Venla Oikkonen

Person

Research areas

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; Visiting Researcher, Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Lancaster University, UK.

 

Research interests and activities

I have just begun 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 cultral 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 inform the forms of belonging that have emerged with population genetics. Based on this research, I'm currently finsihing my second international monograph tentatively titled Ambiguous Ties: Population Genetics and Belonging.

 

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 in Finnish society, Muokattu elämä (Molded Life), published by the Finnish academic press Vastapaino in 2014.

 

Articles in progress and under review

  • "Temporality and Belonging as Interdisciplinary Objects: Strategic Encounters between Queer Theory and Population Genetic  Technologies" (under review)
  • "Population Genetics, National Imaginaries, and the Making of European Genes: The Case of Ötzi the Iceman" (work in progress)
  • "STS, Affect, and the Zika Epidemic" (work in progress)

 

Current teaching and supervision

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

 

Membership in steering committees within 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 

 

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Curriculum Vitae

Highlighted publications

  1. 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.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  2. Mitochondrial Eve and the Affective Politics of Human Ancestry

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

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  3. Kennewick Man and the Evolutionary Origins of the Nation

    Oikkonen, V. Feb 2014 In : Journal of American Studies. 48, 1, p. 275-290 16 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  4. Muokattu elämä: Teknotiede, sukupuoli ja materiaalisuus

    Meskus, M. (ed.), Oikkonen, V. (ed.) & Irni, S. (ed.) 12 Feb 2014 Vastapaino. 459 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyC2 Edited book, compilation, conference proceeding or special issue of journal

  5. Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction in Evolutionary Narratives

    Oikkonen, V. 27 May 2013 London & New York: Routledge. 182 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyC1 Published scientific monograph

  6. Narrative Analysis as a Feminist Method: The Case of Genetic Ancestry Tests

    Oikkonen, V. Aug 2013 In : European Journal of Women's Studies. 20, 3, p. 295-308 14 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  7. Competing Truths: Epistemic Authority in Popular Science Books on Human Sexuality

    Oikkonen, V. 2013 In : European Journal of English Studies. 17, 3, p. 283-294

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  8. Mutations of Romance: Evolution, Infidelity, and Narrative

    Oikkonen, V. M. Sep 2010 In : Modern Fiction Studies. 56, 3, p. 592-613 22 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  9. Narrating Descent: Popular Science, Evolutionary Theory and Gender Politics

    Oikkonen, V. 2009 In : Science as Culture. 18, 1, p. 1-21 21 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

View all (16) »

Highlighted activities

  1. 4S & EASST joint conference 2016

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

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

  2. International Symposium Nation/Boundaries/Place: Reappraising the Global Sphere

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 2 Jun 20163 Jun 2016

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

  3. The 2015 Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship

    Venla Oikkonen (Recipient), Awarded by The University of Chicago Press, Mar 2015

    Activity: Prizes and awards

  4. Rethinking Race and Sexuality: Feminist Conversations, Contestations, and Coalitions

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 17 Apr 201319 Apr 2013

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

  5. Migration, Memory and Place

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 5 Dec 20127 Dec 2012

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

  6. Genomics in Society: Facts, Fictions and Cultures

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 23 Apr 201224 Apr 2012

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

  7. Memory, Mediation, Remediation: An International Conference on Memory in Literature and Film

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 28 Apr 201130 Apr 2011

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

  8. Beyond Citizenship: Feminism and the Transformation of Belonging

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 30 Jun 20102 Jul 2010

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

  9. 7th European Feminist Research Conference

    Venla Oikkonen (Speaker: Presenter), 4 Jun 20097 Jun 2009

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

View all (59) »

Education

PhD, docent

ID: 62103