way to prevent the emergence of anything free, unpredictable, and possibly striving to claim its right to existence.

However, the last 50 years have changed the situation dramatically. The boundaries of cultures, social and family roles are getting blurred. The feminist movement emerges, grows and expands. Ideas of social constructivism and post-structuralism appear. But in 2013, the trend breaks: the homosexual propaganda law is passed in Russia. The spiral that had untwined begins to implode. “Gender” becomes taboo. The gender equality law is censured. Gender studies institutions are closed. Transgender is declared a sickness and queer which evolves with increasing speed is not acknowledged at all, including by LGBTIQ people themselves.

However, riding on this wave, people appear in Russia who call themselves “trans”, “queer”, “nonbinary”, and their numbers grow lightning fast. They know of the gender construct better than anybody. They know they can choose their looks and pronouns, and they are certain the future is theirs. Life is hard for them but they exist, they come together in collectives and clubs and live despite the law and the authorities’ will.

It is unbearably hard for a post-Soviet culture to accept queer. The ideas of “equality”, “fraternity”, all that belongs to a modernist system and a socialist regime is destroyed by queer at its root. Queer does not simply go beyond the scope of gender and sexuality. It tears down traditionalism, it explodes culture, erodes the norm and bursts the system from within by declaring: “Look how different and unique we all are!” Queer builds a new identity that is its own, not collective. This is precisely why it is dangerous for Russia’s new state system that proclaims “traditional family values”, patriarchy, and inequality.


Friedrich Chernyshev: The “Generation” Phenomenon in the Trans*/Queer Movement in the Post-Soviet Space

The people in the post-Soviet space are still divided along the temporal line, and the generation phenomenon is particularly prominent: the colonial past becomes a kind of “comfort zone” for many, while new generations tend to repulse and renounce it completely. All this could not help but affect the trans* community:

Here, too, there are “generations”, although they are not always defined by someone’s time of birth but rather by several intersecting factors: time, place, class.

Sometimes, the place or the class outweighs time: a young trans* person from a poor family in a small town will tend to lean towards “traditional” ideas of transgender that belong to the past, in contrast to older people with a different background.

This bifurcation point in the community gives rise to several internal contradictions: using Russian or English as a universal language (the first choice is more popular with the older generation, the second with the younger), the identity terms (the emergence of people who identify as “non-binary”, the fading of labels such as “non-op transgender”), the general idea of transgender and its non/normativity.

Thus two communities are being formed within one. They have the same problems but absolutely different ways to solve them: for instance, reappropriating language — in the case of Russian as the first language for the older trans* generation — or abandoning it favour of English terms, re-thinking a transgender person’s life background, working with personal stories, including in terms of intersecting discriminations, or trying to implement new Western practices of resisting normativity.

The post-Soviet queer linguistic space seems to face a new colonial choice: a Russian-language past, separation, or an English-language globalized future. In this presentation, the author reflects on whether the second option suits everyone and if not then what are possible solutions.


Dmitry Isaev: Queer Identity as a New Internal Emigration

Until recently, people believed that it was possible to give up everything, but not the “sex”, which seemed unchanged and inborn. Times have changed. In place of the problem of survival is increasingly the task of preserving the Self in a world that seems more free, but is more unpredictable, even aggressive and requires a clear position in today’s society. There have always been non-conformists who sought to distance themselves from the ideological slogans, expectations imposed on man and forcing him to integrate into the socionormative hierarchy, which officially took a course on conservative values, far from the interests of the individual. In Russia the crusade against progress was closely linked to the declaration of “traditional family values” based on patriarchy, the fight against homosexuality, transgender and the very concept of “gender”. If the LGB community feels relatively comfortable mimicking current events, fitting into binaries in Russia or abroad, transgender persons has proved to be inconvenient for everyone. Transsexuality eroded the essence of binary to some extent, but remained within it, and the queen openly opposed both hetero and homo, male and female. People began to open new opportunities for understanding themselves. The slogan “I’m not like you!” becomes a starting point for creative creation of oneself. At the same time, gender incongruence could be both primary and secondary in relations with worldview binary and social conformity. This “secondary” variant is practically not studied, although the quantitative increase of transgender people is due to the recognition of one’s uniqueness and the rejection of patterns and stereotypes. Queer / nonbinary for more young people is becoming not only an internal criterion of identity, but also a position of resistance to the conservative and hostile world, without resorting to devalued political declarations, which are discarded in the system of discriminatory binary world order.


Saltanat Shoshanova (Free University Berlin): Queer Identity in Contemporary Art of Kazakhstan

In this presentation I will give a brief contextualizing of sexual politics and LGBTIQ rights in contemporary Kazakhstan that are complex overlapping contexts in which different artistic practices appear. My aim is to look at how bio-politics of exclusion work for denying queer citizens their citizenship by claiming that homosexuality is something foreign and Western/European. Homosexuality is set against the “traditional” Kazakh identity, which is underpinned by the conception of the new the national idea promoted after the collapse of Soviet Union. The internal Other is created by declaring queer citizens as the ultimate foreigners, where homosexuality becomes a national trait.

I aim to explore what tactics artists from Kazakhstan use in creating queer art and declaring existence of queer identity. Hence, the main question of my research is: How artists seek to break the established dichotomy between nationality and sexuality?

In order to give answers to this question I will analyze artworks made by contemporary artists from the beginning of 2000s, when the possibility of free speech was still present, and till recent artworks created after adoption of the Gay-propaganda Law in Russia and debates that emerged in Kazakhstan in relation to this law.


Vanya Solovey (Humboldt University, Berlin): Semiperipheral Queer/Feminism in Russia: Experiencing Hegemony, Practicing Colonialism

How can we think and speak about queer and feminism in Russia? What is the position occupied by “Russian” queer and feminist subjects, politics, discourses within global power relationships? I suggest that it is best understood as a semiperipheral one. On the one hand, Russian queer and feminist subjects face “Western” hegemony and are constructed as lagging behind, constantly learning and developing, but also exotic in their oriental Russianness and victimized by the backward, authoritarian state. On the other hand, with Russia’s past and present as a colonial empire, it is white Russian queer and feminist actors, particularly those living in the metropolitan centers, who can and do practice domination over those who come from the subordinated “provinces” and colonies. However, unlike the symbolic “Western” cultural hegemony over Russia, this colonial domination, which queer and feminist scenes are in no way exempt of, is rooted in material inequalities of power and resources, and relies heavily on racism.

This presentation draws on post- and decolonial theories as well as on the growing body of critical post-socialist queer and feminist research in an attempt to conceptualize Russian queer and feminist subjects’ ambiguous position of dominance and subordination within global power relationships. It aims to analyze both “Western” cultural hegemony over Russia with regard to queer and feminism, and the colonial and racist practices that still remain largely unaddressed within Russian queer and feminist scenes. This analysis is meant to provide an understanding of Russian queer and feminist politics in post-/decolonial terms, and to outline possible ways for Russian queer and feminist actors to emancipate them/ourselves from “Western” hegemony and to reflect on and practice accountability for their/our re_producing of colonialism.


Syaivo: Aside of the Norm: ‘Second Hand’ Concepts and Artistic DIY (Re)Inventions

In this presentation I hope to encompass some experiences of my generation in relation to sexuality, gender and class. I consider finding, adjusting and using‘second hand’ clothes or creating DIY objects to be an experience typical of life in Ukraine in the 1990s, 2000s and beyond – experience that allows for both survival and creativity. Finding, adjusting and using ‘Western’ or local ‘second hand’ concepts (such as ‘queer’, ‘transgender’, ‘nonbinary’, etc.) and constructing DIY modes of existence can also be part of various strategies: a condition of survival, a claim for normative privilege or a search for creative (re)invention of the self and (re)imagining of the future and the past.

Taking this idea as a point of departure, I will focus on several artistc case studies that exist ‘aside of the norm’ – those that critique cis/hetero/homonormative formations and are situated on the boundary between institutionalized art and activism. Through these case studies I hope to illuminate the change in social formations in Ukraine that happened after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and especially the change in the articulations of sexuality and gender that took place with the development of LGBT NGOs. While the focus of the presentation will be on artistic works and their authors, I will situate them alongside of the social movements and dissenting communities that (might have) influenced them, in hope of pointing to the collectivity generated in response to societal changes. I also hope to touch upon the vernacular engaging with queer theories as a mode of adjusting them in a non-Western context, and to draw on the connection between queer, feminist and anarchist activism in Ukraine.

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P. Trans*bodies, Controls and Border Crossings: Claims of Sexual Citizens, Gender Attributions by State Authorities and Global Justice

Language: English
Workshop coordinators:
Dr. Marjolein van den Brink,, Utrecht University
Dr. Verena Molitor,, Bielefeld University
Dr. Christine Quinan,, Utrecht University
Prof. Dr. Tatiana Zimenkova,, TU Dortmund University

The right to not be discriminated against irrespective of gender (identity) clashes with practices of sex and gender registration/categorization conducted by nation-states and certainly with the entry control practices on the nation state borders. The attribution/registration of sex, impacts the human rights of transgender, non-binary, queer and intersex as well as cisgender persons. To examine (1) the consequences that the systematic attribution and registration of legal sex by nation-states has on the quality of life of transgender and non-binary individuals, and (2) the question of alternatives to such registration and control practices, a multiperspective interdisciplinary approach, grounded on the gender studies expertise is required. Such an approach should integrate analyses of legal and administrative practices as well as the perspectives of trans- and non-binary individuals and seek for ways to question biological, social, and cultural understandings of sex and gender within the framework on nation state control- and attribution instruments. Although human rights applying to transgender and non-binary persons are increasingly discussed, states’ policies have been restricted to either expanding the male/female definitions or adding a ‘third box’. Gender registration affects all citizens of all genders and thus becomes a question of global justice.



Erin Buzuvis: Fairness on the frontier: Challenging gender borders in sport

I will respond to the workshop’s proposed interrogation of legal sex by addressing its implications for sport, where the separation of male and female categories necessitates a border between them that must be regulated and policed. In the United States, for example, there is strong protection for civil rights in education, including education-based athletic programs. But while federal law permits the separation of girls’ and boys’ athletics, it does not define the border between them, leaving athletic associations that operate at the state level to do this work instead. Some restrict athletes’ participation to the opportunities that match their legal sex, regardless of their gender identities. Other states permit athletes to participate in athletic opportunities that correspond to their gender identities, notwithstanding their legal sex. This latter category breaks down further into those that impose conditions such as hormone treatment and those that do not.

Controversial applications of this diverse policy patchwork demonstrate how inherently problematic borders in this context can be, not only for U.S. scholastic sports, but the wider context of sport as well. While legal sex clearly fails to appropriately define the category of girls’ and women’s sport, alternatives raise challenging questions as well. Are transgender female athletes who have not transitioned in any physical way legitimate contenders in girls’ and women’s sport? If not, can we ethically and legally require them to use hormones as a condition for their participation? If so, must we also use hormone-based eligibility criteria to restrict participation by other female athletes whose natural levels of testosterone deviate from the statistical norm as the result of an intersex condition? Finally, what are the rights of athletes whose gender identity is nonbinary? Will their opportunities expand or restrict as states begin to legally recognize a nonbinary gender? I will strive to both address and engage workshop participants on these questions, using the context of sport to resonate the workshop’s broader themes of sex, gender, and the interrogation of a border.


Adrian de Silva: Regulating gender attribution in the Federal Republic of Germany

Pressured by the Federal Constitutional Court decision on 10 Oct. 2017 to regulate entries into the birth register that observe the personality rights of individuals who do not fit the categories of ‘male’ or ‘female’, the Federal Home Office tabled the bill to change gender (“Geschlechtsänderungsgesetz”) on 15 Aug. 2018. Rather than take up on the more radical solution of the two constitutional options proposed by the Federal Constitutional Court, i.e. to eliminate gender in birth entries altogether, the current government bill allows for recognising a third gender category. Moreover, the bill covers medically approved cases of intersexuality only.

Informed by queer and trans theoretical concepts of sex, gender and sexuality and complex social constructionist and deconstructionist feminist theories of the state, this interdisciplinary contribution to workshop P: “Trans*bodies, Controls and Border Crossings: Claiming of Sexual Citizens, Gender Attribution by State Authorities and Global Justice” briefly outlines the process of reading a binary concept of gender into the Civil Status Act in the late 1950s, traces shifts in concepts of gender in Federal Constitutional Court decisions on the Transsexual Act since its enactment in 1981, and drawing upon government, legal, trans and intersex movement documents offers a critical perspective on the planned legislation.


Erman Fermanci: Human Rights Implication of Sweden’s Temporary Asylum Legislation on LGBTQIA+ Asylum Seekers and Refugees

This research project concerns itself with the immediate and long-term effects of Sweden’s temporary asylum laws on LGBTIQA+ asylum seekers and refugees and the solidarity that has emerged out of these struggles. The research applies queer theory’s “subjectless critique” to the temporary changes made to the asylum law in Sweden in order to challenge the essentialist policies and practices of the state authorities. It approaches identity from perspectives that consider but do not privilege identity and discusses how temporality and liminality are orchestrated by the state authorities to produce asylum seekers and refugees as deportable. Departing from and developing the concept of “installing injury as identity” (Brown 1995), the research demonstrates how these essentialist policies and practices result in performative intra-actions as well as deserving and non-deserving / deportable subjects throughout asylum seeking processes. It criticizes the Swedish authorities’ expectations of neutralizing, essentialist and “appropriate” conditions of suffering and existing. It further criticizes the “add and stir” approach when it comes to legal recognition in protection regimes and offers queer solidarity as an alternative to these practices of biopolitics.

Designed as a qualitative research, the main research methods comprise two semi-structured interviews, field notes from ethnographic work during my engagements with the NGOs, as well as memory work from these encounters. Informed by intersectional theory, the research engages with the text in a way that does not universalize or generalize queer asylum seekers’ and refugees’ experiences and instead aspires to create a participatory platform for knowledge (co)production.


Sofia Kari: Nonbinary gender in cultural constructions and individual identities

In my PhD study I examine non‐binary gender and genderqueer in terms of identity, embodiment and cultural practices. My goal is to deepen the academic understanding of non‐binary gender as it manifests in cultural categorisations and individual experiences. I will be looking into the non‐binary definitions of gender and the way they are becoming more widely recognized as gender classifications and identities in the Finnish society. I am also interested in the ways the social expectations meet and intersect with the individual definitions of one’s gender.

I apply the feminist and sociologist theory on non‐binary, sex/gender and the body as a framework for my study. In addition, I apply queer‐theory not only as theoretical framework but also as a tool to critically examine and deconstruct social norms.

My research material will consist of interviews and written descriptions of non‐binary gender experiences. To map out the cultural borderlines of what can be understood and named as a category of gender, I will also look into newspaper articles on genderqueer or non‐binary individuals between 2015 and 2018, as well as the queer rights organisations materials on the diversity of gender. I also take into account the current Finnish legislations related to non‐binary gender.

My focus is on the Finnish cultural negotiations of the gender classifications and social structures. I am examining if non‐binary experiences can be defined as recognisable identities both by people sharing non‐binary experiences, and by society in general. I approach the emergence of new gender identities both as a cultural negotiation, and also a struggle for power and right to classify and name identities, to control bodies, and to allow or deny agencies. The ongoing cultural negotiations on gender definitions are also negotiations on the right to exist and to be recognised in the society.


Alexander Kondakov: How Transgender Bodies Fit into the ‘Non-Traditional Sexual Relations’ Formula?

In Russia, judicial sexual vocabulary is very short in linguistic resources. Russian judges use the formula of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ to refer to a wide range of sexual subjects without clear understanding of what exactly experience this formula embraces. Although common vocabulary in Russia does use a range of identity categories to differentiate between gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experiences, legal texts seem to be lagging behind these linguistic ‘novelties.’ The law prohibiting ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’ has fortified this particular linguistic formula and now it appears more often in legal texts. In this study, I review texts of court decisions in criminal cases of violence against queer people across Russia. My objective is to uncover the meanings behind the poor sexual vocabulary of the Russian judicial text. What other resources might be of any help in understanding the details of a particular criminal episode when limited vocabulary obscures rather than explains the crime scene? How transgender bodies manifest themselves on the surface of the studied texts without having any specific linguistic category to refer to their experience? Ultimately, what this use of language say about subjects of sexual discourse in general, about the ways of speaking subjectivities out? I focus on crimes against transgender people because it helps to better understand the logic of the studied materials. ‘Non-traditional sexual relations’ as a linguistic formula were invented to refer to homosexual experiences of men. Yet, it has since grown in usage and included more sexual variety under its umbrella. This is why transgender experience – as initially not part of the formula, but eventually incorporated in it – is of particular interest for the study.


Moulshri Kanodia: Collaboration between Trade Unions and Civil Society Organizations for Trans* Rights at Work

“To operate within the matrix of power is not the same as to replicate uncritically relations of domination.”

-Judith Butler

This quote resonates strongly with the domination of the regime of gender recognition that obstructs normalcy in the life of a trans* person making them complacent state subjects.

In India, trans* identity has mythological roots and connotation (Ramayana and Mahabharat). Trans* identity in India is, therefore associated with traditional community system which is built on the power relationship between a Guru1 and a Chela2. The older trans* person (Guru) acquires the position of a leader, who is theoretically responsible for the well-being of younger trans persons (Chela). The younger trans* persons comes under the tutelage of their Guru. This system brings solace to the lives of trans* persons by giving them a safety net (read: family). Over the time, this system is marred by vices of rent seeking behaviour and power dominance. Moreover, such institutions lack political recognition and therefore lack voice and skill to pursue political projects, making them ineffective for advancing trans* rights.

This paper explores the domain of employment of trans* persons by conceptualization of Power Resource Approach (PRA). The author suggests a collaborative relationship between trade unions and civil society organizations, drawing power from the advantages of both institutions. The hypothesis suggested here is that enhancing associational power builds solidarity between members, hence providing a collective identity to transform social milieu change. Thus understanding whether this new collaborative system provides a better bargaining capacity for working trans* persons.

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Q. Transformations in Social Movements 1960-

Language: English
Workshop coordinators:
Nina Nyman,, Åbo Akademi University

We invite you to share your research on social movements in transformation, preferably relatively recent movements from the 1960’s on. What sparks social movements? And what drives them to change their way of organisation?
What makes them change focus in key questions? How do social, economical and political changes globally as well as locally affect social movements and their main questions and methods?
What are the boundaries that constitutes a change in a social movement?
How do advanced capitalism/neoliberalism affect social movements? How does this change impact actors within movements, based on gender, race and class or non-human-ness, or how does the politics of the main actors in the movements affect what kind of change is demanded?



Luca Tainio (University of Tampere): Radical vulnerability and grassroot activism

My paper is based on my on-going PhD project Radical Vulnerability. An Interview-based Study on Vulnerability, Trans Bodies and Grassroot Activism in the Contemporary Nordics focusing on the feelings of activists; how feelings guide and inform actions and what activism feels like. I am in particular interested in how and where vulnerability emerges, both in bodily and affective sense. Judith Butler for example argues against seeing vulnerability as the opposite of resistance, as passive and powerless and questions resistance as something that entails the need to get rid of or overcome vulnerability, and instead sees vulnerability possibly as rising from or within resistance. She connects vulnerability to moving, acting, space-taking bodies, writing about mobilizing bodily exposure. This can refer either to when activist bodies gather in demonstrations exposing themselves to police violence in order to make a political point, or it can mean trans bodies navigating public space, taking space, and thus being exposed to the possibility of violence. Or, of course, combinations of these.

I am specifically working with and through the notion of readical vulnerability, aiming to define its multiple meanings and functions within activist discourse. Radical vulnerability, I would argue, is an attempt to carve space, create communities of care and solidarity, and revolt against the capitalist, individualistic ideals of capability and strength. I see it as a possible strategy for surviving within a political shift to the right making the lived realities of marginalized groups in particular more and more challenging. In Dean Spade´s words: “Let’s be gentle with ourselves and each other and fierce as we fight oppression.”


Anna Heinonen (University of Helsinki): Everyday utopias in Finnish communes

In my presentation I will look at the development of communal living in Finland from the framework of “everyday utopias” after the work of Davina Cooper. The paper is part of my doctoral dissertation where I examine how living in a commune challenges gendered and sexual practices, roles and commitments by exceeding normative boundaries of couple-centered domesticities.

Cooper’s approach on everyday utopias concentrate on the small-scale projects where people strive for societal change by a local and often practical action. Unlike much of the literature on utopias, Cooper claims that the un-realizability inscribed in the concept of utopia is put in question in these projects, which re-work and actualize their goals in their continuous existence. More importantly, Cooper questions the way concepts work in these processes. She claims that instead of concepts being formulated beforehand their implementation, the projects constantly reimagine concepts in an interplay of ideas and action. Furthermore, the conceptual development doesn’t limit to the concepts pre-designed as the causes of action, but the action creates movement in various conceptual frameworks that are linked to the issue. Academic attentiveness is required for noticing these unexpected or “queer” conceptual relations.

The transformations in Finnish communal living is a fruitful site for examining such an interplay of everyday life and ideas of a “better world”. In the course of communal living in the past 50 years in Finland, the reasons for building alternative domesticities has varied from ecologically sustainable lifestyles to communality or sexual emancipation. Currently, in many cases, they aim to offer moderately priced housing. In my paper I approach these (utopian) projects from the perspective of gender and sexuality and sketch out, how they can stir and “queer” our ways of conceptualizing intimate relations even if it has not been their primary or outspoken goal.


Anna Puhakka (University of Jyväskylä): Reparative reading of the recent Finnish body positive activism and the related critique

As a social movement, body positivity in Finland is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Nonetheless, public discussion around it has intensified within the last year. In this paper, I will look at the criticism that body positivity has faced in Finland lately, as well as the potential this criticism might hold for the transformation of body positivity as a social movement. Many critics claim that they support body positivity in theory, but at the same time worry it “has gone too far”. Their arguments are strikingly alike: body positivity glorifies fatness, an unhealthy condition; it discriminates against people who are not fat (fit shaming); and it is anti-weight loss. I ask whether these interpretations are justifiable ‒ are these elements present in the Finnish body positive movement’s communications? Inspired by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s practice of reparative reading, aiming to bridge conflicting interpretations of a phenomenon instead of heightened antagonism, I argue that despite seeming differences, body positivity activists and their critics agree on the fundamental tenet of the social movement in question: all bodies have the right to exist free from discrimination.

Furthermore, the (sometimes harsh) criticism can act as a catalyst for transformation for body positivity as a social movement because it points to the importance of formulating one’s message clearly ‒ not to appease the critics, but to ensure the movement’s core message is put across as intended to the public at large. Instead of naming specific examples or sources, critics oftentimes speak of body positivity in general terms. Thus the data set for this paper was gathered using purposeful sampling, comprising visible, recent (January 1, 2016 – August 31, 2018) Finnish body positive entries in e.g. blog, YouTube, and podcast form. I use qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis as methodological tools to answer.


Suzy Jopseh Ramez Ameen (University of Helsinki): Between Honour and Shame and Empowerment: Do Egyptian Women need a Sexual Revolution?

In this paper, I question the validity of sexual freedom as a site via which Egyptian women could be empowered. I argue that a more nuanced approach to honour and shame that challenges and troubles them while paying attention to the specificity of women’s lived experiences is salient in changing the conversation about the imagined and false homogeneity of Egyptian women’s body politic. I review honour and shame literature that glosses over the complicated realities of women’s lives while breaking down notions of honour and shame, the discourse of empowerment as well as the NGOisation and universalization of sexual freedom/empowerment. I use samples of the interviews I conducted with Egyptian women living in Germany over the last year while integrating the complicated realities of their embodiments and understandings of sexual morality in thinking and theorising. Through examining the complexity of women’s lived experiences, I question the validity of a sexual revolution as a means to “empower” Egyptian women and legitimise their political appearing. I argue that while a very problematic honour and shame discourse is still a framework via which Egyptian women’s bodies are excluded from the political sphere, a western model of sexual freedom is not a one solution fits all. Instead, I call for a more nuanced way of thinking that accommodates the diversity of Egyptian women and that does not reproduce battles over their bodies that further trivialise and alienate them. Instead, an appreciation of their agency and an understanding of their complicated realities could be the start of more nuanced theorising that takes their voices and experiences into consideration hence allowing a new discursive, inclusive, and realistic space for an indigenous feminist theorising anchored in reality and respect of diverse subjectivities.

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R. Transformative perspectives on interspecies relations and food practices: feminism, intersectionality and critical animal studies

Language: English

Workshop coordinators:
Kadri Aavik,, University of Helsinki
Kuura Irni,, University of Helsinki
Saara Kupsala,, University of Helsinki

A number of feminist scholars have discussed human-animal relations, the category of species and the crossing and questioning of species boundaries from posthumanist, poststructuralist, new materialist, postcolonial and political ecology perspectives. Intertwined with concern over how nonhuman animals are treated, many scholars, activists and organisations have pointed to the unfolding of a broader ecological crisis with imminent and differing implications for the environment, sustainability, and wellbeing of humans and nonhuman animals on a local and global scale. To make sense of current feminist potential to address human-animal relations, food practices and the ethical and environmental crisis at hand, this session explores ‘multisolidarity’ as well as intersectional and transformative scholarship and activism that is sensitive to the gendered, racialized, sexualized and speciesist boundary-making practices that constitute the ‘human.’



Sanna Karhu (University of Helsinki): Toward a Feminist Critique of Killing: Sight, Regulation, and the Politics of the Slaughterhouse

The powerful metaphor of the ‘glass-walled slaughterhouse’ used by animal advocates implies that the meat industry would come to an end if only the abuse and mass killing of animals were made visible to the public. The practice of releasing activist video footages on the Internet can be understood as an attempt to reveal the shocking truth behind the secluded walls of meat corporations. While the footages spark regularly strong criticism of the industry across the globe, the meat production and consumption are still on the rise, however.

In this paper I ask: how should we understand and tackle the ethical indifference toward mass killing in the midst of the continuous dissemination of visual material from the factory farms and slaughterhouses? I approach this question from two different directions. First, I provide a brief genealogy of the modern slaughterhouse from the perspective of the question of visibility. I discuss particularly the public slaughterhouse tours organized in the famous Chicago stockyards in the 1860s until the 1950s. In order to analyze the changing politics of visibility, I juxtapose the spectacle of Chicago slaughterhouse with the surveillance tactics of today’s meat industry that seek to hide the killing of animals from view.

Second, and against this historical background, I examine the ways in which sight is regulated in the service of normalizing the mass killing of animals and neutralizing our ethical responses to it. Drawing on Judith Butler’s account of the political regulation of ethical responsiveness as well as ecofeminist critiques of capitalism, I locate strategies for exposing and disrupting the normative frameworks that conceal the killing of animals that is carried out on an unprecedented scale today.


Pieta Hyvärinen (University of Tampere): Beekeeping as multispecies work

Beekeeping is an essential part of food production – not only as honey production but moreover because of pollination, which enables growing of many fruits, berries, vegetables and nuts especially in the era of industrial agriculture. Beekeeping therefore troubles the divide between animal and plant production, offering a frutiful perspecive to the entanglement of human and more-than-human lives and livelihoods.

In this presentation I examine bee-human relations in food production from the perspective of multispecies work. I use feminist approaches to work to analyse, what multispecies work in beekeeping entails and how humans, bees and numerous others are co-constituted in the everyday working practices.

Firstly, beekeeping can be explored as care work, which highlights the responsibility and emotional engagements in beekeeping as well as the vital role of bees for human wellbeing. Secondly, it can be examined as affective labour, which concentrates on production of certain affects in bees and fellow humans alike, but also on the embodied transformations that the bees engender in their keepers. Thirdly, beekeeping can be analysed as precarious work, on one hand as part of precarious livelihoods of beekeepers but on the other hand as working with and managing the various precarities of the “Anthropocene”.

The presentation is based on the ongoing second case study of my PhD thesis, which examines the economic and multispecies relations in food production practices.


Tiina Salmia (University of Turku): Marcello the Dog as a Family Member: Multispecies Family in Elina Brotherus’s Self-Portraits from the Series Carpe Fucking Diem

This presentation examines the transformative perspectives on interspecies relations by analyzing visual artist Elina Brotherus’s photography series Carpe Fucking Diem (2011-2015). In this series Brotherus uses her self-portraits to “talk about a failure to have a family with kids… I don’t have children so I don’t need to adopt any preconceived role of an adult. I can give normality the finger” (Elina Brotherus webpage, n.d.). In many photographs of the series a loving relationship with the pet dog Marcello is depicted.

The concept of the family is represented, negotiated and questioned in visual culture. Traditional views of the family have been conservative, racist, classist, heterosexist and speciesist, and the unquestioned human-animal boundary has concealed the inherent anthropocentrism. Today a more diverse view of the family is occasionally visible, and it no longer makes sense to restrict the understanding of family to two heterosexual adults and their children. Also, the hybrid more-thanhuman families are discussed with the concept of companion species: the historical and everyday cobecomings of human and non-human “significant others”. (Haraway 2003; Irvine & Cilia 2016) Based upon an affective and embodied reading of three self-portraits from the photography series the presentation examines Marcello in the intersection of family, the non-human and self-portraits. I examine does a dog as a member of the family have a possibility to problematize the normativity of the nuclear family and destabilize the hierarchical human-animal relations? I discuss the humancenteredness of self-portraits and examine the non-human and human embodied agency in the photographs. The theoretical background is provided by feminist visual culture studies and humananimal studies with an emphasis on new materialism and post-humanism.


Helinä Ääri (University of Turku): Will I be safe if they are not? Interconnections of animal rights and children’s rights in Tuomas Kärkkäinen’s comic “Eläinkirja”

When it comes to the position one has in society, human children have a lot in common with nonhuman animals living as pets or in animal industry. Both are more or less dependent on what some adult humans decide to do with them. The links between animal rights and children’s rights have been noticed in activism and research, even though they are not as much and as well documented as the links between animal rights and the rights of people who are marginalized based on their gender or sexuality.

In my paper I discuss one short comic that deals with the interconnections between animal rights and children’s rights. Tuomas Kärkkäinen’s “Eläinkirja” (The Animal Picture Book) won the comics competition of the animal rights organisation Animalia in 2007. An anthology Halpaa makkaraa. Tehotuotantokriittisiä sarjakuvia (Cheap Sausages. Critical comics about factory farming) was collected of the best comics of the competition and “Eläinkirja” was published there.

The two-page “Eläinkirja” tells about a human child, who struggles with the fact that her mother cooks the same kind of animals who she finds lovely and adorable when looking at the pictures of them in her child’s animal picture book. The child has difficulties eating the body parts of pigs and chickens after watching the cute pictures. “Eläinkirja” invites its reader to think how the species boundary is constructed and taught to human children, how near the violence against children and the violence against nonhuman animals are each other and how our assumptions of children are linked to our assumptions of animals. It also reminds that most animals killed in animal industry don’t ever get the chance to become adults.


Aliia Nizamova “Considering the Lobster”: (non)ageing nonhumans and repro-hetero-youthful future

In contemporary popular discourse, some species serve as an evidence of potentiality to extend the longevity of a human life. The figure of a lobster, who is considered “biologically immortal” due to its ability to rejuvenate and remain fertile, becomes a symbol of hope for a better future of the humankind while being central to the debates on environmental ethics regarding pain in crustaceans. In my research, I focus on the ways in which the nonhumans have been used within the discourse around such form of human enhancement as achieving a longer life expectancy while remaining physically youthful and (hetero)sexually active. I argue that the image of “queerly” ageing nonhumans is used to retain the hope for future within the heteronormative temporality, while it holds the potential for inviting society to embrace queer modes of being. To discuss this human/nonhuman entanglement, I analyze different ways in which the lobster and other “queerly” (non)ageing animals have been discussed in popular media and scientific articles in relation to human life expectancy. To examine the ways in which nonhumans influence our normative understanding of a human lifespan, I refer to the works of Jack Halberstam, Elisabeth Freeman, and Lee Edelman on queer temporality, chrononormativity, and reproductive futurism. In conclusion, I elaborate on the potential developing of this discussion to include the ways of aging that differ from what is commonly presented as desirable and “humane”, thus searching for a broader understanding of ageing futures which challenges both ageism and heteronormativity.

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S. Trans & Queer Reproduction: Legal, Cultural and Socioeconomic Challenges

Language: English
Workshop coordinator:
Doris Leibetseder,, Uppsala University, Sweden

Changes in the legal access to ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) for trans and queer people in different countries have created both challenges and possibilities for reproduction of LGBTQ-people. Some trans and queer people circumvent restrictive laws (not only concerning LGBTQ access to ART, but also still existing sterilization-requirement laws, or limiting the technological access by age, relationship status and class) in their own country and make use of fertility travels. However, still in many cases those either travelling or using local ARTs experience legal and administrative problems with birth and parental certificates.
This workshop will explore what the challenges for trans and queer reproduction are and how they might be solved. The purpose of this workshop therefore is to provide an opportunity for the participants to present their diverse views and research findings on the subject; secondly, to create an interdisciplinary network, where we can plan publications, project submissions or LGBTIQ-community outreach activities together.



Olya Senkova: The use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies by LGBTQ people in post-communist context. The case of Russia.

This paper aims to analyze how the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs hereafter) by LGBTQ people is represented in Russian public discourse. In the post-communist dominant social discourse people identified as ‘women’ are often perceived as reproducers of nation. That gives grounds to their bodily rights limitations. Russia is a notable case of this phenomena because of recent conservative shifts and the lack of gender sensitivity in public discourse.

Using the theoretical approach of discursive institutionalism and the methodology of framing analysis, I intend to argue that ARTs usage in contemporary Russia is limited not only because of legal restrictions, but also due to the context of neo-conservative turn. Nevertheless, I also plan to show that recent developments in artificial reproduction have provided Russian citizens with extra agency in terms of bodily freedom. To achieve the goal of my research, I use a number of Russian media sources to analyze the conservative discourse construction and its influence on the perception of ARTs use by LGBTQ people in Russia.

The results of my work are expected to contribute not only to deeper understanding of ARTs in contemporary social research on reproductive medicine, but also to the current debate on the role of the ideas and discourses in the process of institutional change, and a more profound understanding of LGBTQ reproductive rights in general.


Ulrika Dahl (Uppsala University) : The challenges of biological ties: Affect, intimate labour and the biopolitics of race and nation among LGBTQ familymakers in Sweden

What does it mean to “feel a biological tie?” What does “meeting needs” of a child mean for a queer parent? And why does the long sought after and quite strenuously achieved same-sex parenthood conjure up not only happiness and joy but sensitivity, invisibility and sadness? Drawing on ethnographic research and online discussions, this paper explores how ideas of race, biology and intimate labour shape feelings of kinship and parenthood among contemporary LGBTQ family makers in Sweden. The overwhelming majority of LGBTQ-familymakers are white, upper-middle class, highly educated lesbian-identified cisgendered women who use state healthcare or cross-border travel to co-mother (RFSL survey 2017). In the spirit of parental equality, differences between parents, including gendered and racialised biological and intimate labour of bodily reproduction are thus frequently downplayed. This paper explores the affective meanings attached to biology and difference among queer familymakers to whom ideas of intent, choice and care are central to kinship and its recognition. Drawing on stories of procreation from queers of colour, it also discusses how the disavowal of sexual and racial difference serves to make whiteness simultaneously invisible and central to queer reproduction’s entanglements with the biopolitics of race and nation.


Julian Honkasalo: The biopolitics of racialized-gendered mass incarceration – why the black women’s reproductive justice movement should matter for the trans movement

Although the majority of California’s forced sterilizations took place before the 1960s, medical abuse in public institutions continued to take place in the 1970s, and up until recent years. In 2013 The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) published a report documenting approximately 150 sterilizations performed on female inmates at California state prisons. An audit from the following year confirmed that 144 female inmates had been sterilized between the years 2005-2013, many of them without proper informed consent, signatures, or approval by the State Medical Board. Some of the medical records were destroyed by staff. The majority of the victims were women of color and women from poor backgrounds. And of these, the majority were first time offenders. It was not until January 2015, that a new law banning sterilization in American state prisons became effective (Stern 2016). This paper examines gendered and racialized dynamics of biopolitical regulation over reproductive futures. Taking the California prison sterilizations as a point of departure, I contend that whereas the invention of the asylum and the clinic were based on detainment in physical spaces and cellular units, disciplinary power in these institutions also operates through an intervention into life at the level of the temporality of the subject. Indefinite waiting (Pearce 2018) and being trapped in what Jose Esteban Muñoz (2009) calls the “here and now” are constitutive of disciplinary power over temporality. At the same time, biopower over the population operates through an intervention into reproductive future, that is, temporality at the level of the population. The paper develops the argument that a critical inquiry into mechanisms of control over temporality reveals how the feminist, reproductive justice movement of black women (Ross 2017) is not only a significant ally for the anti-sterilization activism of trans people, but more importantly, can prevent the trans movement from falling into the pitfalls of reproductive rights discourse.


Doris Leibetseder: Queer and Transgender Reproduction in 6 EU-States

One social group particularly affected by biotechnological, socio-cultural and legislative changes around Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) are queer and transgender people (James-Abra et al 2015, Mamo 2007, 2013; Smietana 2015, Walks 2014). This comparative presentation will examine how they are affected, and which possibilites and constraints they experience in six purposely selected European countries (Austria, Estonia, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK), including countries where none or less research on queer and transgender use of ART is done.

Based on the initial results of my Marie-Skłodowska Curie project “QTReproART -Towards an Inclusive Common European Framework for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART): Queer & Transgender Reproduction in the Age of ART” I will present two aspects: first on the outcomes dealing with the regulation of ART for LGBTQ-people, the second on the experiences of self-identified queer and transgender people with ARTs.

The main part of the talk on the legal regulations of ART for queer and transgender people consists of laws on family, kinship and gender recognition (Melhuus 2009) and a comparative national analysis (Jasanoff 2002, 2009) . The aim is to find where and which reproductive challenges exist for queer and transgender people in each country. The conclusion of the presentation will show the initial outcomes of the still work-in-progress analyses of queer and transgender experiences with ART in these six European states and suggestions on how to improve their precarious reproductive situations.

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U. Äitiyden normien rajoilla ja yli

Language: Finnish
Workshop coordinators:
Jenny Säilävaara,, University of Jyväskylä

Normatiiviseen hyvään äitiyteen liittyvien ihanteiden kyseenalaistaminen ja purkaminen on ollut lähivuosina näkyvästi esillä julkisessa keskustelussa sekä esimerkiksi äitiyttä käsittelevissä blogeissa, kirjallisuudessa, elokuvissa ja tv-ohjelmissa. Äitinä olemisen tapojen sekä äitiyttä koskevien diskurssien on arvioitu toisaalta monipuolistuneen ja kulttuurisen tilan avautuneen myös esimerkiksi äitiyttä koskevien kielteisten tunteiden ilmaisuille. Toisaalta äitiyteen liitetään yhä tiukkoja ihanteita ja arvoja, joita tavoitellessaan äitien mahdollisuudet neuvotella näistä ihanteista ja toteuttaa omanlaistaan äitiyttä vähenevät. Intensiivisen äitiyden ihanteet näyttävät yhä voimistuvan, tehden äitiydestä pakottavimmillaan sietämättömän raskasta.



Lilli Aini Rokkonen: Palkkatyöäitiyden rajoilla

Väitöskirjassani tutkin haastattelemieni kolmentoista vakaan palkkatyön reunamilla olevan naisen elämäntarinoita. Naiset ovat alle kouluikäisten lasten äitejä, jotka ovat uudelleenkouluttautujia, itsensätyöllistäjiä, yrittäjiä, kotiäitejä tai muutoin toimivat kodin ja työn rajoilla. Tässä esityksessä aion keskittyä erityisesti niihin vastatarinoihin ja reflektointeihin, joita haastatteluaineistossani kerrotaan hyvästä äitiydestä. Millä tavoin normatiivista intensiivistä äitiyttä vastaan on ylipäätään mahdollista puhua, kun kerrotaan omaa äitiys- ja työelämätarinaa?

Palkkatyöäitiys on hyvin vahva suomalaiseen naiseuteen liittyvä diskurssi. Kokoaikainen työ on ristiriidassa intensiivisen äitiyden kanssa, joka vaatii jatkuvaa läsnäoloa lapsen kanssa. Kokoaikaista työtä vastaan puhutaan aineistossani paljon ja etenkin aivan pienten lasten äidit asettuvat kärkkäästi kyseenlaistamaan sen mielekkyyttä. Naiset pohtivat työelämän muutoksia ja tekevät radikaalejakin ratkaisuja turvatakseen ehkä pienituloisen, mutta rauhallisen elämäntavan itselleen ja lapsilleen. Palkkatyöäitiyden rajoja on mahdollista ylittää ryhtymällä pienyrittäjäksi maaseudulla tai tekemällä etänä tietotöitä ja myös media rakastaa tällaisia rohkeita yrittäjyystarinoita. Sen sijaan paljon kodin ulkopuolella työskentelevät yrittäjät joutuvat korostamaan sitä, että aikaa riittää kyllä perheellekin. Työttömyydestä kärsivät äidit joutuvat vaikeampien tunteiden eteen, jos kotiäitiys ei ole itse valittu tilanne. Keikkatyöntekijät ja muut pätkittäin työskentelevät joutuvat neuvottelemaan lastenhoidosta jatkuvasti ja laittamaan lapset hyvin nopealla aikataululla hoitoon, jolloin esimerkiksi perheen yhteisten suunnitelmien tekeminen on mahdotonta.


Mari Lehto, Suvi-Sadetta Kaarakainen: Lähisuhdeväkivaltaa ja muita kertomuksia – Äitien älylaitteiden käyttö mediajulkisuudessa

Esityksessä esittelemme Wider Screen –verkkojulkaisussa syksyllä 2018 julkaistavan tutkimusartikkelimme tuloksia. Artikkelissa analysoimme, miten vanhempien älylaitteiden käyttöä on käsitelty asiantuntijalausuntoihin tukeutuvassa mediajulkisuudessa vuosina 2013–2018. Tarkastelemme aineistossa esiintyviä puhetapoja äitien toimijuutta säätelevänä hallinnan, tai jopa kontrollin muotona. Analysoimme aineistoa historiallistavalla ja kriittisellä media-analyysilla.

Aineistomme median tuottamassa asiantuntijapuheessa erilaisia tapoja hallita äitien älylaitteiden käyttöä määritti ongelmalähtöisyys. Aineistosta nousi esille kolme teemaa, joihin ongelmalähtöisyys tyypillisimmin kiinnittyi: riskipuhe, kiintymyssuhteen häiriintyminen ja älylaitteiden käytön määritteleminen riippuvuudeksi. Äitien älylaitteiden käytön riskit esiintyivät moraalin muotoina, joilla pyrittiin luomaan käyttäytymismalleja tietynlaisen ihannevanhemmuuden saavuttamiseksi. Näennäinen puhe vanhemmuudesta kohdistui lähemmässä tarkastelussa ensisijaisesti äiteihin, mikä tuli näkyväksi erityisesti imetykseen liittyvässä kommentoinnissa, mutta myös asiantuntijoiden esiin tuomissa huomioissa juuri äitien älylaitteiden käytöstä julkisissa tiloissa. Asiantuntijoiden puheessa äitien älylaiteriippuvuutta ”tehtiin” tukeutumalla asiantuntijoiden omiin havaintoihin tai omakohtaisiin kokemuksiin älylaitteiden tai niiden (erittelemättömien) sisältöjen koukuttavuudesta. Asiantuntijalausunnoissa puhetta määritti pyrkimys ohjata ja jopa rajoittaa äitien toimijuutta suhteessa älylaitteisiin – lausuntojen taustalla vaikuttivat kiintymyssuhdeteoreettinen ajattelu sekä yksittäisten ammattilaisten mielipiteet ja arjen ohimenevät havainnot.

Analyysimme mukaan median tuottama asiantuntijapuhe äideistä ja älylaitteista on tähänastisessa julkisessa keskustelussa ollut ongelmalähtöisyydessään yksiulotteista. Purkamalla median tuottamia kuvastoja siitä, mikä on äideille sallittua ja mikä ei, näkyväksi tulevat vallan ja toimijuuden väliset yhteydet: miten paljon ja millä ehdoin äidit pystyvät itse vaikuttamaan omiin teknologiasuhteisiinsa, ja miten toisaalta kulttuuriset rakenteet tai muiden toimijoiden odotukset sanelevat toimintaa. Artikkelissa osoitamme, että mediassa keskustelua käydään yhä tiukasti perinteisten vanhemmuuden asiantuntijoiden kuten psykologien, lastenpsykiatrien, sosiaalipsykologien ja kasvatusasiantuntijoiden ehdoilla, mikä jättää varjoonsa äitien omat kokemukset, mutta myös sivuuttaa vanhempien, ja erityisesti äitien, oikeuden määritellä itse omaa rooliaan vanhempana. Osoitamme, että jo aiemmin äitiyttä käsittelevissä tutkimuksissa havaittu huolipuhe ja ongelmalähtöisyys ovat aivan erityisellä tavalla läsnä silloin kun puhutaan äitien teknologiasuhteista.


Jenny Säilävaara

Imetys on monella tasolla normeihin sidottua tekemistä. Nämä normit ylittyvät helposti, jos äiti esimerkiksi imettää ”liian pitkään” tai imettää julkisesti. Pohdin esitelmässäni ja -verkkosivujen imetysuutisointia keskittyen erityisesti pitkää imetystä sekä julkista imetystä käsitteleviin teksteihin. Olen kiinnostunut imetykseen liitettävistä diskursseista, joita teksteissä rakennetaan. Tutkimusaineistoni on kerätty verkkosivuilta vuoden 2014 alusta vuoden 2017 loppuun ja se sisältää kaikki tekstit, joissa viitataan joko pitkään tai julkiseen imetykseen tai molempiin yhdessä.

Tekstien analyysi osoittaa, että uutisointi voidaan jakaa seuraaviin diskursseihin: terveysdiskurssi, oikeusdiskurssi sekä sopivuusdiskurssi. Terveysdiskurssia ylläpitävissä jutuissa pohditaan erityisesti imetyksen terveysvaikutuksia. Oikeusdiskurssi on vahvaa, kun jutut käsittelevät julki-imetystä ja äitien oikeutta imettää. Imetyksen sopivuus tulee neuvotelluksi monissa teksteissä, usein niin, että esimerkiksi toistetaan imetyssuosituksia tai imetyksen potentiaalista häpeää.

Analysoimani tekstit eivät juurikaan riko imetykseen liitettäviä normeja, mutta ne tuovat esiin myös muita kuin norminmukaisia kokemuksia imetyksestä.

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V. Colonial Legacies: Tracing Finland as Colonial/Modern Context

Language: English
Coordinators: Marika Kivinen
Salla Tuori,, Åbo Akademi University

In analyses of contemporary Finnish constructions of otherness, or ways of displaying race, gender and sexuality, feminist postcolonial perspectives have proved to be useful and illuminating for showing the specific power relations at play. These analyses rely on theorizing and historical research from elsewhere, however, local legacies are often overlooked. There is a small, but growing field of empirical research on how Finland, or what we now consider as Finland, has constructed itself in relation to colonialism in 19th and 20th centuries, and earlier.



Laura Hollsten (Åbo Akademi University): Mapping substrata, naming places, categorizing peoples. Väinö Auer’s expeditions to Patagonia, 1928-1953

The Finnish geologist Väinö Auer (1895–1981) made fourteen expeditions to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego between the late 1920s and early 1950s. Argentina was (and is) a vast country and part of the modernization of Argentina involved a geological mapping of it. Auer conducted his fieldwork in the peripheral region of Patagonia. Based on Auer’s popular travelogue Tulimaata tutkimassa (1929) and a selection on his scientific works, the paper focuses on Auer’s plans for modernizing Patagonia, the naming of “discovered” places and on descriptions of the various nationalities and peoples that the expedition met. A study of Auer’s texts (and those of the members of his expedition) show how colonial nuances can be traced in expressions relating to nature-culture, gender and ethnicity. At the same time, Auer comes across as a global environmental thinker with a deep concern for the natural world.


Liisa-Maija Korhonen (University of Helsinki): The case of Colonia Finlandesa in the context of European colonialism

In 1906 a group of mostly middle-class Finnish Swedish men and women left Finland to found an agricultural colony in northeast Argentina. Encouraged and welcomed by the Argentine government, the settlers acquired lands from Misiones – a region that had been named after the Jesuit missions established there in the 17th and 18th centuries. Originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, the region of Misiones became colonized by various European ethnic groups from the 1880’s till the mid-20th century, Finnish settlers of Colonia Finlandesa among them. In this paper, I examine Colonia Finlandesa within the theoretical framework of settler colonialism, a concept referring to an ongoing structure of repression of indigenous peoples and cultures. Originally, the nationalist utopia of founding “New Finland” overseas sprung in the minds of Finnish Swedish intelligentsia opposing the Russification policy of the Russian Empire aiming to restrain the autonomous status of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the late 19th century. While the Finnish settlers in Misiones can be seen as immigrants, and by today’s standards also as refugees, they were also colonizers of foreign land who strived to benefit from the riches of its soil. They both expressed racialized views and mixed with the natives. The paper is part of my doctoral thesis, which examines the women of Colonia Finlandesa and analyzes the role of gender in the construction of the colony through empirical contemporary material such as letters and diaries as well as memoirs and oral histories.


Salla Tuori (Åbo Akademi University): Understanding Finnish migration to Brazil in a modern/colonial framework

A central aspect of decolonial scholarship with basis in the writings of Maria Lugones, Walter Mignolo and others, is to analyse modernity and coloniality as inseparable and co-constituted. In this presentation, I will start to outline a decolonially informed approach to explore early and mid 20th Century migration from Finland as part of constructing a modern/colonial nation with specific constructions of race and gender. The case for the presentation is migration from Finland to Brazil at the high-time of global colonialism and emergence of modern/colonial nation-states out of imperial states. Migration from Finland to Brazil, as well as to other South American countries, was marginal in numbers. Finnish migrants were often middle to upper middle class, in earlier research described as individual adventurers in comparison to larger groups of (labour) migrants of the same era from Finland to the United States as well as from other European contexts (Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany) to Brazil. A large proportion of the overall small number of Finnish migrants to Brazil were part of establishing, or living in, a utopian community in the small town Penedo. These are white migrants from a context where evolutionary thinking, colonial structures of mind and different forms of eugenic practices were commonplace. They arrive to a multiracial and racially segregated settler colonial nation with quite recently ended slavery and policies of mass migration particularly targeted to white migrants. Settler colonialism is formative in both ends of the migration route, even if in different ways, and until very recently seldom considered as a context for Nordic migrations over the Atlantic. In the article, I thus explore race and gender as formative of a modern/colonial subjectivity through the case of migration from Finland to Brazil.


Marika Kivinen: ”Rubato, exotico” – tracing colonialism in the songs Rarahu I and Rarahu II by Sulho Ranta

This paper starts with two songs by the Finnish composer Sulho Ranta (1901-1960) – Rarahu I, composed in 1922 to a poem by Severi Nuormaa and Rarahu II composed in 1946 to a poem by Katri Vala. Both poems were inspired by the fictional autobiographical stories of Pierre Loti (1850-1923). In one of his travel books Loti writes about a young woman, Rarahu, whom he (supposedly) met in Tahiti. In the 1920s Ranta belonged to the group ”Tulenkantajat”, which wanted to substitute national romanticism with urban modernism (see Metsä 2012 and Degerman 2008). A specific form of internationalism was achieved by looking outside Europe for inspiration. This paper seeks to study the aesthetics and genealogy of ”musical exoticism” (Locke 2009). Themes that occur repeatedly are the sexual availability of ”exotic” women and an aesthetics of sensuality – scents, colours, sounds – as well as specific ”exotic” tropes and motifs in both text and music. The figures of ”Rarahu” are inscribed in an imperialist pornotropics (McClintock 1995) and tracing this genealogy can help to challenge patterned forms of ignorance (Gilroy 2004 and 2006) of Finnish colonial thinking.

The current paper is part of a larger project called ”Exotic Songs” (2019-2022), which seeks to focus on the often depoliticized genre of classical song. The study seeks to unravel the hidden or ignored histories of colonialism within western song repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries. Finnish and Nordic songs will be analysed alongside French and German repertoire, in order to trace similarities, mimesis, and forgotten histories. At the core of the project are three lied concerts (Exotic Songs I-III). Three specific historical moments are studied – Finnish songs from the first three decades of the 20th century (i.e. Sulho Ranta, Erkki Melartin), French mélodies of the late 19th and early 20th century and German lieder of the 19th century. Central for an understanding of the music is the analysis and genealogy of the composed poems. The research is part of an aesthetic and political project of destabilizing normative non-histories. As a classically trained singer, I see the concert-space as a highly stylized space, burdened by tradition and a gendered and racialised legacy. Nonetheless, the study seeks to ask how the concert stage could be subverted into an arena for resistance.


Inka Söderström (University of Tampere): The identities, belonging and counter-speech of LGBT+ refugees

In my PhD studies in the field of social work I examine how LGBT+ refugees and asylum seekers construct their identities, belonging and counter-speech in their autobiographical narratives in dialogue with the master narratives of the Finnish asylum system and social service system. Gender and sexual diversity is relatively hidden topic in academic social work research in Finland, as are the social work practices especially with immigrants. In my studies, I want to contribute to implementing queer studies in social work research and practice. Theoretically and methodologically my study is based on narrativity, feminist and queer theory, and social constructionism. My studies are connected to the discussions on identities, belonging, citizenship, postcolonialism, homonormativity, and homonationalism. I use ethnography as my research method and my data consists of ethnographic observation, narrative interviews and written documents, such as asylum decisions. Homonationality and homonormativity are central concepts when analyzing asylum processes based on marginalized sexualities or genders. The asylum decisions are very concrete and extreme examples on inclusion and exclusion, the border of a nation state indicating the border of belonging.

I am interested in the discourses of homosexuality in asylum decisions, and to what extent the homonarratives of the decisions reflect homonormativity. My main interest lays in the narratives of belonging of LGBT+ refugees. I ask how they construct their place in the Finnish queer and LGBT+ communities and in the society in general; how inclusive they feel that these communities are, and what is the role of the colonialist white savior narrative in these communities. I have started the research project in Autumn 2018 in the University of Tampere. I haven’t started to collect data yet, thus I don’t have any outcomes to present, but I think that my research plan, theoretical background and multidisciplinarity would offer an important viewpoint to the workshop. Key words: LGBT+ refugees, feminist social work, identities, belonging, counter-speech, gender and sexual diversity, postcolonialism, homonormativity, homonationalism, citizenship, narrativity, ethnography.


Christopher Wessels, Kattis Honkanen (Åbo Akademi University), Katarina Jungar (University of Helsinki): How can Children’s literature be used as a catalyst for decanonization?

‘Decanonisation is de-erasure, that is the ability to make re-appear, re-write, re-articulate and re-phrase that which was erased, but not in relation or reaction to an existing canon, but in relation to topics, themes, subjects at stake. Decanonisation is a flux or flexibility of rank and files, a situation in which no one is in there to stay and is at any time interchangeable, depending on the social, political, economic and ethical issues at stake.’- Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (curator and exhibition maker) as part of the ‘Long Night of Ideas’, SAVVY Contemporary Berlin 2017.

Children’s literature we argue is instrumental and foundational in the (re)production of the logics of coloniality (Dorfman, 1972). By looking at the public debates that the racism of certain books have generated in Finland and Sweden one initially finds that central themes used by the ”defenders” of them are white innocence and white anger (Wekker, 2016). Clearly there is a connection between feelings of loss, anger and innocence to how nationalist narratives become effective in people’s minds. We will analyze the public debates concerning racism in Nordic Children’s books in order to point out the various affective attachments connected to nationalist sentiments that can be found in the way people argue. Importantly we will also use memory work in order to see what kind of violence or harm the existence of this kind of nationalist/racist children literature has on children. Our methodology here will be memory work (Haug, 1999) done by parents. To address the deeply flawed structural (re)production of the coloniality of narratives and by exploring decanonisation as a method we will look at Lewis Gordon’s (2016) concept of the teleological suspension of disciplinarity and how this relates to the curatorial, to teaching and to researching (reproductive functions) in the context of gender studies in the western academy.

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