Courses in English

These courses are in English Autumn  2023:

Introduction to Gender Studies
Teacher Eira Juntti
(new course;  will open  4.9.2023, can be done anytime)

A general introduction to gender studies, focusing on the social sciences.   By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the basic concepts used in gender studies, know the main theories on gender in the social sciences, and understand how gender is part of different social structures.  This course is designed to be done independently by students.  Organised by the Finnish Network for Gender Studies HILMA.

Hilary M. Lips, Gender: The Basics, 2nd ed., Routledge 2019.  More information, instructions and link to coursematerial here later!

 25.9.- 17.11.2023 Gender, body, water
Anastasia Khodureva

When differently marginalised – human and non-human – bodies face new struggles of survival in the rapidly liquifying world, the course urgently invites to interconnect critical tools of gender studies and feminist “blue” humanities to challenge the dominant Western metaphysical tradition and crystallise more just & liveable futurities.

Following Astrida Neimanis’s urgent hydrofeminist invitation to think of ourselves and other (human and non-human) bodies as interconnected by water (2012; 2017), we will think of what might becoming a body of water offer to feminism, its theories and practices. How may insights of gender studies and feminist “blue” humanities productively mingle at the theoretical, conceptual, methodological, affective and activist levels?

Furthermore, how may feminist academic research ally with arts to care for bodies of and in water?   We will mobilise gender both as a subject matter and a methodological tool for attending to power structures, and various interlocked forms of gender essentialisms and environmental – specifically, water-related – injustice. We will trace histories and material effects of body/mind & nature/culture dichotomies and reimagine ways of social differentiation towards more liveable futurities for human and non-human bodies. Starting from classic feminist text and working through a range of decolonial, queer, anti-racist, Indigenous and other accounts, the course traces the critical work bodies of water and various aqueous processes (liquidity, dissolution, crystallisation) have been always doing in feminist theory. What forms of this critical work must be urgently amplified?

The course is interdisciplinary and is open to participants with previous experience/interest in gender studies, environmental humanities, ecology, history, sociology, anthropology, political science, cultural studies and arts. The course particularly welcomes participants interested in the interdisciplinarity of learning & knowledge production. Participants based at art academies and those undertaking their degrees in gender studies, environmental and other critical humanities are equally welcome.

On completion of the course, participants will:  freely orient in a body of critical interdisciplinary work which productively connects matters of gender studies, feminist “blue”/hydrofeminist humanities and arts;   build a core “library” according to their individual interests;   be able to locate key concepts and arguments in the course readings and support/challenge them by means of the feminist theories discussed during the course and well as be trained to meaningfully and ethically re-contextualise these concepts for reflections on cases of participants’ choice;   be trained to notice linkages between different forms of injustice and initiate an interdisciplinary discussion using the key concepts of hydrofeminism and of other feminist theories discussed during the course – all topical in current feminist, queer, decolonial, anti-racist, and otherwise justice-seeking debates and acitivisms;   be able to build their own conceptual apparatus to critical address the course themes and cases of participants’ choice;   will practice writing through/with concepts/figurations as methods of feminist inquiry.

The course consists of 8 lectures, readings (approximately 25 pages/session), discussions and 3 short interconnected written assignments (5 ECTS) which – alongside active participation – lead to successful completion of the course.  The methods include lecturing (in a conventional form that will include artists’ talks and in a podcast mode), discussions (in smaller and bigger groups, in accordance with participants’ bodily capacities), group close-readings. We will pay specific attention to writing as a crucial method of feminist inquiry and will train to write through multisensorial exercises, creative writing exercises.

Participants will be instructed on the basics of writing an academic paper during the first session. There is a time slot reserved for small writing exercises during each session. Continuous feedback on the progress will be offered.   Since the course is a feminist space, participants are specifically encouraged to reflect on the non-innocence of any knowledge production and continuously reflect on their positioning in relation to discussed matters.   We will refresh he basics of writing an academic paper during the first session. There is a time slot reserved for small writing exercises during each session.   Since the course is a feminist space, participants are specifically encouraged to reflect on the non-innocence of any knowledge production and continuously reflect on their positioning in relation to discussed matters.

Course materials include research articles/book chapters and audio/visual materials (podcasts, video lectures, art pieces). All materials will be shared with students prior to the course via Moodle platform. Here s the list of compulsory and complementary readings divided session by session):   Astrida Neimanis. “Hydrofeminism: or, on becoming a body of water.” In Undutiful Daughters: New Directions in Feminist Thought and Practice, eds. Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni and Fanny Söderbäck, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.  Anastasia (A) Khodyreva & Elina Suoyrjö. “Ajattelua veden kanssa”. In niin&näin 1/21.  Astrida Neimanis. “Feminist Subjectivity, Watered.” In Feminist Review, no. 103, 2013, pp. 23–41.  /  Trinh T. Minh-ha. Women. Native. Other. Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (exempts). Indiana University Press, 1989.  Luce Irigaray. Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche (exempts). Translated by Gillian C. Gill, Columbia University Press, 1991.  /  Eva Hayward. “More Lessons from a Starfish.” : Prefixial Flesh and Transpeciated Selves”. In Women’s Studies Quarterly, 2008.  Eva Hayward and Jami Weinstein. ”Introduction: Tranimalities in the Age of Trans* Life10”. In TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. 2, 2015, pp. 195-208.  Eliza Steinbock. Shimmering Images: Trans Cinema, Embodiment, and the Aesthetics of Change, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2019.  /  Himali Singh Soin. “the suffix -ice, describing the state of.” In Oceans Rising. A Companion to Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation. Eds. Daniela Zyman, Sternberg Press, 2021.  Tavi Maraud. “Iridescence, Intimacies.” In E-flux #61, 2015.  /  Christina Sharpe. In the wake. On Blackness and Being. Durham and London, 2016, pp. 1-25.  S. Ayesha Hameed. “Black Atlantis: three songs.” In Architecture Forensic (ed), Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2014, pp. 712–719.  Tiffany Lethabo King. The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies. Duke University Press, 2019.  /  Britt Kramvig. “The Voice of the Sámi Seascape.” In Oceans Rising. A Companion to Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation. Eds. Daniela Zyman, Sternberg Press, 2021;  Jane Rose Smith, “Racialization and Resistance In the Ice Geographies of the Arctic and Colonized Alaska. The Funambulist Magazine, 2022.   Smith, J. R. (2021). “Exceeding Beringia”: Upending universal human events and wayward transits in Arctic spaces. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 39(1), 158-175.   /  adrienne maree brown, ‘the river.’ In Octavia’s Brood. Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, eds. adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha, 2015.  Karin Amimoto Ingersoll. Waves of Knowing. A Seascape Epistemology (exempts). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016.  /  Elspeth Probyn. Eating The Ocean (exempts). Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016.  Nancy Tuana. “Viscous porosity: Witnessing Katrina.” In Material feminisms, eds. S. Alaimo & S. J. Hekman, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, pp.323-333;  Stacey Alaimo, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self. Indiana University Press, 2010.  Melody Jue, Wild Blue Media. Thinking Through Seawater (exempts), Duke University Press, 2020.  Selected artworks and curatorial projects   Hannah Rowan, Anatomy of Ice, 2019.   Satu Herrala’s  curatorial project Aistit / coming to our senses, 2021 – 2022   Matterlurgy, Field Casting, 2023.

Apply here: 28.8 – 15.9.2023



2.10 – 26.11. 2023 The feminist revolution in Iran
Teacher(s):  Laya Gera  (& Olga Cielemecka)

On September 16, 2022, Mahsa (Jina) Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman died after being beaten in police custody after having been arrested by the so-called morality police in Tehran three days earlier for the incorrect wearing of her hijab. Mahsa’s death sparked protests all over the country. Iran has a history of revolutions, protests and discontent but these protests are notably organised and led by women. The popular slogan of the people is “woman, life, freedom.” For decades, Iranian women have been harassed, day in and day out, by the “morality police”, arrested, and, in some instances, tortured for not adhering to the country’s strict Islamic dress code. The control of women’s bodies has been fundamental to the Islamic Republic regime. But now we are witnessing an ongoing feminist revolution, in which Mahsa Jina Amini’s tragic death will be forever remembered as its spark.

This course looks into the history of veil and Hijab law in Iran and its transformation from the religion symbol to a political symbol of a country. We discuss the historical roots of hijab and hijab in modern culture of Iran. We use critical tools and theories to discuss Iran’s revolution and feminism by looking at women’s struggle in a male-defined country.  The course introduces essential readings on the cultural and religious aspects of the veil and political ideologies of the Iranian regime by forcing hijab for women. The course offers a space to discuss women’s rights in Iran and how hijab law affects the whole country and started the big feminist revolution.

Learning outcomes: On completion of the course, students should be able to distinguish between enforced hijab laws and a voluntary decision to wear. They will understand the fundamental concepts like: hijabو veil, patriarchy, different forms of discrimination and feminism in islamic societies. They also will have a deep perception of systematic and violent gender apartheid, which is based on a system of religious dictatorship.  They will identify some concepts such as ”feminism in Islam” and also ”Islamic culture and women freedom” and will apply this knowledge to help women and feminist movements around the world.

Working method of the course is an online course and it consists of lectures, discussions and presentations. Each class starts with the lecture on a subject which is given to the students the session before and continues with reading the materials and discussions. The course is  based on a series of reading seminars and discussions. I also will ask students for writing assignments, group projects and their presentation.  Course materials include academic articles, book chapters, videos (short films, clips), visual and audio materials and articles.

For this course we will use some up-to-date articles on the ongoing women’s revolution in Iran in 2022 and also these books listed below:  The wind in my hair : my fight for freedom in modern Iran / Masih Alinejad: 2018  Until we are free : my fight for human rights in Iran / Shirin Ebadi: 2016  Girl with a gun : love, loss and the fight for freedom in Iran / Diana Nammi and Karen Attwood : 2020  Women, Power and Politics in 21st Century Iran Povey, Tara; Rostami-Povey, Elaheh; Rostami-Povey, Elaheh 2012  and some articles such as :   Avoiding the ”F” word: feminist geography in Iran; Bagheri, Nazgol   The politics of the erotic: pious women’s emotional experiences in Hizbollah cultural institutes and the surprises of the anti-feminist movement in post-2009 Iran.

Apply here 4.9.-22.9.2023


Course program Spring 2023



Managing Diversity and Inclusion (5 op); 27.2.-19.4.2023
Saija Katila (co-operation with Aalto University)
Level: Advanced/Master

Course description and learning outcomes: the course provides an overview of managing diversity (DM) and inclusion in organizations and labour market in general. The course discusses how DM and inclusion can be promoted and what kind of tools and practices organizations have in their use. The course critically assesses the benefits and pitfalls of diversity management and inclusion efforts of organizations by interrogating how cultural assumptions concerning gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality etc., are reproduced in organizations in the level of interaction, practices and culture. Throughout the course possibilities for change are explored by considering forms of interventions for changing exclusionary practices in organizations.

Learning objectives
The student
• can recognize and argue for the importance of gender, diversity, and inclusion at work.
• understands the difference between conceptualizing ‘gender/diversity as a category’ and ‘gender/diversity as doing’ (= the way we assign and assume gendered/racialized/classed meanings in our activities).
• understands the difference between diversity management and inclusion in their current use and knows the benefits and pitfalls of diversity management and the basic tools used in DM practices.
• can analyze and critically evaluate how gender and diversity are done at the level of interaction, organizational practices, and society and how such doings can be read from visual and textual media.
• can reflect how one does gender and difference and how that may contribute to inequality and reproduction of privilege.
• can identify and develop interventions and practices that promote equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Working methods of the course: Interactive lectures face-to-face + pre-recordings

Assingments and assessment
1. Watching the online videos before class & Listening to and communicating respectfully with students of diverse backgrounds and perspectives (pass/fail)
2. Online assignments on course readings (30 % of course grade)
3. Group work presentation (10 % of course grade)
4. Group work report (20 % of course grade)
5. Exam (30 % of course grade), 1. Exam (no need to register) 2. Exam (Registration needed)


Decolonial and Intersectional Feminism (5 ECTS); 14.3 – 27.4.2023
Zeinab Karimi, Fairuz Muthana and Johanna Hiitola (co-operation with University of Oulu)

Upon completion of the course, students will understand decolonial and BIPOC feminist scholarship including black feminism(s), womanism, Islamic feminism, SWANA (South West Asian and North African) feminist movements, African feminism(s), indigenous issues in feminist research and discussions about HLBTQI+ in postcolonial and BIPOC feminisms. The various views will be presented by several guest lecturers. Students will also learn to critically analyse Western feminism and reflect on normative whiteness as well as engage with antiracist pedagogies.

The course consists of lectures via zoom according to the following schedule. The course has a weekly readings requirement (2 articles – one for each theme) and the lectures will include small group discussions. A reflection paper will be submitted weekly and the weekly papers will be combined as the final assignment for the course.

2023 lectures are held starting 14th of March, on Tuesdays and Thursdays 16.15-17:45, via zoom (please note that attendance is required and the lectures will not be recorded)

14.3; 16.3; 21.3; 23.3; 28.3; 30.3; 11.4; 13.4; 18.4; 20.4; 25.4; 27.4

Guest lecturers include: Mulki Al-Sharmani, Javiera Marchant Aedo, Maryam Adjam, Faith Mkwesha, Anaïs Duong-Pedica, And Pasley, Homa Hoodfar and others.


White Women, white feminism  (5 op) 
27.03. 2023 – 19.05.2023
Anaïs Duong-Pedica; MA, Åbo Akademi;

Course description: This course aims to highlight the role that white women and white feminism play in historical and contemporary forms of racism and colonialism. It will examine the intersections of gender, race and class among other axes of oppression and privilege. In gendering whiteness, the course seeks to shed light on the ways in which white women, as a social group, can be both oppressors and oppressed, especially in the way that they uphold systems of oppression that they benefit from due to their whiteness and westernness. During the course we explore some of the critiques of white feminism and feminists formulated by Black, women of colour, Third World, Indigenous, and postcolonial feminists and women.

Learning outcomes : The course is organized so that students are oriented towards: 1/ Familiarizing themselves with the concepts of whiteness, colonialism and race and how they intersect with gender and sexuality; 2/ Problematizing and challenging dominant forms of feminisms, notably by being able to identify and recognise the workings of white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy; 3/ Cultivating their critical thinking and writing skills; 4/ Practicing their critical reading and listening skills;  5/ Familiarizing themselves and centering women of colour, Black, Indigenous, postcolonial feminist voices, scholarship and politics.

Materials: The course consists of 11 online lectures as well as forum discussions (written discussions) – discussions take place in smaller groups and are then fed back to the larger group. The students can attend lectures in real time or listen later once they are posted online. Students are expected to read ahead of class and are given a set of questions to guide their reading. Assessment is based on the collective submission of a research plan (mid-course) and final project (end of course). Both can take the form of an essay, podcast, video or other as long as it contains a bibliography. Students will receive peer feedback as well as lecturer feedback.

Course level: Previous studies in Gender Studies are preferable; Postgraduate or end of BA
The course requires active weekly participation and engagement with material