Kata Kyrölä

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My research has long focused on questions of embodiment, gender, race and sexuality in popular culture, with a particular emphasis on feminist fat studies, queer theory, body image and the media, affect theory, porn studies, and indigenous, postcolonial and Black feminisms. My recent publications have focused on the concept of vulnerability in feminist, queer and anti-racist theorizations, trigger warning debates, so-called body positive imagery, porn spectatorship, the materiality and immateriality of embodiment, and the racialization of mediated feelings and exceptional bodies. Currently, I am launching a new research project called Queering Nordic Indigeneity: Media, Nature, Sexuality which maps out and "queers" contemporary popular cultural imagery and debates about Sámi people and Sápmi environment in the Nordic countries from a queer indigenous studies and posthumanist perspective. One key aim of the project is also to explore the ethical and epistemological terms and limitations of conducting such research from the "outside" as a non-indigenous scholar. The research project is conducted with the support of Kone Foundation January 2019-December 2021. I am a Docent in Media Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Turku, where I also received my doctoral in 2010. During 2016–2017, I was the co-editor-in-chief of the journal Sukupuolentutkimus–Genusforskning, the Finnish Journal of Gender Studies, together with Kuura Irni. My doctoral research, which explored ways in which media images of fat bodies address viewers on an affective level and shape their body images, was published as a book The Weight of Images: Affect, Body Image, and Fat in the Media in 2014 (Ashgate, republished through Routledge). Before Åbo Akademi University, I worked as a Senior Lecturer (fixed-period post) in Media Studies at the University of Turku (2015–2017), Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Fellow (2013–2015), Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher at Cinema Studies, Stockholm University (2010–2013), and Visiting Research Fellow at Macquarie University, Sydney (fall 2012).


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