Photo of Vilja Alanko
  • PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)

    00014

    Finland

20132022
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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Vilja Alanko is a doctoral student at the faculty of theology and in the multidisciplinary doctoral programme Gender, Culture and Society for which she also has served as a board member. In relation to her doctoral studies, she is participating in the Nordic Network for the Study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as the international network Feminist Readings. Alanko is employed in the academy project Lived Scriptures, and previously she has been employed in the academy project Embodied Religion and affiliated as a member in the CoE in Reason and Religious Recognition

Alanko's research project, titled 'Stories of Feminine Becoming: Mothers and Daughters in Early Christian Hagiography', examines the relationships of mothers and daughters in three early Christian hagiographies from second through seventh centuries – the Acts of (Paul and) Thecla, the Life of Macrina, and the Life of Mary of Egypt. These selected accounts provide three different representations of a holy woman, while they all both include elements of gender ambivalence and manifest a strong sense of agency attributed to their protagonists. On this reading, the presence of mothers and daughters in hagiographical narratives, regardless of whether their bond is biological, adoptive, or divine, is the starting point for the analysis feminine subjectification and relationality.

Theoretically, this study builds on Luce Irigaray’s thought that emphasizes the significance of feminine genealogies and especially maternal relations for feminine subjectivity. Alanko's work thus further joins the study of early Christian asceticism and its impact on notions of gender and sexuality.

Fields of Science

  • 614 Theology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2015 2019

Näkökulmia sukupuolen, uskonnon ja historian risteyksestä

Alanko, V. L. I. & Hakala, A-R., 31 Jan 2019, Sukupuoli Raamatun maailmassa. Asikainen, S. & Uusimäki, E. (eds.). 1 ed. Helsinki: Suomen eksegeettinen seura, p. 19-31 13 p. (Suomen eksegeettisen seuran julkaisuja; no. 117).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Serving as a PhD representative in a Doctoral Programme

Alanko, V. & Salminen, J., 9 Oct 2019, Helsingin Yliopiston Väitöskirjatutkijat (HYVÄT).

Research output: Other contribution

Sukupuolistunut väkivalta varhaiskristillisessä aktakirjallisuudessa

Alanko, V. L. I., 31 Jan 2019, Sukupuoli Raamatun maailmassa. Elisa, U. & Asikainen, S. (eds.). Helsinki: Suomen eksegeettinen seura, p. 221-236 16 p. (Suomen eksegeettisen seuran julkaisuja; no. 117).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Projects 2013 2022

Activities 2014 2020

Queer Theology: Gender and Sexuality as Historical Problems - SKY PhD Course, University of Helsinki

Antu Sorainen (Speaker: Opponent/discussant), Martti Nissinen (Chair of organizing committee), Ken Stone (Speaker: Opponent/discussant), Vilja Alanko (Speaker: Presenter), Moona Kinnunen (Speaker: Presenter)
23 Mar 202024 Mar 2020

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

European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Conference

Vilja Alanko (Speaker: Chair)
11 Aug 201914 Aug 2019

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

Mothers and daughters in early christian hagiography: Mary of Egypt

Vilja Alanko (Speaker)
11 Nov 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Lived Scriptures: Mothers and daughters in early Christian hagiography

Vilja Alanko (Speaker)
25 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

On Recognition of the Non-human - a seminar with Virginia Burrus

Outi Lehtipuu (Member of organizing committee), Vilja Alanko (Member of organizing committee)
16 May 2019

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

Press / Media

Tekla - Paavalin käännyttämä marttyyri ja ristiinpukeutunut opettaja

Vilja Alanko

28/11/2019

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media