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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

CURRENT  POSITION

Research Fellow at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (September 2016-July 2019); Docent in Gender Studies, University of Helsinki.

 

RESEARCH  INTERESTS  AND  ACTIVITIES

I am currently carrying out a three-year research project on vaccines as embodied technologies at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. My project examines the ways in which affective investments and intensities organize debates about vaccines in culture and society. Building on cultural studies, gender studies, and science and technology studies, I approach vaccines as technologies that not only reflect but also reshape material relations, cultural emotions and intersectional differences.

 

In 2012-2016, I worked as Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher. My project interrogated how population genetics has refashioned belonging since the 1980s. While the project focuses on national narration, it also explores competing forms of belonging such as ethnic, regional or personal belonging. The project starts with the premise that technological and theoretical developments in population genetics have challenged the concepts of history/prehistory and global/local on which narratives of national, ethnic or regional belonging are usually predicated. I ask how narratives of national or communal beloning negotiate these changes, and how the mutually embedded histories of race, gender, and sexuality shape the forms of belonging that have emerged with population genetics. My new book Population Genetics and Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan 2017) explores these questions.

 

My first monograph, Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction in Evolutionary Narratives was published by Routledge in May 2013. The book examines the current popularity of evolutionary psychological explanations of gender and sexuality by analyzing their commitments to and revisions of the Darwinian narrative tradition. Through a range of popular, literary and scientific texts, the book identifies instabilities and inconsistencies in current evolutionary discourse, opening evolution up for feminist and queer revision.

 

I have also edited (with Sari Irni and Mianna Meskus) a book on gender and technoscience, Muokattu elämä (Moulded Life), published by the Finnish academic press Vastapaino in 2014.

 

CURRENT  TEACHING  AND  SUPERVISION

I supervise MA and PhD theses in feminist science and technology studies and feminist cultural studies.

 

STEERING  COMMITTEE  MEMBER  IN  ACADEMIC  ORGANIZATIONS

  • Member of the Steering Committee, Nordic Network for Gender, Body, Health
  • Member of the Steering Committee, Gender Studies Master's Program, University of Helsinki 

Twitter: @venla_oikkonen

 

Keywords

  • 616 Other humanities
  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • 5200 Other social sciences
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • 518 Media and communications
  • popular science
  • science communication
  • 6122 Literature studies
  • feminist literary theory
  • feminist narrative theory
  • science and literature

Publications 2007 2017

Affect, Technoscience and Textual Analysis: Interrogating the Affective Dynamics of the Zika Epidemic through Media Texts

Oikkonen, V., 6 Aug 2017, In : Social Studies of Science. 47, 5, p. 681-702 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Population Genetics and Belonging: A Cultural Analysis of Genetic Ancestry

Oikkonen, V., 2017, Palgrave Macmillan. 240 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

The Politics of Becoming Different: Rethinking Evolution through Population Genetics

Oikkonen, V. M., Aug 2015, In : Feminist Theory. 16, 2, p. 189-206 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Mitochondrial Eve and the Affective Politics of Human Ancestry

Oikkonen, V., Mar 2015, In : Signs. 40, 3, p. 747-772 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Projects 2007 2015

Gender Studies Research Community

Elomäki, A., Al-Sharmani, M., Dahlgren, S., Engelberg, M., Haritaworn, J., Holli, A., Honkasalo, J., Hoppania, H., Ihrche-Åberg, I., Jokila, H., Kalha, H., Kantola, J., Kinnarinen, K., Kornak, J., Korsisaari, E. M., Koskinen, T., Kuosmanen, P. K., Kupari, H., Leclin, J., Moisala, P., Moring, A., Muravyeva, M., Niemi, J., Norocel, O. C., Nousiainen, K., Oikkonen, V., Oroza, S., Paasonen, S., Pakkanen, J., Palin, T., Patosalmi, M., Paunu, H., Pulkkinen, T., Raevaara, E., Ratinen, S., Repo, J., Roman-Lagerspetz, S., Rossi, L., Rundgren, H., Ruuskanen, M., Saari, M., Saarikangas, K., Salmesvuori, P., Saresma, T. A. M., Sorainen, A., Soronen, A., Svanström, M. E., Tsokkinen-Männistö, A., Tuomaala, S., Tuomi, L. M., Uimonen, M., Urponen, M., Urrio, E., Utriainen, T., Weide, M., Werner, L., Vuola, E., Vänskä, A. & Xu-Susiluoto, Q.

01/03/2011 → …

Project: Research Evaluation 2011

Representing and Sensing Nature, Landscape and Gender

Korsisaari, E. M., Saarikangas, K., Johansson, H., Oikkonen, V., Lintonen, K. & Mäkinen, K.

01/09/200931/08/2011

Project: Research project

Representing and Sensing Nature, Landscape and Gender

Saarikangas, K., Oikkonen, V., Mäkinen, K. & Lintonen, K.

Academy of Finland

01/01/200731/12/2011

Project: Research project

Activities 2005 2018

Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2017, Boston

Mianna Meskus (Speaker: Chair), Venla Mataleena Oikkonen (Speaker: Chair)
30 Aug 20172 Sep 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2017, Boston

Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter)
30 Aug 20172 Sep 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Making Genetic Ancestry: Population Genetics and Belonging

Venla Oikkonen (Invited speaker)
4 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Cold Storage: Time, Temperature, and Transit in Feminist Science and Technology Studies

Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter)
4 May 20185 May 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

4S & EASST joint conference 2016

Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter)
31 Aug 20163 Sep 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Press / Media

Interview for a newspaper article on evolutionary psychology

Venla Oikkonen

19/09/2014

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Asiantuntijahaastattelu: "Naisnyrkkeily koetaan uhkaavana"

Venla Oikkonen

02/04/2012

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Asiantuntijahaastattelu

Venla Oikkonen

01/06/2009

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media