Overview

Research areas

Curriculum vitae

 

I am currently Academy of Finland Research Fellow (2012-2017) in the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies at the University of Helsinki. I am spending this academic year (2013-14) as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research (USA).

 

I have previously worked as a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dundee, UK (2007-2011) and as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at New School for Social Research, USA (2006-2007).

 

Areas of specialization

Social and Political Philosophy, Foucault, Feminist Philosophy, Phenomenology, 20th Century European Philosophy

 

Research

My first major monograph was a scholarly explication of Foucault’s conception of freedom, Foucault on Freedom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). The book charted new ground in Foucault studies by showing that in order to appreciate Foucault’s project fully we must understand his complex relationship to phenomenology. It also discussed Foucault’s treatment of the body in relation to the feminist work on the topic and made new openings in feminist phenomenology. The book has been reviewed in professional journals, discussed in book panels (SPEP 2006, British Society for Phenomenology 2010) and cited widely.

 

My second monograph was an introductory book written for a wide academic audience, How to Read Foucault (London: Granta Books, 2007). A recent review in Foucault Studies (no. 8, Feb 2010, by Trent Hamann) rates it as the best introduction to Foucault currently available. The publishing rights of the book have so far been sold to USA, South-Korea, Japan and Brazil.

 

My third monograph Foucault, Politics, and Violence (Northwestern University Press, 2012) develops an original philosophical position by outlining a distinctive conception of the political and its relationship to violence. The approach allows us to understand the forms of violence that characterize our current political landscape: the violence of 20th century totalitarianism, the relationship between violence and the law in the post-2001 world, gendered violence, state violence and its relationship to neoliberalism, and the significance of terrorism for our contemporary understanding of politics. In addition to Foucault’s thought, I also critically assess the work of several other prominent philosophers advocating an agonistic conception of politics such as Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt, Chantal Mouffe, Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek.

 

My most recent book Political Philosophy: All That Matters (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2013) is a compact guide to the key issues of political philosophy.  Rather than attempting to provide definite answers, the book invites readers to recognize many of the issues encountered in everyday life as political, the outcome of human practices that incorporate power relations, social norms and obligations. I suggest that political philosophy should be understood as an open-ended, critical project that concerns everyone. The book employs an original structure: each chapter focuses on selected classic texts in political philosophy, which are briefly introduced and analysed. The texts then function as a springboard for a discussion of central contemporary issues in political philosophy.

 

A feminist approach to philosophy has been a consistent theme in my work: all my books contain at least one chapter that deals explicitly with questions of feminist philosophy. I have also published several articles on feminist philosophy in academic journals such as Hypatia, Continental Philosophy Review, Radical Philosophy, The Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology and Feminist Theory Journal. I am currently working on a monograph on feminist philosophy.

 

Professional Activity

I am a member of the following Evaluation and Editorial Boards:

  • Peer Review College, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK.
  • Scientific Committee of the Journal Materiali foucaultiani
  • Executive Board, Society for European Philosophy
  • Editorial Board of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
  • Editorial Board of Foucault Studies
  • Advisory Board for the Finnish Doctoral School in Gender Studies

Highlighted publications

  1. Political Philosophy: All That Matters

    Oksala, J. 2013 Hodder and Stoughton. 149 p. (All That Matters)

    Publication: Book/anthologyC1 Published scientific monograph

  2. Foucault, Politics, and Violence

    Oksala, J. 2012 Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. 189 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyC1 Published scientific monograph

  3. How to Read Foucault

    Oksala, J. 2007 London: Granta Books. 116 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyC1 Published scientific monograph

  4. Foucault on Freedom

    Oksala, J. 2005 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Modern European philosophy)

    Publication: Book/anthologyC1 Published scientific monograph

View all (40) »

Highlighted activities

  1. Lived Experience: A Conversation between Johanna Oksala and Cressida Heyes. Bios: Feminist Philosophies of Life. PhiloSOPHIA, 7th Annual Meeting.

    Johanna Oksala (Speaker: Keynote), 02.05.201305.05.2013

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsPublic Talks

  2. Invited speaker. "In Defense of Experience", Feminist Research Speaker Series, 2012 Annual Public Lecture, The Women Studies Program, University of Alberta, Canada.

    Johanna Oksala (Speaker: Presenter), 22.03.2012

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. Invited speaker. "A Politics of Truth”, Roundtable on Michel Foucault with Frederic Gros, DePaul University, Chicago, USA.

    Johanna Oksala (Speaker: Presenter), 18.10.2011

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  4. Keynote address. "Neoliberal Bodies and Feminist Subjects”, Bodies in Movement: Intersecting Discourses of Materiality in Sciences and Art. University of Edinburgh, UK.

    Johanna Oksala (Speaker: Keynote), 28.05.201129.05.2011

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  5. Invited speaker. "The Neoliberal Subject of Feminism”, The British Society for Phenomenology. St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.

    Johanna Oksala (Speaker: Presenter), 15.04.201117.04.2011

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  6. Plenary speaker. “What is Political Philosophy?” The Government of Self and Others: On Foucault’s Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–3. Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University.

    Johanna Oksala (Speaker: Keynote), 02.12.2010

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

View all (54) »