Courses in English

These courses are in English Autumn  2023:

Introduction to Gender Studies; independent study!
Studymaterial by Eira Juntti
Our new course; open now!

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.  .

Material: Hilary M. Lips, Gender: The Basics, 2nd ed., Routledge 2019.  As e-book in university libraries.  Also other texts and videos.

Access the course at:

Click on Log In
University of Helsinki Students: use your University of Helsinki account.
All others: Access Moodle by using the HAKA Account. Click on it. On the next page, choose your university from the drop-down list and proceed.
Find the course: Introduction to Gender Studies HILMA Independent Study
Enroll yourself to the course by using the Enrolment Key: intro2023

Welcome to join!



Feminist research methods/ feminist knowing – Independent Study.
We  have  just opened this course  2.10.2023.  Welcome!
Teachers Joa Hiitola,  Anna Rönkä & Piia Lavila & many others!
Co-operation with University of Oulu

Link to moodle:
and course enrollment key ’Femknow23’. All instructions will be found there!




 25.9.- 17.11.2023 Gender, body, water
Teacher: Anastasia Khodureva

Lectures via zoom, Wednesdays at 2-4 pm; starting 27.9.2023

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. We will also have a guest lecturer,   amazing hydrofeminist scholar, editor, curator, and artist – Angeliki Tzortzakaki –  who will  co-facilitate one of the sessions in a form of a workshop (1.11.23 most likely). This webinar will be open also for other students and wider audience.

Apply here: 28.8 – 15.9.2023



10.10 – 26.11. 2023 The feminist revolution in Iran
Teacher:  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