• PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38)



1983 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I am currently working as Professor of Gender Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (2008 - ). During 2011-2015 I acted as Academy Professor of the Academy of Finland, leading the academy professor project Philosophy and Politics in Feminist Theory. Previously I have worked for five years as professor of Gender Studies at the University of Jyväskylä where I also had a permanent position as a professor of Political Theory. 

For the past fifteen years I have been actively leading cross-generational research teams: I was a vice leader of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Political Thought and Conceptual Change(2006-2011), and presently I work together with early career scholars as the Politics of Philosophy and Gender(PPhiG) team within which we explore various topics of feminist thought, always with a political accent.

My areas of specialization include

* feminist theory and philosophy

* political thought

* history of concepts

I am a multidisciplinary scholar, originally trained in the areas of philosophy, history, and politics, with feminist and queer interests. I started as a scholar of Hegel and of political theory (Valtio ja vapaus [The State and Freedom/Liberty], 1989), and have since studied closely many other thinkers and texts, among them Jean-Francois Lyotard, Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler and Jacques Derrida. In my early career I worked on the icon of Finnish 19thcentury nationalist thought, Hegelian philosopher J.V. Snellman. Since that time I have been interested in the patterns of political thought and democratic theory. I have also studied the history of political concepts, such as the concept valtio(the State) in Finnish. 

In Finland I was among those with early interest in the 20thcentury French philosophy (Derrida, Foucault), and keen on developing postmodern anti-foundational thought. I was internationally among the first to take serious interest in Judith Butler’s work; I published on this work in the early 1990s, and later also co-translated her Gender Troubleinto Finnish. 

My current research continues and develops the work conducted in my academy professor project Philosophy and Politics in Feminist Theory(2011-2015) concentrating on contemporary feminist theory. In my work I study the main figures of current feminist theory, such as Luce Irigaray, Elizabeth Grosz, Judith Butler, Rosi Braidotti, and Adriana Cavarero with an approach that I call ‘politics of philosophy’. I pay attention to the scholars’ attachments to different philosophical traditions, the ensuing conceptual conflicts, and how these conflicts are textually played out. I have also kept my long term interests in German Idealism and having earlier co-edited a volume Hegel’s Philosophy and Feminist Thought with Kimberly Hutchings (2010), I recently  edited the Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism and Feminist thought with Susanne Lettow (2023).

I strongly value international contacts in my area of study. In the early 1990s I spent four years at the University of Santa Cruz California working on my The Postmodern and Political Agency (1996). I then worked for a year at the philosophy department at University of Greifswald, Germany in 1998-1999, visited Minnesota AFS in 2002, and spent two years 2007-2009 at the University of Manchester, CRESC. I also visited in 2012 for half a year University of Paris 8 Gender Studies. I am regularly invited to give presentations abroad, and I entertain close connections to many institutions, including Paris 8 (Gender Studies), University of London Birkbeck College (BIGS), and to Kingston University (CREPH). 

I have concluded supervision of 17 doctoral students in multiple different disciplines and universities, and I currently advice five doctoral students in Helsinki. I was the director of the national Doctoral Programme of Gender Studies (2012-2015), and I am the founding director of the Doctoral programme in Gender, Culture and Society (SKY) within the University of Helsinki. (2014 - ). Directing and further developing SKY is currently among my main interests, and in conjunction with SKY I have also, now already for over ten years run a regular Advanced Research seminar of high level visiting speakers, the Christina Research Seminar.  

I am the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Redescriptions – Political Thought, Conceptual Change and Feminist Theory, which started in Finland in the 1990s, steadily gained in international weight, and moved through a number of international publishes. In 2019 Redescriptions made a bold move to become a completely open access journal with the new publisher, Helsinki University Press (HUP).  With its unique profile this journal is close to my heart and I currently devote time to develop it further as such.   

I was a board member of International Association of Women in Philosophy (IAPh) in 2010-2018, and the president of the Finnish Gender Studies Association (SUNS) in 2010-2017. I am also a member of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters since 2011, and Officier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques since 2016.

External positions

The title of docent in Practical Philosophy and Political History, University of Turku

28 May 2002 → …

The title of docent in Political Science and Women Studies, University of Jyväskylä

1 May 2002 → …

Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities
  • Gender Studies
  • Feminist Theory
  • 611 Philosophy
  • 5171 Political Science
  • Political Theory
  • Democracy
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • History of Ideas
  • History of Concepts

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.